Damp conditions cant Dampen Slades spirits in 5-4 victory
Slade nick a 9 goal thriller in the dying seconds against respected rivals Montpelier VIlla.
Doubts whether the game would go ahead clouded the fixture as heavy downpours throughout the week put the fixture in question. Surprisingly the pitches were in very good state at Waterhall. Game on!
With Rich Smith, Tom Ryan, Neil Shelley and Managers favourite Nathan Cook missing this week the pack had to be reshuffled. Motormouth John Boddy one of a few to get their chance to impress and Jamel Hanson moving into central midfield.
Unusually for Slade we didn't get out of the blocks in our trademark fashion and Montpeiler pressured us in the early stages. In the 9th minute and against the run of play Sean Trend opened the scoring when a 25 yard freekick dipped viciously and the keeper could only spill it over the line. 1-0.
The lead didn't last long as only 2 minutes later a Montpelier striker took advantage of some hesitation at the back and he nipped in front of Paul Cartwright to tap the ball home. 1-1. Things got even worse in the 13th minute when Montpelier took the lead when a player was left unmarked at the back post and he powerfully side footed home. 1-2.
In the 21st minute Slade drew level when Sean Trend played a lovely weighted pass through for the lively Jacob Everett. He rounded the keeper expertly and tapped in calmly to put the game level at 2-2. That was the fourth goal in a crazy 12 minutes.
There was not much incident in the remainder of half with only a few mistimed tackles and expected scrappy play in the treacherous conditions. With 35 minutes on the clock Animal Rich Scott was crunched under the shin which left a nasty mark through his shinpads. Despite attempting to soldier on he had to retire just before half time with El Hornsby replacing him. In vintage fashion the Spanish-Saville grumbled about getting on as he was ordered to strip off and then reluctantly took to the pitch. Half time.
The second half started amid a very controversial decision was. Montpelier broke through in the 51st minute. Cliff flagged for offside as the striker burst through and sent a timid shot towards goal. Paul Cartwright managed to fumble the ball and let it slip through is palms and past the line. However, it didn't really matter as the flag was up. BUT NO. The referee somehow decided to give the goal and overruled Cliff. The whole Slade team remonstrated with the referee but the decision had been made. 2-3. Cliff said afterwards: "It was the easiest decision of the game. He was 3 yards offside". Frustrating but we had to re-focus and get back into the game. And we did just that.
Straight from kick off Slade went upfield. A dynamic run by Matt Collins found himself in the final third. He slipped a lovely diagonal pass into Karl Boffey who took a beautiful first touch then side footed in expertly from 18 yards. 3-3. What a game!
In the 68 minute the game swung again as Slade took the lead. Some good possession play found Sean Trend on the edge of the box. His shot was blocked. The ball fell for Kindle lover John Boddy who thrashed a low shot from a tight angle into the bottom corner. 4-3. A fantastic finish and perfect reward for JB who worked tirelessly throughout down the right hand side. Also, another assist for Petal "BTW that's now 10 games, 7 goals and 11 assists ;-) x" he said afterwards. I'll take his word for it.
In the 85 minute sub Veenaye Munsarum burst clean through on goal by Jacob Everett from 10 yards inside his own half. With the goal only a dot to him he ran and ran and ran, started dreaming about the sunny climates in Mauritius, ran a bit more, forgot where he was, ran a bit more, then hit a weak effort right at the keeper. The game was still unfortunately in the balance.
Much like the first ten minutes, the last ten minutes were exactly the same as Montpelier pinned us back and only some last ditch defending kept them at bay. However, our resolve finally broke in the 89 minute as a loose ball, was driven into the top corner from 15 yards. 4-4 and huge disappointment for the Slade.
With Montpelier pressing for the win it left the door open for Slade and in the 90th Veenaye Munsarum was played in again. The onrushing keeper looked 70-30 favourite to win the ball but the brave Magician threw himself in heroically and ball rebounded in to the net. 5-4! Mini scenes of jubilation as the Veenaye celebration was a cross between Robbie Keane and Tresor Lomana Lua Lua - which also ended in a now traditional pile on. The Little `Ginger Coconut then sprinted 40 yards and slid feet first into the bodies. Not sure who took the brunt of that but someones butt cheeks are going to sore tomorrow.
In summary, this was not a 5 star performance but conditions dictated this to be hazardous affair with bottle and effort winning through. Inspirational in the middle of the midfield was Man of the match, Mad Dog Marc Sutton who not only covered every blade of grass but was also calm and composed in possession.
In a post match press conference our 1/4 Brazilian gaffer, Nozinhio said: "It seemed everyone was a little surprised the game was going ahead, this might have been the reason behind a sluggish start, something that certainly hasn't been a problem this season. Yet, we turned it around with a mixture of skill and determination. We all knew the game was not going to be pretty given the conditions, maybe this suited us a little better, but that being said when we did get the ball down they were clearly struggling to live with our front players movement and pace. Despite leading, being pegged back and even falling behind the guys never stopped and gave everything for 90 minutes.
Maybe there wasn't much between the teams but in terms of spirit, effort and desire the 3 points was the least the side deserved. Obviously, a special mention to Marc Sutton for his mom performance, so much determination, but also to Dave riley, his leadership of the back line was a major contribution to the win, and of course to all 5 of the front players who netted today, so good to see goals coming from all over the pitch. Roll on next week but hopefully there will be no need for el hornsby's pink umbrella"