The first home game of the season had the team wondering... Can they do it on a windy day at Coldham's? A resounding no was the answer!
Following last weeks "heavy" defeat away to West Herts, the lads were well up to the challenge regular rivals South - who we knew would be well up for this game after a 5-1 drubbing of Cambridge City the week before. We knew that our performance last week was not reflected in the scoreline, and following some fitness and short corner practice in training, we were ready to show the league what we can do.
The first half began fast and hard as we expected, however the Nomads rearguard soaked the pressure with ease and allowed the rest of the team to grow steadily into the game. After 15 minutes, the game change and we found ourselves camped in their 22. We had a number of good chances, however nothing seemed to fall our way as a couple of short corners were saved and the scoreline remained even. In typical South fashion, the discipline started to falter and cards were shown which allowed us to build on a strong first half. Just before the end of the half, it was all blue and South should consider themselves lucky not to have been a goal or two down at half time.
It was clear at the interval that everybody was fired up and wanted to get straight back out there. We knew they were there for the taking and it would only be a matter of time before they fell.
From the start of the second half - probably fearing the ever relentless pressure - South dropped back to a half court press, allowing us to bring the ball up the pitch. We continued to pile on the pressure with continuous breaks in to the D, when at last another short corner was won. Despite not converting, Martin "the boulder" Hamon found a foot (or leg) with his dragflick offering us another chance. Having worked on a new routine in training, it was time to put it to the test. Jack "houdini" Franklin dragged out for Joe "the marauder" Phillips to cleverly stop and bunt across the D to Sam "great guy" Farrant Walker. It was finally coming together. A faultless routine. At last. The slap across goal was met perfectly by Dave "younger than he looks" Bennett, who deflected into the goal.
This 1-0 lead was put to the test throughout the remaining 20 minutes of the game as South were renewed with energy. They began to pile on the pressure, but the whole team rallied around to stand firm against the ever-growing South attack. After some frantic short corners, the ball was deflected high towards goal and Ethan "the cod" Brown had to scramble high to keep the ball from dropping in.
Ultimately, it was never in doubt that we'd get the win and once again get the better of our rivals. 3 wins in our last 3 games vs South is certainly a result to be celebrated. We won't stop there though, as we face fellow promoted side Bury St Edmunds next week in what will be another tough day at Coldham's.
MOTM for this game was Nick "the firestarter" Wells as he provided penetration from right back and was a thorn in the oppositions side throughout the match.
DOTD went to Jack "houdini" Franklin for missing an open goal on the back post, about 2 yards out. Seems fair.