Hectic weekend where family issues took priority over the web site. Tried updating as much as possible when I had some free time, (not a lot). Just a couple of match reports this week which is disappointing after the amount we had last week. Hopefully this will improve over the coming weeks.
Delph Athletic were the first to send in a match report early on Sunday morning. Many thanks to Joel Gooding who was their captain on the day.
Delph Athletic 3 vs 1 Brierley Hill A.O.G
2 Games so far this season, 2 goals conceded In the first 2 minutes of the game, 2 missed penalties, but ultimately, 2 Wins from 2.
It was a very sloppy start from the Delphs, conceding in the opening exchange down the left with a complete lapse in concentration and communication in the box leading to a simple finish for the Brierley Hill striker well taken in the corner.
The first half continued to be quite a slow half which lacked energy and chances – broken up with lots of niggly fouls.
Halfway through the half Nat slipped through to Rich who crossed it to the back post where Will finished it nicely to bring the scores level. The next best chance of the half came when Nat turned there defender got tripped and won a penalty.
Nat stepped up and scuffed a shocking penalty wide of the the right post.
The start of the second half wasn’t much better, with Delph lacking sharpness and Brierley Hill camped on the edge of their box allowing pressure with nothing coming from it. With around 15 minutes to go intricate play led to Nat slipping into the box and driving the ball across the box which Ed gambled on and finished well at the back post. From then Delph were very much in control, and no communication between the Brierley Hill centre half and goalkeeper led to Nat chipping the ball over the defender and finishing into an open goal. All in all a lot to improve on for Delph in the next game but a well battled win and a deserved 3 points.
Grant Esp was our Iconics UK Man of the Match.
Tough few games coming up starting with Christchurch Coseley this coming Saturday.
Second match report gomes from ever reliable Pete Bennett of Rowley College.
Rowley College 2 vs 3 Saint Michael
Very different game from last week despite the similar outcome. We really are suffering the most appalling injury crisis at the time you least expect it at the very start of the season and with a couple of lads unavailable (including Fowler) and one no-show we were sadly pushed beyond our limits today. That is to take nothing away from St Michael, who beat us for the first time this morning: they are a good side and were ruthless in front of goal while we were strangely laboured.
Thankfully we welcomed Piddy back in goal but defensively were missing three of our best defensive players: South, Kev and Clive. This was then confounded when our best defensive player Chris Stain tweaked an existing thigh strain after only five minutes: how he lasted the 90 at the level he did was miraculous and without him this would have been a stuffing, methinks! Trouble was when one of our starters didn’t show we were left to cope with a shortage of match fit players. One of these was Matty Suffield, who’d come for a ‘run’ and had to start and battled through a half nowhere near all there.
Yet we started like a house on fire with Ben and Fin biting into the tackle in midfield and setting up both Jack and Matt with good chances one-on-one. Jack’s miss was the only blemish on an excellent performance today: he is a very good player and applied himself brilliantly. Josh too worked tirelessly and with great discipline leading the line. Gradually though St Michael wore us down with their tidy football and proved horribly clinical in front of goal with three unsavable finishes in the first half with the slope. Big Robert got the first from a classy header and all three goals were well worked. Up against it we laboured and were exposed rather though Jack continued to torment them with a man-of-the-match performance.
After strong words (we were hurting mentally and physically) we knew we had to have a go down the hill. We went more direct and certainly had the better of the second half, though also losing Shola to injury didn’t help. Lance made a positive return after three or four years away and Adam was busy when he came on. You always think there’s a chance that getting one back might change the balance of the game but we in truth had few chances: Brad touch a touch when faced with a fairly open goal and their lads blocked it and their keeper made a brilliant point blank save from Josh’s powerful header. Josh deserved a goal today and got one from another good header within the last ten minutes. Excitement certainly and more when Jack converted a late penalty but it was just too late. St Michael deserved their victory so all the best for Robert and his lads and thanks to the match officials (all properly good today!).