Report: Chalgrove Res 2 - 0 Marston Saints Res
Captain Clewer inspires Chalgrove to victory over Cup holders Marston Saints.
Chalgrove found themselves up against Marston Saints who are the current Champions in round one of the Clarendon Cup on Saturday 30th September.
Due to a number of absentees within the Chalgrove squad Manager’s Clarke and Cantwell knew that they were in for a difficult afternoon when it was confirmed they only had 11 players to choose from. Opting for an energetic 4-5-1 system with Cantwell leading the line, it was him that would open the scoring. Chalgrove were clear from the start that they would adopt a high tempo, pressing game from the off, Saint’s number 7 was caught in possession and a ball was stabbed through to Cantwell who outmuscled their centre half to poke the ball underneath the oncoming keeper to make it 1-0.
The goal seemed to shake Marston into shape and they found themselves finding more space down the right through their reliable right back, a 5 minute spell of possession resulted into an in swinging corner for Marston which Chalgrove failed to clear, the ball breaking to their centre half who took aim, crashing a volley into Long’s arm that was high above his head as he closed him down gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot.
It was down to the Marston number 9 to equalise from 12 yards, he stepped up confidently and struck his effort to Clewer’s right of which he guessed the same way palming his effort high over the crossbar much to the delight of home faithful (1).
Marston keeping the ball well and closing out the half, it was again down the right wing where Marston’s number 7 floated a ball high towards the back post finding the unmarked head of Marston’s striker his effort nodded down powerfully towards the near post found Clewer somehow clawing the ball off of the line to keep the score at 1-0.
Some encouraging words at half time from captain Clewer provided some much needed confidence in Chalgrove’s second half display and ability to retain posession. Chalgrove started the half very brightly with Long and Croxford doing a job on the Marston number 8. With both sides finding opportunities to score, it was young Harry Rees with the best chance to double the lead, Rees found himself one on one with the keeper but fumbled his shot safely into the keepers hands. It was then Cantwell’s chance to find himself chasing a ball over the top, controlling well he managed to lift his effort just over the bar, holding his right hamstring in the process it was clear that Chalgrove faced the possibility of seeing the game out with 10 men…
Croxford using his pace broke down the right wing and swung a cross towards the far post of Coates finding the back of the Marston defender on the way the ball would deflect into the near corner making it 2-0 to Chalgrove sending Dad Trevor Croxford into raptures.
Cantwell then signalled to nobody on the side-line that he was injured and carried himself off, and then treated himself also with 20 minutes remaining, leaving 10 tired Chalgrovians on the rice pudding to see out the game.
The resilient display of both Crake and Hutchins were to be tested time and time again, Marston smelt blood with the advantage of an extra man, they then changed their approach opting for the ball over the top for the final 20 minutes Chalgrove knew at this point they had to dig deep, very deep. Shots from distance and cross after cross were being blocked and cleared by Chalgrove.
Cantwell using all of his experience and very nearly losing his voice on the side-line was shouting instructions to the team to remain calm and composed.
It was in fact Chalgrove who could of rubbed salt in the wound as a late effort from Coates found the side netting.
Chalgrove managed to see out the game and progress to the next round. An extremely hard fought game with every single Chalgrove player giving 110%.