FC Cavaliers 0 vs 1 AOFC
A single James Hallam goal enough to see off Cavs
AOFC had to switch their fixture with FC Cavaliers due to an unfit home pitch so travelled to Forest Recreation Ground to play on the 3G surface. Cavs were unbeaten going in to the game having won 2 and drawn 1 of the first 3 fixtures. Aslockton & Orston shuffled the pack significantly after their defeat to Keyworth United in the week. Ryan Campbell and Pierce Hallam made their first start of the season whilst the formation was changed and players moved in to different positions - the benefit of having versatile players.
It was clear from the off that the home side were going to see a lot of the ball, keeping possession whilst Aslockton were happy to let them play the ball around their defence. Cavs had the benefit of playing on their home surface which they also trained on and they clearly had training ground drills that they were trying to use in order to create chances. However, during the first half they rarely caused any issues for the Cranmers. Ryan Campbell and Oliver Warner defended excellently at full-back against two fast, tricky wingers, giving them no joy at all. The Cavs centre forward was marshalled by Alex Purkis and Rob Lakin who both put in solid performances. Lakin's strength and aerial ability had a massive impact at the back for the away side as his presence alone was enough to put the Cavs striker off his game. Nick Eatough in goal had very little to do during the first half, despite the possession the home side had. Aslockton did create a good opening as Matt James beat the left back and got a good shot away but the Cavaliers' keeper made a comfortable save. 0 - 0 the half time score with neither team looking too likely to score.
The second half was much the same as the first with FC Cavaliers in possession for the majority, and Aslockton & Orston looking to counter. Pierce Hallam was replaced early in the half by Kieran Ellis. Still Cavs tried to break down the away side, but with Freddie Daws protecting the defence and James Hallam and Cole Maule matching their opposite duo in the middle of midfield, they found it difficult to get any clear cut chances on goal. The home side did have a shot as the centre-half took aim from all of 50 yards and his effort looped just over the crossbar with Eatough back-pedalling. Both teams began to tire and the game slowed. Cavs brought on some fresh legs, however to little impact with Aslockton & Orston still standing strong. With the game looking as though it was going to stay 0 - 0 it was an excellent move from the away side the created their winning goal. Julian Joachim, who had very little to feed off all game, played in James Hallam who, after a give-and-go with Cole Maule found himself one-on-one with the Cavs keeper and he slotted the ball in to the bottom corner. Aslockton then made a change as Reece Sugars came on for Cole Maule. The home side put a centre-half up top and threw everything they could in to getting an equaliser, but still could not forge a decent chance on goal.
A great win away from home for AOFC who now have 6 points out of a possible 9! They face Radcliffe Olympic away on Tuesday night.
Goal from James Hallam
MOTM: Rob Lakin and James Hallam