Easton 2 Aylsham 2
A point apiece at home keeps the good start going.
An extremely windy day greeted both sides at The College on Saturday as we welcomed Aylsham to the 3G for another tough game in a tough run of fixtures.
Lewi returned to the side after suspension and with Rob feeling unwell on the day he dropped down to the bench with Sags starting in his place.
With the wind at our back in the first half we started quite brightly without troubling the visiting goalkeeper and Aylsham were also moving the ball around quickly in the opening stages of the game but the Easton back line was coping well with the lively visiting forwards.
George saw an early effort from distance clear the cross bar but it was the away side who had the first clear effort at goal. A slide rule ball into the front mans feet was well controlled and as he turned away from Danny he was clipped and the ref pointed to the spot. Baz however had other ideas and plunged to his left to keep out the spot kick and keep the score at 0-0.
His save looked to be even more crucial when shortly after we finally managed to string a few passes together and good work from Swatty saw him play in George who fired through the keepers legs for 1-0 and a somewhat undeserved lead on the balance of play. Baz again had to be alert as he twice saved well at the feet of onrushing forwards before a superb block by Beanie on the 6 yard line kept us in front.
10 minutes later and with Aylsham still knocking on the door we broke away quickly and won a corner out on the far side which was superbly delivered by Beanie and George powered his header past the keeper to make it 2-0 with 25 minutes played.
The key now was going to be holding out until half time with the conditions worsening and having already saved another good Aylsham chance Baz was powerless to stop another as 2-3 tame tackles saw an Aylsham man break into the area before squaring to Collier who squeezed the ball home to make it 2-1 after 35 mins.
Swatty tried his luck from distance but could only strike the crossbar and Danny saw another effort from 20 yards sting the palms of the goalkeeper and go wide.
The second half was almost exclusively one way traffic with Aylsham piling on the pressure almost from the first minute and we were having to be content trying to clear our lines with the now incredibly strong wind making life difficult.
Baz (again, it won't be the last time either) pulled off a stunning save high to his right from a wind assisted effort from 25 yards and another effort was cleared off the line following an Aylsham corner. With an hour gone though Aylsham did finally level from the resulting corner when a driven ball in wasn't cleared and George fired home despite efforts to block on the line.
We did then force a couple of free kicks in dangerous areas and corners but couldn't test the Aylsham keeper again. Jahi was subbed on but then had to be replaced again following a tackle that looked like it may have been a penalty but all he got was a nasty looking knee injury which we hope isn't too serious.
Baz then picked up an injury of his own as he dislocated a finger making another fine save to his right but he opted to power on and we were thankful for is as he made another crucial stop with time ticking away. The final chance of the day fell to the visitors again but Baz (there's a theme here) raced off his line to make a superb 1v1 stop to earn us a point.
Football is a funny old game. We got nothing at Bungay two weeks ago when we deserved a point and got a point yesterday when we didn't deserve anything. Not playing well and picking up points against established senior football sides is a good sign but we will need to do better with a tough game away at free spending Mundford to come next week.