Thanks to Joshua Briley from Delph Athletic for this match report.
Christ Church Coseley 1 vs 3 Delph Athletic
The Delphs came into this game off the back of 4 consecutive games without defeat. We knew this game would be more of a challenge than our previous few games as Christchurch sat 2nd in the league on the morning of our game. This coupled with the fact they gave us a 5-1 hammering in our first game of the season meant we knew we were in for a difficult task.
This week also saw us lose 3 players to a fellow Division 2 outfit, not only were these 3 players who have a wealth of 11 a side experience but more important than that these were 3 players who turned up every week & always put in a good performance.
In truth, this has brought the remaining squad together as each & everyone within it has stepped up. We started the game with a strong starting 11 & 3 good quality subs, with stand in Manager Matt Slater in charge for the game.
The game kicked off in cold conditions & within 3 minutes Christchurch had taken the lead. A wonderful ball from the Christchurch number 7 from just inside his own half flew past our defence (Definitely down to the greatness of the pass rather than Manager Josh Briley being out of position at left back – Maybe), the Christchurch Winger who got on the end of the ball then squared it across goal only to find one of two Christchurch strikers at the back post unmarked to make it 1-0.
At this point we thought we were in for a long game & you’d be forgiven if you’d have predicted a big win for Christchurch at that point.
Christ Church dominated the early part of the game as we just couldn’t seem the settle on the ball, however the first time we did manage to attack the Christchurch defence Nat Harding was put through on goal & managed to tuck home to make it 1-1.
We then grew into the game finding lots of possession all over the pitch, one thing we knew at the start of the season was that as a team we can certainly play the ball around quite well due to a number of our players having played together since they were teenagers on 5 & 7 a side games – Transferring that to grass & 11 a side has taken time but in recent games we have been able to outplay our opposition throughout the game.
This game was no different & deep into the first half a wonderful driven pass from our right Back Joe fell to the feet of Nat Harding who turned his marker & slotted home to make it 2-1.
At half time we led 2-1 & knew that at times throughout our season we had been in this position before & failed to see the game out.
A quick change in midfield & we were back out on the pitch dominating the play. We then extended our lead through a lovely team goal with numerous people involved, the ball found itself worked right through to the back post for Mark Harrison to slot home from just outside the 6 yard box to make it 3-1.
From there on in we showed the kind of resilience we’d been looking for all season, we made no sloppy mistakes which have often lost us games & our best form of defence as a team was attack, Nat Harding found himself through on goal several times and on another day may have had another couple goals to his name.
The Game then ended 3-1, a best performance of the season so far from the Delphs & a solid management debut from Matt Slater (Supported tactically by substitute Matt Kindred). Finally a run of games where we feel we have got the points we deserved.
Another good game against Christ Church Coseley, who in truth were not at their best today, we look forward to playing them again later on in the season.
On 30th November we sat bottom of the table with 4 points, having played 8, won 1, drawn 1 & lost 6.
We now find ourselves sat in 6th position with 17 points having played 13, won 5, drawn 2 & lost 6.
The team have grown a lot since the start of the season & it’s fantastic to see people coming on so quickly, we have a great character & atmosphere within the team so far & we hope the current form can continue on whilst we look to keep climbing the table.
(edit: Not only did Delph Athletic take all 3 points but they also received a glowing reference from Christ Church regarding the fact that they cleared all their own litter up and left no mess whatsoever. Again, these are the standards expected and required within this League. I spend enough time moaning at Club Secs regarding the standards being met so when someone makes a point of praising other Clubs for doing this then maybe I should also praise them, well done).