Martin Ogburn (City Church) writes:
It was good to finally get the three points for City today in the league after recent close results (twice v Zion we have been two goals up, but only collected a total of 1 point). The game started with some frozen parts in the pitch, but overall conditions were ideal for football with the sun out, a fresh, cool day and very little wind.
City started well and had a lot of early possession. At times we were only guilty of missing the final shot as the build up play was impressive. At the other end Chawn had two early one-on-one chances which were well saved by stand-in keeper, Louden (who had a solid all round match in for the injured Chattaway). City soon took the lead from a good run and shot from Yeo which was helped over the line by Maggs. Shortly afterwards Yeo was through again and was brought down wide of the penalty spot. It was a yellow card and penalty (luckily there was a covering defender). However the Chawn keeper saved smartly down to his left from the same City player. This period could have been a turning point due to City’s fragile confidence. A post was also hit by Maggs shortly afterwards which didn’t help. City finally got the second deserved goal after good pressure. Yeo turned and smashed a lovely shot which went the right side of the post this time (HT 0-2).
The second half started with Chawn having good pressure without finding a clear opening. It settled down into an even contest in the opening stages, but City took a 3-goal lead after a sweet Haynes finish. This is unchartered territory this season and the 3-goal lead lasted about 10 seconds before the Chawn number 8 (their man-of-match) slalomed through the City defence after a good passing move. This gave Chawn renewed energy and they sniffed a comeback. However this was snuffed out by a rare Sheppard finish after a bit of pinball in the penalty area. There was still time for a few nerves after a flowing Chawn move ended in a consolidation goal. Neither side could add to the scoreline as the game became very open (including a rare Melia free kick shot on his birthday!), and the intensity was maintained until the final whistle.
Overall it was a good, hard fought battle. Chawn showed good spirit and had quality attacking players on show. It was also played in good spirits. For City, it was a much needed win, but also a really positive all round offensive and defensive performance after previous promising displays have ended disappointingly. It is now 2 wins, a draw and a narrow defeat in the last 4 league and cup games. The squad appears to have settled down after early season disruptions with comings and goings, (as well as injuries, suspensions, and work commitments with this young squad). There were several man-of-the-match candidates such as Campbell, Haynes, Melia and Yeo. We look forward to Wolves next week as we seek to build on an improved run. We wish Chawn all the best.