Aston seek revenge...
... but fail
After defeat in the shield just two weeks earlier, Aston were pleased to be heading to Carterton hoping to obtain revenge for that disappointing defeat. The team was slightly depleted with several players missing. Fish, Beeros, Dazzer, Ross and James were all absent along with an 'ill' (only 24 hours earlier was his birthday) hedges dropping to the bench. Aston's starting 11 was the returning Edwards in goal with the now familiar back 4 of Nath, Crazy, Captain Hewer and Sam. The new look midfield saw the returning pig trotting back into the team alongside the tank and Vince, which left Smudger, Drifter and promoted from the reserves Reece. Clubman Caswell joined Hedges on the bench.
The first bit of revenge Aston took was in the changing rooms where 'the Hulk' produced something that only genetically modified humans could produce as he 'Hulk smashed' the toilet! You usually only see things such as this on the world wide web, it was a wonder to behold.
The warm up was low key with Hewer unsure of what to do and where to run so a figure of eight was run at the side of the pitch followed by some keep ball on a knoll and without Beeross there to lead a game of shins it never made an appearance in the warm up. There was also time for the injured Ross Fleming to tell anyone who was willing to listen about how he once scored a hat-trick on this ground.
Aston started the game a little slow but the first 15 minutes went by with very few chances for either team, as the game went on Aston started playing more in Cartertons half and that is when the first goal came. A long punt from the Carterton defence saw Dover begin chase, Edwards sat nav went AWOL as he believed he could get the ball so came rushing out only to miss read it leaving Dover to claim the ball and blast across the goal for a team mate to tap into the empty net. 1-0 Rangers.
The next significant action came when a horrible tackle on Crazy left him in pain looking like he might have to come off which sent fear through the bench with neither of them fancying ten minutes let alone an hour! But luckily for them he was able to carry on with blood streaming from his leg.
Aston then had a chance to equalise, a fantastic ping of a free kick from Hewer over the top landed perfectly at Smudger's feet who's first touch set up the shooting chance and he smashed the ball into the post with Drifter screaming for a square pass.
Warren Austin was proving to be the midfield maestro despite being less than fit. He was being allowed to time to dictate the game with some superb touches and outside of the boot passes. His one blemish of the first half was a rather strange moment where after going in for a challenge seemed to tuck his front trotters in by his hind legs and snout dive into the turf as if hunting truffles. A true comedy moment.
Minutes later Vincenzo Evans turned well and smashed towards the top left hand corner of the goal only for the Carterton goalkeeper to make a superb save.
Carterton then went 2 up and it came from Aston going forward again and getting caught on the break, the ball was pumped down the left hand side with Chadwick caught out of position feeling blue, the Carterton winger beat Rabbich who was covering and swung the ball over to the back post, it looked like Rowe would get there but didn’t as the Carterton right winger shot across goal for Mykel Ryan to back heel home. Really naïve from Aston and a mountain to climb.
Astons frustrations boiled over with a horrible challenge from Smudger on his former colleague Dover was meet with real anger until he realised it was his former boss who had inflicted the challenge on him. It remained that way until half time. Ash read the riot act to the team at half time saying it was make or break for the season.
Aston came out improved and pressed well in the second half without creating much until the break through came. A corner which Rangers couldn’t clear, a chance fell to Hewer who thrashed towards goal, save, it fell to Evans, blam!! Save it fell to Drifter who tapped in. 2-1 and Aston had a sniff of a comeback. The “Loved up” Drifter is a man who scores in nine out of ten of chances he has according to his life fan Ryan Colleton.
Statto came on for his three hundred and ninety seventh appearance for the first team and was not happy it was the first one in a short sleeve shirt. Soon Caswell very nearly equalised when his deflected challenge nearly ended up in the back of the net with some wicked top spin taking it around the goalkeeper who somehow chased back and saved it on the goal line. Hedges came on up top with ten to go as Aston pressed for an equaliser. A late appeal for a handball was in vain and the game finished 2-1 to Carterton. Aston possibly going long to early as there was plenty of space in the midfield.
The defeat meant Aston slip to 3rd and have yet to pick up a win this year as Astons post Christmas hoodoo strikes again.
Another big month ahead and wins will need to start to return very soon....