Elmore v University of Exeter
By Steven Rice
Students teach a lesson.
After a bright start to the game, it looked as though we weren’t going to have the same problems that beset us in our away fixture at the University.
We started strongly, moved the ball well, and were a constant threat to the visitors defence, who at times looked lost as to how to stop us breaking through.
Chances were created, but we couldn’t quite find the finishing touch to open the scoring and give us the comfort of the first goal in the game.
After a brief break in play due to an injured student being helped off the pitch, things seemed to change slightly in the tempo of our game.
Not before a foul was committed in the University area, and the referee awarding us a penalty and an opportunity to open the scoring.Jordan Bastin
stepped up, and tucked the ball home in the left corner for his 30th goal of the season. 1-0 Elmore, and surely the start we needed to kick on.
Unfortunately that didn’t happen, and two minutes later saw a student running between our defenders on the edge of the box, only to be blocked and the referee giving a free kick, only to change his mind and give a penalty. Which was put away with some ease and brought the students level in the game again, 1-1.
That’s when the wheels seemed to fall off our game..
For the remainder of the half, we looked looked second best to everything, as we dropped deeper defensively, our ball retention was poor when when did have it, and wasteful in possession as we couldn’t string together any kind of attacking power that we had previously showed, and started to resort to long balls that weren’t gaining us anything.
Just before half time, a mistake saw us gift the University another chance in front of goal, after somewhat of a goalmouth melee which saw the ball blocked, saved, blocked again and then cleared with no player claiming a goal from the opposition, the goal was awarded by our linesman as it had apparently crossed the line, and made it 2-1 to the students who we working very hard now, and probably deserved to get something out of it.
Half time came and a much needed regroup to clear our heads.
The second half started with renewed hope of getting back level as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately the plan didn’t quite work, as within minutes of the kick off, a clearance ricocheted off one of our players and wasn’t dealt with, which again aloud the students to steal in for another goal, making it 3-1 to the students.
We continued to work hard, but still weren’t quite firing on all cylinders, but there was improvement.
Both sides pressed, and countered when possible, and a bumpy Horsdon Park wasn’t helping create a free flowing football match for the spectators to watch or the players to play.
On 70 minutes another penalty was given for a foul near the edge of the box, and up stepped Bastin again to take for his 31st of the season.
Not the cleanest of strikes he will admit to taking, and the keeper guessed the right way to make a good save. Still 3-1 to the students.
Changes were made to shape and personnel, and we did look brighter and sharper, but still couldn’t find the cutting edge to trouble their keeper.
As both sides worked hard right to the final whistle, the scoreline finished the same. A poor day at the office for us, having started so brightly and looking so threatening, to capitulate and change so fast was very disappointing.
Although the effort was better in the second half, still not good enough for where we want to be as a team. Questions to answer before our next game in two weeks time, home again to high flying Bovey Tracey, who will no doubt be looking to take home the 3 points, and increase their pushfor the League title....