One of the interesting things about the return of the much missed website preview/review is the difference in style between Kovacs’ Kolumn and Ed’s Eye, (and I’ve enjoyed both versions). What Neil brings (no surprise for those of us who know him) is a greater forthrightness: he is not afraid to say what he thinks and does so without fear or favour! Hopefully it will encourage more of us to fill in the gaps and , sometimes, ‘put him right’. We played a team in Corinthians whom the Kolumn had earmarked for near certain relegation but I can report, despite their recent difficulties, that they are certainly not down and out: they have good players and gave us a good game today.
Earlier in the season, when they were fresh out of Division 2 we beat Corinthians with a last minute goal and they looked a good side. This is a very difficult league at the moment so it doesn’t take much to set you back, particularly after a season largely spent winning in the league below: here there are no easy games. We’re building a reasonable squad and were able to get out a good side despite half a dozen absentees but it’s testimony to them also that they too, despite their own absentees and a run of poor results, fielded a competitive side who led twice and were in it until the latter stages. While I think we deserved to win, Corinthians deserve credit too.
Our victory was founded on solid defence: Mark and Chris were immense at centre back but both full backs Clive and Matty Stanton were also excellent providing both cover and attack. Corinthians always carried a threat so we had to be strong. Ironically though, we had a hand in both of their goals. First, before we’d even got started Chris flicked at a free kick only to deflect it past his bemused keeper. This gave them something to play for and we had to up our game. We did with some style, attacking in waves with plenty of accurate ‘pass and move’ though no real final ball. It took us half an hour to get back into it when young Micheal had a shot blocked but when it came back to him, while he was on the ground, he improvised brilliantly to shoot it under the keeper. As we had been on top we thought we’d kick on.
As it was we were immediately cut open and only a desperate final block from Mark prevented a goal. However from the subsequent corner in a swirling wind he uncharacteristically lost his marker and their centre back powered in a back post header, when it looked like going out of play. 1-2 at HT.
Ten minutes into the second half, Nic Hadley, who’d put in another tidy performance for us was replaced by Max Tully, who dropped into centre mid and started to influence the game. We were by this time playing some stylish football with Leon, Micheal and Ben combining well and Max and Dave driving from midfield. The keeper made a couple of decent saves and their defensive lads put their bodies on the line for their team. Then one was spilt and Sammy Nelson got his reward for a battling performance with a well taken goal to make it 2-2. Still we pressed but they had chances too (it was a decent game to watch). Finally we got the vital goal. Leon crossed expertly with the outside of his foot and Sammy met it back post for his second. Still they came back and we endured a couple of scares. Sammy miscued a hat trick chance made for him by Micheal and then Dave ran through and finished like a striker for 4-2. Thanks also to Mark Davies who with two experienced assistant referees, (Ian and Lyndon), made sure the game flowed on a cold morning at Lion Farm. All the best to Corinthians.