St Austell Draw
We didn’t start the pre match build up well, with central defender Richard Groom unable to find baby sitters, making a reshuffle necessary before kick off, and with only two 100% fit players on the bench and so many away it seemed the gods had not smiled on us again….
We set the side up not to play long, but to try as much as possible to keep the ball shorter and to feet where possible, this seemed to work well as we controlled large periods against a side that we knew were strong and always likely to create chances. So an emphasis was also put on recovery run and good shape behind the ball to restrict space. They did cause us a few problems when they played long with defenders not dropping to cover each other, this was put across and changed, and we were more solid.
We took the lead in the first half through some fine passing and movement which lead to Kenny Ord scoring.
Unfortunately some hesitancy in defending a corner saw the ball drop about 5 yards and not cleared to allow a toe poke over the line from a quicker reacting St Austell player.
The 2nd half we continued to press with good movement, passing and support play going forward, and this saw us extend our lead again with Kenny Ord bagging his 2nd, and Ethan Phillips also netting to see us go 3-1 up.
Unfortunately having controlled most of the game, and the visitors looking resigned to the fact they could be facing a 2nd defeat, to a non professional based team may I add, in the space of a week, we were caught by along cleared ball from our own corner, and their striker raced through to nod the ball over a stranded Gibbins into an empty net.
This gave the visitors a boost and shortly after Lloyd Copp was judged to have unfairly muscled a player off the ball and received his 2nd yellow card of the game, ridiculous decision that set a chain of events to slightly unravel us briefly. With Ben Ashford remonstrating a bit too harshly with a visiting player, and spotted by the assistant, he was given a straight red for putting his hand in an opponents face. Unfortunately the ref didn’t see the 2 slaps in the face from the St Austell players before this incident, and this left us back to the wall somewhat.
Another corner followed and once again some hesitancy in our box saw the visitors react quicker to poke the ball home again, and make it all square at 3-3.
This gave us a fraught last 5 minutes to hold out, and with luck Mortimer going down with cramp we faced the last few minutes of the game with 8 fit men to see the game out…
Fortunately we did, and very much deserved. We are growing as a squad each week, and to perform so well against a team that were runners up last year, won the charity bowl at the beginning of the season, and are tipped as one of the title favourites, there is much to look forward to if we keep learning and improving, and with Tavistock away on Tuesday night our games aren’t going to get much easier…
All in all, very pleased with the effort from everyone, we created lots of chances created to take the game beyond St Austell, perhaps on another day and with a bit of Lady Luck they will be converted. Fantastic attitude and work ethic throughout the squad, and hopefully this continues to build and can get a settled side.
Onwards and upwards to Tuesday nights trip to Tavistock AFC. COYY’s….