Bad eight days for us and perhaps the most worrying thing is we drew another blank despite showing attacking intent in both games. Today we only had ourselves to blame and by this I don’t mean to imply either that St Matts were lucky or us unlucky. They are a capable side with plenty of experience and nous and despite having a penalty well saved by Lee and going down to ten men near the end, they ran out worthy winners. Like last week we went in a t half time 0-2 but after an altogether different half. By that time we had lost Mark with a shoulder injury and two sloppy, though well-taken, goals but more importantly we had passed over at least four good chances to put ourselves in the driving seat.
St Matts started brightly and showed their attacking threat but we were soon into our stride and looked likely to take a firm hold of the game. First Matt Stanton forged into the box and crossed dangerously and a good block set Ben Smith up with a clear side of an unprotected goal. Sadly his shot was deflected over the angle of post and bar. Two minutes later Ben Fowler had an even better chance when a poor back pass let in Christie who rounded the keeper and chipped back to Ben who hurried his shot when he perhaps had more time. It was the start of a very frustrating morning for Ben who might have had his fourth hat trick of the season before twenty minutes were up but those that were flying in two games ago slipped harmlessly wide today. This shows just how much we’ve depended on him and with pretty much a goal a game over his last 60 appearances he owes us nothing.
Meanwhile St Matts kept playing and threatening without really troubling Lee, but getting progressively into the game. And when Chris played a short pass, our worst fears were confirmed as smart passing and movement led to a smart finish. To make matters worse Mark had to leave the field and then a deep cross was crashed home at the back post. We used a full bench and all played their part and had plenty of pressure but they played sensibly and looked the more likely to score on the break. Fact is their keeper only had one proper save to make (from Ben’s low drive). Even when Lee saved a penalty we just couldn’t pick up the momentum and instead they scored an excellent third from an expertly taken free kick. Good luck to St Matts and thanks to ref Dan Conway who was excellent today.