Football is a strange game sometimes; Last week City lost heavily to Sheldon, who had lost heavily to Wolves and Perton, who lost to City today!
The game was played in blustery conditions in the micro-climate of Row Heath, but City started with good intensity and pressure. In the first 5 minutes the Wolves keeper pulled off a good couple of saves and the bar was struck by Gadsby. City continued to dominate possession and squandered several chances before a scrappy goal was sliced over the line by a Wolves defender after a Hoult shot.
As the half wore on City were starting to wonder if they would regret missing a host of chances. However, a rebound off the keeper enabled Gadsby to score from close range to leave it 2-0 at half time. Wolves had some joy on the break and from set plays towards the end of the half to keep the game alive.
The second half started with an early City goal from Maggs to settle any nerves (3-0). A fourth followed from Thomas (4-0) before Wolves pulled one back from a close range header (4-1). Haynes then scored the goal of the game as he slalomed through the Wolves defence and slotted home to restore the 4-goal lead (5-1). By this time the game was very stretched and open and Wolves hit back (5-2) before a City sixth from Snelgrove (who had another one drift agonisingly wide (6-2).
The last-minute centre half pairing of Brown and Dyke had a solid game, but were beginning to tire towards the end of the half (after months of inactivity), and a penalty was conceded and well-converted with the last kick of the game to complete a hat-trick for the Wolves player. The final score was 6-3 which was great for the neutral observer!
Overall it was a really good City win and performance with high intensity and work-rate from the first minute to the last. Gadsby and Gallant were in particularly impressive form. Thomas and Haynes also put in a shift in midfield. Indeed all 14 players played their part in a tremendous response after last week’s blip.
It now leaves City only needing a point from their last league game to guarantee a ninth season in Division 1 (only Clarendon and St Mary’s have remained unbroken in the division during this period). It’s an amazing turnaround for City who have now won 4 out of 5 games (and have suffered only 2 defeats in 9 games) and were on 9 points in mid-March. All the best to Wolves and Perton for their remaining games. It was played in good spirits, but was still full-bloodied. The referee also had a good match.