Rowley College 2 Sandwell United 1

As James’ predictions had billed this as a relegation six pointer, it was important for both sides to either a) prove otherwise or b) at least claim the symbolic six points. We did and feel over the whole piece deserved to do so but Sandwell will once again prove difficult opposition as they did last season (when they beat us twice). They lacked the attacking punch from open play they’d had but still remained dangerous from set plays for the whole match.
With a few players missing (already) we set up solidly rather than expansively but with our usual intention to play as much football as we can. This worked very well first half with new boy Clive at left back proving particularly proficient at getting us passing and moving. Mark and Chris were very secure at the back and Christie looked like he’d carried over some excellent form from the end of last season. Problem was despite our possession and chances we failed to score. A mixture of a capable Myles in goal and some wayward finishing from Olly, Nathan, Christie and Sammy left us frustrated then downright mad when they forced in a goal from a free kick. Having won none of our previous ten games (a run that took us from a Champions League place to almost relegation) a little anxiety was evident (at least on the side). Luckily Nathan Hylton outwitted their offside trap and unselfishly set Sammy up for a tap-in. Half time: 1-1.
Having dominated the first half it was a bit of a shock to find a very different Sandwell starting the second half and for a while the momentum of the game changed. We were put under considerable pressure. Having weathered this storm, Tom replaced Joe and then one of their lads was sent off for swearing. We then needed to take advantage which we did with a few minutes left when Clive threaded in Olly who beat the keeper only for Sammy to follow up with his second. All the best to Sandwell!

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