Blofield 3 Long Stratton 0
Comfortable home victory for the Beavers
After last week’s cup exit at the hands of Sheringham, the Beavers were now looking to address their relative lowly league position, starting with the visit of Long Stratton to the Rec.
Yet again, there were several changes to the squad, with an incredible six different players involved.
Out was Ferej, Cox, Mckail, Basey Fisher, Gibbs & Mann whilst incoming was Stobbart, Wright, Bennett, Niescierowicz, Watson and young Josh McCarthy, the latter two taking their place on the bench alongside Medina.
Blofield Starting XI: Ian Stones, Will Bennett, Matt Banham, Kris Hart, Isaac Mace, Jack Robinson, Dan Stobbart, Tom Wright ©, Alex Niescierowicz, Robbie Fryers, Orren Oliver
The visitors were the first to show their hand as Bemrose fired wide from a decent position in the opening minutes. Blofield responded and Robinson’s cross was headed tamely over by Niescierowicz.
However, two minutes later, Blofield took an early lead. Stobbart won the ball in midfield and played a delightful ball throw to Oliver who calmly slotted the ball beyond Quantrill in the Stratton goal to put the beavers one up.
The visitors responded and could have easily equalised a couple of times in the following ten minutes.
Firstly, Daniels did ever so well to get to the by-line and his cross was almost inadvertently directed into his own goal by Banham.
A few minutes later and Page raced clear of the Blofield defence and with only Stones to beat, the ‘Blofield bobble’ came to the home sides rescue as the ball reared up terribly, just as the Stratton striker was about to strike it, his resulting effort being well wide of the target.
Blofield responded and Wright’s free kick was met by Stobbart whose header flew over as the home side began to exert control of the game.
A flowing four man move saw Niescierowicz regrettably over-hit his cross on the half hour and then two minutes later another flowing move resulted in a Fryers first time effort being well saved by Quantrill.
Oliver found himself bearing down on goal again in the 35th minute, this time however his effort was straight at Quantrill.
Deakin shot straight at Stones from distance as the visitors tried to respond but generally Blofield were starting to get on top and almost scored a bizarre goal just before half time.
Keeper Quantrill’s clearance found Stobbart in the centre circle and the midfielder audaciously tried a spectacular first -time effort towards the Stratton goal. With the Stratton keeper struggling to recover his ground, Quantrill managed to get a head on the ball which slowed its ascent down enough for him to scramble and claw the ball away, just enough to stop it from crossing the goal-line.
Neither the Referee or his assistant were in a great position to decide if the ball had actually crossed the line, so play carried on and the half time whistle sounded not long after with the Beaver’s deservedly one nil up.
Within a minute of the restart, the home side went straight into the attack, though this ended with Wright shooting high and wide. It was then Fryer’s turn to threaten the Stratton goal, getting onto the end of a Stobbart header, his effort being well smothered by Quantrill.
Wright was heavily involved twice in two minutes as Blofield looked to increase their lead. From a Long Stratton free kick, Robinson picked the ball up and ran 30 yards before finding Wright. He swept the ball out to Bennett who cross was then met again by Wright, who unfortunately couldn’t keep his shot down as the ball blazed over the bar once again.
A minute later, Wright again fed the ball out wide, this time to Niescierowicz and his cross found Fryers, who regrettably joined his mate Tom, in finding the tress behind the Long Stratton goal.
Finally, on 74 minutes, Blofield’s dominance was rewarded with a brilliant second goal. Oliver was denied by a great tackle by Ling. The ball went out to Bennett and his first time cross was met by Fryers who stopped low to plant his header past Quantrill into the corner of the net.
Little had been seen of the visitors moving forward but this second goal and a flurry of substitutions seemed to spark them into a bit of life. Firstly, a good move saw Daniels burst through but he shot wide from a tight angle, then, in the 77th minute good play between Bartram and Bemrose saw the latter shot straight at Stones who gathered comfortably.
Bemrose was involved again five minutes later as he set up Deakin for a sweet strike at goal which looked like it would trouble Stones, only for the Blofield keeper to make the save look relatively comfortable.
In the 88th minute, the home side made it 3-0 as a long Bennett throw was headed on by Fryers into the path of Stobbart who calmly slotted the ball past Quantrill into the Stratton net.
This was a comfortable much needed home win for Blofield and they have now collected 7 points from their last 3 league games. Indeed, considering all of the changes, I’m sure managers Budd & Didwell could not have asked for more.
However, Saturday’s results at the bottom of the league could have been better and there is still much work to be done. It’s a busy Easter period this weekend as the home side have massive games against two local rivals, St Andrews & Acle.