Full credit to Monyhull in every respect. Firstly to John who kept us informed across a difficult weather week, including the possibility of switching if the worst came to the worst, through to an 8.15am pitch inspection to confirm a game before we travelled. Truth is that the notorious Rowheath sponge turned out merely soft underfoot but a seemingly hurricane-force wind did its best to ruin the game. Not since the almost legendary winds at Rowley College, where we once went in 4 nil down to a wind-assisted Chawn and ended up 4-4 when the wind equally obliged us second half, have I seen a game so affected by the weather. If anything it hurt the home side most since, as many have said, Monyhull are a good young footballing side and in their number 10 (Oli Smith?)have one of the best players I’ve seen this season. They pass the ball well and lack only a little in experience and perhaps a clinical touch upfront.
What we have though is a proper solidity and attitude which did us proud in these difficult conditions. Lee Inett came in for the absent Olly and had a good game in the middle as did Mark and Matt Stanton at the back continues to impress wherever he plays. This game was about the first half and our momentum. The wind howled in the direction of their right back as he faced up to Fowler our most dangerous player. Ben had been behind them twice early. The second time he forced a corner which he whipped into the ringer. Their keeper tried to punch but got little on in and it fell to Mark who poked it from close range into the roof of the net. Our keeper Lee often talks about the wind as a keeper’s least favourite conditions and do it proved for their custodian. No sooner had they got back involved it was 2-0 when a decent cross from Tom Cartin found itself into the net: it was a ‘gimme’. Then Christy was held for a fairly soft penalty and Monyhull knew it wasn’t going to be their day. Christy converted and when Mark got his second from another wind-assisted/keeper’s nightmare goal we were able to breathe more easily.
We were aware the second half would be harder and Monyhull did not disappoint but we were also able to fashion further chances with Ben Smith always an option going forward. They also had intent and also created chances. A penalty for hand ball gave them further encouragement and we had to remain on our metal to ‘keep the back door closed’. Matt Williams was a dominant force though today. Luckily we then seemed to get a second wind and despite being reduced to ten men we finished the stronger with Benna rounding the keeper and ‘creating’ an own goal (the lad was desperately trying to clear it) to make it 5-1. All the best to Monyhull and congratulations to our lads who once again delivered performance and result.