Goals – McLoughlin, Spencer
What a difference a bit of belief makes. In September, we could not buy a goal, let alone a win. However, 4 games and 4 victories later, this game saw us end Poly’s 100% record this season, and the great thing about it was that we thoroughly deserved it, and gave those watching a real treat in a hum-dinger of a game!
With Moruzzi off up to some northern hell-hole in pursuit of skirt, we were able to welcome back Simmo from his fake injury lay-off, Nugzy from his booze-filled antics, and Sammy Morris from being turned down by the women of Cheshire in favour of his little brother. Gaffer Morris had sent his spies out to watch Poly, and from the resultant information decided to tinker with the team slightly – Skips moved out to left back and in came Simmo to partner German, Sam moved to a deeper playmaker role, which meant Tom was our lone man up top. The word from the Gaffer before the game was to start the game quickly, pressing and getting in their faces. From the off that is exactly what we did. Early doors German and Simmo got a rise out of their forward, which marked his card in the eyes of the Ref. We were getting most of our joy in wide areas – Zack and Kier were getting in behind the oppo fullbacks time and again, but the final ball was lacking a few times. The opening goal came after about half an hour when Kier sent in a beautiful corner which found the shining bonce of the skipper who was able to get up and head across the keeper in.
This seemed to shake Poly into action, and they began to raise their game – we were the authors of our own misfortune however, a free kick was not even challenged for (a slight worry from the first half) and Poly were able to break fast and force a corner, from which they eventually scored when a great ball was swung in and the lad lost Simmo to power home.
At half-time we made a change when Kier felt his hammy, so on came live-wire Elion, who really gave the Poly defence something to think about. We attacked well and defended bravely with Simmo and German in particular gobbling up everything that the oppo threw at them. On the hour mark, the Gaffer made a brave double change, bringing on Nugzy and Claude, the latter into the heart of the midfield battle, for the hard working Fabb and Woots. I think it would be fair to say that Claude had a nightmare first 5 minutes, but soon found his feet, and began to exert real influence, nearly scoring a fine solo run that was only halted when they Poly keeper went down bravely at his feet. Soon after, Sam Morris was set away by tom and just got a toe to the ball in front of the keeper, but the ball agonizingly bobbled onto the post and away. We kept up the pressure, but Poly always looked dangerous on the break. Another chance came and went when Elion roasted them down the right and squared to Tom who fluffed his cue from 6 yards. With 15 to go, he made up for this when his tireless running saw him chase down the Poly keeper and bang home the ball to put us deservedly back in front.
For the next 15 minutes, Poly threw everything at us, but we defended heroically. Special mention to the ref who seemed to be enjoying the game so much that strung the game out to nearly 105 minutes! The whistle went as we repelled the last Poly attack.
So a great win that did not flatter us. Poly are a really good team, but we really limited them – I think there goal was the only shot on target that they had. We really need to keep up the fight, determination and spirit that we have shown in recent games, with 2 big local derbies coming up in the next couple of weeks.
Man of the Match – Tough this week – Egan was a rock, Claude and Elion had excellent cameo’s, Zack caused them so many problems, Tom defended from the front and deserved his goal. However, Wilko gets the nod for an unsung performance in controlling the midfield.
Team: C Simpson, McLoughlin, Fabb (Nugent), Egan, I Simpson, Wilkinson, Wootten (Mbelo), Morris, Amankwah, O’Leary (Kenga), Spencer.