Late heartbreak for Ambers
A last minute winner saw Maltby Main beat The Ambers 2-1 ....
Jed Phillips returned to The Ambers starting eleven after recovering from a back injury as 5th placed Maltby Main provided the opposition in what looked set to be a thrilling encounter. It certainly didn’t disappoint although, it has to be said, it was a bit of a slow burner initially.
The visitors, who included eight ex Ambers in their starting line up, started the better but it was the home side who came closest to opening the scoring when a Josh Nodder cross aimed for Jed Phillips was headed inches wide of the far post by a Main defender.
Phillips, who had picked up an early caution, was involved in most things as The Ambers battled their way back into the game, and the midfielder saw a decent strike skim wide before Main created their first real opportunity of the afternoon. Turner chased a long punt out of defence and managed to keep the ball in on the left wing before picking out Moxam in the box, but the ball popped up kindly for Jan Budtz to put his foot through it to clear his lines.
The Danish keeper was involved again shortly afterwards when he came off his line to save a Moxam effort with his feet as the striker raced through onto a Cutts pass, and the game was now starting to get stretched with both teams playing on the front foot.
Nodder then dispossessed Cutts down the Ambers left and crossed for Fairhurst at the near post but Pollard was down quickly to stop the close range effort, whilst minutes later it was Nodder in the action again as he hammered a great strike just off target with Pollard relieved to see it fly wide. As half time approached, Main created arguably the clearest chance of the game when Austin of all people marauded down the right to set up Frost but his first time shot was way too high.
If The Miners had perhaps shaded the first half, the second half belonged to The Ambers who bombed forward at every opportunity. Pollard saved well from Jamie Green before Brad Nicholson saw an excellent effort curl just wide of the goal, but then out of nothing, Turner conjured up a great chance of his own but sent his overhead kick off target after finding space in the Ambers box.
Alex Rippon replaced Joe Thornton and was straight into the action, his first touch shot being blocked as it headed goalwards, with the same fate meeting Rikki Paylor’s follow up strike. Again Main rallied and Hill found space at the back post to head an effort goalwards but Budtz punched clear before Turner got away down the left but fired his shot off target.
It was certainly end to end stuff now and it looked like one goal would win it at this stage. With six minutes left, it was The Ambers who snatched the lead, Nodder firing home via the post and Pollard’s shoulder after Green had picked him out in the area.
Main rallied and fought back with some vigour, grabbing an equaliser three minutes later when Turner crossed for sub Hopewell to dive and head home from point blank range, and worse was to come for The Ambers in the last minute as Turner raced away onto a through ball in the right channel and fired past Budtz to snatch the three points in a real smash and grab raid by The Miners.
The Ambers then camped out in and around the Maltby area for the four minutes of injury time but despite their endeavours, they couldn’t find a breakthrough.
For the second game in a row, The Ambers had come away empty handed despite being worthy of a point in both games, but I’m afraid that’s football. Onwards and upwards, just the small deal of the Sandy Lane derby on the horizon now!