By Daniel Halstead
Another three points secured
As the season draws to a climax, we only have two games to go and our final home game was against Chilcompton Sports. Always a tough opponent, we have had a number of close games against them over the previous 18 months. The Easter holidays also made our task harder as we were without Toby, Liam and Olly. We still had a squad of 12 and had to solve our goalkeeping issue. Long term stand in keeper Harry took the first half and Joe took the gloves for the second half. We took our usual formation with Dex and Max a full backs either side of Mike and Elijah. Joe anchored midfield behind Kyran and James. We had our regular front three of Joel, Cody and Harvey with Josh on the bench.
The first half was a little disjointed and we never really got into our game. Too much focus on getting he ball forward quickly meant that we never really looked after the ball and could not show our true potential. Our opportunities were limited to some set pieces in the first half as one corner from Joel was flicked onto the bar by Elijah and the rebound was headed into the keeper’s hands. A corner on the other side from Cody found Joel’s head but he directed over. It looked like it would be 0-0 at half time, but some uncharacteristically slack defending saw us fail to clear our lines and Chilcompton scored with a powerful finish beyond Harry, so we went in 1-0 down.
Josh came on for Dex and we swapped keepers from Harry to Joe. A few other changes happened as the half started with Cody taking some time off, Max taking time out too to tend to a cut too. Harry was restored back into central defence, Joel anchored the midfield and Elijah moved forward. We started to throw everything into getting back into the game and we drew level when James slid a beautiful ball though Harvey who broke through, calmly rounded the keeper and rolled the ball into the empty net.
Our tails were up, but unbelievably Chilcompton fought back and managed to regain the lead. They had a shot kept out by a great save by Joe, but the rebound found an unmarked player who turned it into the empty net. We were back where we started.
At this stage we threw caution to the wind, Mike was moved forward with Cody sitting back for a period. We pressed forward and when we remembered to pass the ball we suddenly looked more dangerous. A great ball from James sent Harvey away down the right wing and he beat his man to the line and pulled the ball back where Kyran met it and swept the ball into the net via a slight deflection to tie the game up once more. A few minutes later Harvey burst through down the right and as he looked to shoot the defender tangled with him and we were awarded a penalty. Kyran composed himself and smashed it confidently home to give us our first lead of the game. Mike and Cody were switched and we tightened up and saw the game out to collect another hard earned three points -unlucky for Chilcompton, but great spirit from the team. One more game to go and two weeks to wait.
Man of the Match: Mike Pouncey – solid again at the back, but really made the difference once he moved forward and helped put the team on the front foot to get the 2 goals needed.