Stalham Town 3 Easton 3
Second half fight back means the spoils are shared.
On a perfect day for football we made the trip to Stalham Town for the first time since taking on their reserves in April 2007 which is a measure of how far the club has come.
Missing Baz, Beanie, Matty H and Hayden from last weeks win over North Walsham we were able to welcome back Aggy, Swatty and a returning Cissell who re-signed from Bradenham on Friday night with Chris taking over goalkeeping duties. We were also welcomed by the County FA as the game was selected as one of it's Rainbow Laces campaign in support of the LGBT community.
With the glorious sunshine right in Easton faces for the first half we started slowly and Stalham were very much on the front foot in the opening stages. Chris was called upon early to make a save down to his left before stopping well when 1v1 with the Stalham front man. The lead did arrive on 20 minutes though when Aggy was caught in possession in the Easton half and despite a good recovery from Al and Sags the Easton man found the top corner when trying to clear. (£1)
Chris was again called on to save another 1v1 as we really struggled to get into the game with the hosts winning almost every second ball but George did manage to sting the palms of the home keeper with an effort from 12 yards on the angle.
Just before half time Stalham were able to make their pressure count and after Aggy's attempted clearance only found Lewi's face (!?) the loose ball was lashed home to make it 2-0 and give us a mountain to climb.
With the half time team talk all about hard work and character the start to the second half could not have been any more different as just 3 minutes in Swatty cut inside onto his right foot before unleashing a superb strike into the far top corner to half the deficit. Straight from kick off more hard work forced a couple of corners that came to nothing before a game of pinball in the Stalham box couldn't see a telling finish.
With all eyes being on the Stalham half it was somewhat against the run of play when the lively left winger managed to wriggle free of two tackles before finding the bottom corner to make it 3-1 and undo the previous hard work. A quick change of formation and Cissell was introduced from the bench and could have easily made it 3-2 just seconds later but the home keeper saved well but with 20 minutes to go it was 3-2 when Ian crossed from the right and Sags managed to toe poke the bouncing ball into the top corner.
It was now a question of the home team hanging on and as they dropped deeper we were starting to have some joy in behind the home back line with Lewi spraying passes around for fun and with 5 minutes left on the clock a long drive forwards was flicked on by Cissell and George took the ball in his stride before firing past the home keeper to make it 3-3.
There was still a chance to win it as George got himself to the byline but his driven cross rolled agonisingly past 3 Easton shirts as the piled into the 6 yard box.
Left ourselves too much to do after a very poor first half but superb character shown to get back in the game at 2-0 and 3-1 down. Another tough game next week as we welcome East Harling to The College.