I really feel for Amblecote. Looking to kick on after a terrific season last time with very similar personnel, they are having a hard time of it at the moment and this Division is unforgiving, (there are no easy games). We got half way through last season three points short of ‘safety’ and then only managed two points from the last nine games so we know how it feels, (and we, like Phil’s boys were ‘in’ every game). They were really up for it today and stuck at it to the end and just as last week, we were not three worse than St Marys so Amblecote were not five worse than us: the margins in this Division are actually pretty tight. However we were good today, as we have been most of the season and were not prepared to be Amblecote’s way out of their woes.
More changes brought Max Tully, a player I’ve always admired onto our bench and within ten minutes into our side for the unfortunate Lee who had an early injury. Max was quality today but we were at it all over the park. Defensively sound, controlling in midfield and with Leon and Craigy combining well up top all was well. Not that this was easy as Amblecote also had plenty of quality all over the park too. The game was won in three stages. In a first half which we had the better of but struggled to decisively ‘win’ we scored at advantageous times. Firstly early when Leon’s throw found Ben in too much room in their box to finish well and then on the stroke after Amblecote had threatened to equalise Leon lofted a free kick over stand-in keeper Phil Deeley. Phil had also made a fantastic save half way through the half from a wonderful run and effort from Clive.
Phase two was the battle to score the third, (since this was still an open match). Leon once again obliged Ben who headed in and 3-0 should have seen us home. Not so. Amblecote won a free kick and we were too slow with the wall and their lad knocked it powerfully in. Cue a bit of panic and Amblecote pressure. Add this to a couple more injuries for us, (Clive and South), and the jitters were on. Jadon Silva, top WMCFL player and top bloke made an appearance. Thankfully Olly charged down their keeper which left us home and dry and ruthless in the closing stages; another great effort from Leon who then completed his hat trick, heading in a lovely cross from Craig, who today was as good as anyone.
Hope we can kick on from here. Good luck also to Phil and his lads!