Chap. 4ths played hosts to Brigg 4ths in the top game in the division, at a cold & windy Hinde House. This was a repeat of the earlier cup game, which saw Chap. edge a win in a nine goal thriller.
However, this turned out to be a much closer, tighter game.
It was an open, hard fought affair, played end to end, but with few chances created by either team. Chap. had only a couple of short corners in the first half which told its own story, as the league top scorers were unable to breach the solid Brigg defence. Other chances were deftly saved by the visiting keeper.
At the other end, the Chap defence, under threat of fines for goals conceeded, were resolute, despite a change of personell due to injuries & non-availability.
The second half started the same as the first, but then the game started to get niggly. Paulo went down under the challenge from a Brig player, which saw a green card shown. Captain Sell had to leave the pich injured, & then Burgs was poleaxed with a deliberate shoulder charge, which saw him leave the game with a suspected broken nose. The Brig player very lucky not to get a yellow.
Worse was to follow with Phil.D limping off with a calf strain, as did Fletch senior with a slight knock.
With a rearranged Chap. looking to keep things tight, a sudden break from Brigg saw a long ball catch the defenders high, leaving a Brigg striker run through, one on one with keeper Matt. A goal seemed certain. However Matt was quick of his line, pushing the attacker wide, and then as the striker tried for the shot, Matt went down to his right expertly & snatched the ball away with his outstretched stick!
Brigg then had a couple of other good chances to score - a wide open miss & more good saves from Matt. At the other end, young Joe had a good back post shot, which unfortunately he put just wide.
Then, with only a few minutes left, the game errupted in to controversy. Brigg had another quick break down the right, the ball was pulled back in to the D, & a melee saw the ball in the back of the net. With the umpire caught out of position by the break, the Brigg players celebrated what they thought was the winner.
However, instantly to a man, the Chapeltown defence claimed it was a long corner, as the ball had gone in with the only touch off a defenders stick. After an umpires conference, a long corner was awarded. This incenced the Brigg players, which led to language & comments that have no place on a hockey pitch.
With 2 minutes to go, Chap. defended two more shorts, before the relief of the final whistle. Unfortunately, more angry words were exchanged on the sidelines, with the sad example of some players refusing to shake hands.
Overall, probably a fair result, with the prospect of an early return game two weeks!
MOTM; "Beigels About", for another, solid, hardworking performance.
DOTD; "Beigels Not About" - 30 mins late, despite the offer of two lifts. That makes team jug no. 5 for the season so far! (& he thought it was cheaper here than Bankers!)