Elmore AFC v St Martins AFC
By Steven Rice
Eagles flying after shaky start...
We welcomed current East Division Champions St Martins to Horsdon Park this weekend.
This was to be our toughest test to date against a well drilled and tough playing team.
From the start of the game it was clear our visitors were far more up for this game than we were. An aggressive approach to the first half saw us go into our shells, and at times it looked like men against boys as a vocal and physically stronger St Martins team bossed us around the pitch by not giving us any time or space to build any kind of momentum.
That being said, there wasn’t a lot of clear chances created by either team throughout the first half, but the best chance of the half fell to the victors. This was after a poor clearance from Barrett in goal fell to an unmarked St Martins player who played a long ball forward, where our defence wasn’t settled quickly enough, and Dan Tapp found himself unable to head clear, and Ashton Hewitt
not in a position to cover the striker behind Tapp, which lead to a well controlled touch from the striker just inside the box and he rifled it home past Barrett into the corner. 1-0 St Martins.
The rest of the half continued in the same fashion, and half time came with a good chance to talk to the lads.
After a stern half time chat, the second half would hopefully see us compete more to get back into the game.
Instantly we showed more fight, and a better ability to retain possession of the ball, without the rushed or wasted passes.
We took more of a grip on the game, but the visitors weren’t going to roll over, and tried to continue as they left off in the first half.
Our pressure told on 61 minutes as another good move wide, found Kieran Rapo
wide right to cross a lovely ball between keeper and defenders, and finding Jamie Mudge, recently on for an injured Stuart Davies, racing into the box and volleying the ball past a stranded keeper. 1-1 now, and you could see the rise of belief within the team.
With that renewed belief, and as the visitors were still licking their wounds, Isaac Furness
found himself in an advanced position wide left, and put in a superb pinpoint cross from wide of our visitors box, this found Jesse Howe free near the far post, and with a superb headed finish took us ahead in the game to lead 2-1.
Although no more goals were scored, chances were created at both ends, and credit to both teams in making it a tough and nail biting finish to the game.
Fortunately we always seemed to have the edge for the second half, and took all 3 points in what was a tough game, and hopefully also a lesson learned with how we can expect teams to come at us with a game plan to unsettle us.
Now 4 from 4 as we move on to another evening game this wednesday evening, 29th, away to Alphington AFC, and a potential banana skin if we don’t approach the game properly, and hopefully we can get some support their to cheer the lads on to another 3 points.....