Rowley 0 St Marys 3

I write a report, win, lose or draw and hope to give a fair account of our progress, now in our twenty third season of amateur football, (boys2men!). Games like today are the hardest to report on since the result, in my opinion, gives no real reflection of the game and everything I add is likely to sound like excuses. Mid-table Rowley 0 high-flying St Marys 3 is hardly a surprise and certainly not one I wouldn’t have predicted particularly given that the spine of last week’s successful team (Leon, Dave and player-manager South) had all seen this rearranged fixture as a ‘free week’ and were (far) away. Add to this Sammy not getting back from Manchester in time and you get our twelve against their sixteen, (more in fact), and eight wins out of nine is likely to become nine out of ten. However with Micheal and Christie coming back in up front, new signing Lee in midfield and Matty Stanton returning to his natural position at centre half, this was not a weak Rowley side and so it proved.
This was a good game of football to watch. St Marys are a fluent and confident side: terrific keeper, two good centre halves, mobile midfield and dangerous front players. They also have in Ian Coleman one of the best players in our league and he was once again to have a decisive influence. However this was not for us a default action: we matched them from the start (and effectively to the end). This started first half down the hill with Micheal providing a feasible threat and Lee showing good touches in midfield alongside Nathan and Olly. We certainly did enough to knock them out of their stride early on as both sides struggled to turn decent football into chances. As the half wore on St Marys got stronger and Clive was forced to clear off the line for us before their pressure produced its reward. Perfect cross by Colemen, nod of the head from Myatt. Our pressure in the same period had failed to produce a clear cut chance so 0-1 was a fair HT.
The fear was we would tire but in fact we came out of the traps flying and had the better of the period after half time. St marys continued to be dangerous down the slope and Lee made one particularly good save but in a game where the second goal was likely to be decisive we looked good enough to get it. Not only did we have a series of corners but also carved two proper chances, one for Micheal and one for Christie which should have turned the game around, credit though to their keeper in both cases. Nic Hadley came on to add a little finesse in the middle of the park and did well. Matt and Chris at centre back were magnificent and certainly didn’t deserve the 0-3 conclusion.
The game was in fact decided by what looked to me a fairly soft penalty, (we’ve conceded half a dozen this season), though it was there to ‘interpret’ (clumsy v clear foul). Lee almost saved it! Finally the ref played a good advantage and one of their lads hit a rasper from 20 yards to rub salt in our wounds. Football can be a cruel game and St Marys were sporting enough to admit they’d been in a very close game rather than the 3-0 romp that will sit in the records. Great attitude from us today: bodes well for the future!

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