University of Exeter v Elmore AFC
By Steven Rice
Students teach the Eagles a lesson.
We travelled to Topsham Road with high hopes of getting a result to keep our hopes of winning the league going.
Unfortunately it didn’t start well, as a lack of communication meant that both teams turned up in green, but after a short delay and a mad dash to pick up a spare kit, the game finally got under way.
Signs were good early on, and from the early mistakes being made by the students it looked as though we wouldn’t have to many problems finding our first goal.
Chances were made early in the game, but we couldn’t quite find the cutting edge to convert.
Then on 15 minutes, another defensive mix up by the students, found the ball dropping to Jordan Bastin
just outside their box, to calmly lob the ball over a stranded keeper, and take a deserved lead, 1-0 Elmore.
Now we could kick on and take better control of the game, or so you would have thought...
Then on 24 minutes things started to unravel slightly, Isaac Furness
caught on in our box trying to turn an attacker, got the ball nicked away from him, and the striker calmly fired the ball home past Paul Gibbins into the corner of the net, now 1-1.
With their equaliser, the students seamed to find a boost, and it wasn’t long before a ball passed through the midfield to an unmarked player, saw him turn and drive at our box unchallenged, and getting a shot off which flew passed Gibbins again to give the students a lead on 33 minutes, 2-1 Uni.
After that, we looked disjointed and unable to get a foothold back in the game to where we had been. The students to their credit worked very hard, something you always expect from the Uni players.
Without the scoreline changing again we went into half time with a chance to regroup and set out plans for the second half.
Things seemed slightly better as we got back to passing the ball early and finding good space between the lines to attack their defence, and things were looking good for a recovery that we know the the team has with the ability we have within the squad.
On 50 minutes it was Jamie Mudge who fired a rocket home off the inside edge of the post to draw us level, and give us the boost we needed to kick on regain the lead, 2-2.
Unfortunately on 54 minutes the students drove forward, and with little closing down around the edge of our box, saw the students lob Gibbins with an inch perfect finish to take the lead again, 3-2 Uni.
That was compounded a minute later on 54 minutes when a cross in from wide found an unmarked Uni player running free at the front post to turn the ball home, and further increase their lead in two minutes of madnes for us, 4-2 Uni.
Then on 60 minutes as we chased the game to get a goal back quickly, the students found a way to pass through us and open us up again, they extended their lead with a simple finish to make it now 5-2 to the students, and some what of a mountain to climb.
We never recovered from this, and with long balls not finding targets or space to move into, time ticked away as we changed formations to try and get something back out of the game.
On 79 minutes Jamie Mudge found space on the edge of the box to fire off a shot, which was turned home by Jordan Bastin
as he found himself in the right place at the right time, 5-3 but still an uphill climb.
We huffed and puffed as the closing minutes ticked away without either side adding to their tally.
Final score a very disappointing 5-3 to the Uni, we looked very disjointed and totally off the pace at times, and with little idea how to break the students down to create scoring opportunities. Something unusual for us as we normally at least always create opportunities to have shots on goal.
Hopefully this is a blip we can recover from quickly, as this Wednesday evening we welcome 2nd placed Saltash from the Premier Division in the Throgmorton Cup. If we don’t it could be a lesson in where we are in comparison to where we think we are going forward looking for promotion to the Peninsula Premier.
Hopefully we see a decent crowd to give the lads a lift and try and get us back on track, this will be a tough match and any support for your local team would be much appreciated on the night.