Match Report from City Church
“It’s difficult to know how to assess the result of the game today. On the one hand it was a good point for City as we showed great character in the second half to battle back into the game. On the other hand it could be interpreted as 2 points dropped considering we were 2-0 up before St Mary’s struck back. Overall the game was played at high intensity and was a seesaw battle, but it was always played in good spirits and I can’t recall a bad foul in the whole 90 minutes. It was a great advert for the WMCFL, especially with the Barclays Premier League representatives in attendance. The Referee, Debbie Rhooms had an excellent game, as always.
The game started in a similar fashion to many an away grassroots’ game, in which there were several last minute enforced changes to the City team before kick off. However, City started strongly and raced into a 2-0 goal lead through a ‘salmon leap’ from Henry, and an OG. St Mary’s were dangerous on the break with their quick attacking players and had chances of their own including hitting the crossbar. Chattaway (returning to the City goal) made some important saves.
The first turning point occurred at 2-0 after about 20 minutes when the City centre half fell awkwardly and had to be replaced. City then struggled with another reshuffle for the next period as St Mary’s had their best spell. City almost had a 3-0 advantage when Atkins chipped on to the crossbar with the keeper beaten, and with their next attack St Mary’s got one back. St Mary’s made it 2-2 before half time.
I would summarise the second half as City having the better of possession, but St Mary’s having clear chances on the counter attack. St Mary’s took the lead for the first time with a strong header from a corner early in the half (3-2). City got themselves back into the game and started to win more 50/50s, demonstrate good interplay and have sustained pressure. It become very open as City pushed forward. City deserved the equaliser with 10 minutes to go through a good flick on, run and slotted finish from Maggs. City could have won it with several clear chances. Last gasp tackles, important saves and great interceptions (including from Cooper and Lorimer for City) helped maintain the score at both ends.
The draw was probably a fair result by the final whistle. We wish St Mary’s all the best for the season, and they are a great bunch of lads whom play football in the right way. For City, it was a hard fought point and good performance in challenging circumstances as City finished strongly. However, we need to turn draws into wins to threaten the top of the table. The squad was tested and responded well. Haynes performed admirably out of position, and Lorimer and Campbell stepped in at short notice. Henry and Maggs vied for the man-of-match award.”