Another sunny Saturday afternoon and a paltry crowd of 57 saw the ‘Scholars’ return to winning ways and in doing so record their highest points tally at Step 4.
On a hard and bumpy pitch the visitors were soon into their side showing a much improved attitude from the previous game and determined to take the game to the opposition.
It was often the pitch that interfered with the visitor’s forward play with the bounce bringing many a move to an end.
Rob Hastings was played in from the right but his shot went close but just past the left hand post. A Billy Baird cross was headed back across the goal by Will Wambeek which fell to Max Holland near the penalty spot but his shot bounced wide of the right hand post. Holland and Ashley Nathaniel-George combined on the edge of the box before they were both closed down and the ball intercepted.
It seemed inevitable the opening goal would soon come and it did on 14 minutes when against the run of play the home side attacked down the right and a cross in bounced over the central defenders falling nicely for Matt Andrews to strike home and the home side had taken the lead.
Keeper Berkley Laurencin then needed to push the ball away for a corner but the brief spell of possession for the home side was soon dealt with.
A Garry Jones cross was headed off for a corner. The corner saw a Carl McCluskey header go wide when well positioned. Then Chris Doyle was closed down in the box when positioning to shot. Hastings was again played through but he could not get a touch as the keeper come out to gather.
The visitors had dominated the first half but it was the home side with the half time lead.
The second half started in the same vein.
A Doyle shot was blocked to Baird who crossed through the six yard box but Ryan Forde could not get the vital touch. Forde then played in Nathaniel-George who turned a defender and hit a rasping shot that rebounded off the right hand post. Baird then followed up a corner with a cross that saw Wambeek head back into the six yard box but the ball was scrambled away. Then from the edge of the box Holland shot across the goal. Then Doyle headed home but was adjudged offside.
Femi Ogunsola was introduced to give the attack fresh legs.
On 68 minutes Max Holland cut into the box but was brought down by the keeper - penalty. Up stepped Michael Murray to firmly strike home into the left hand corner to bring the scores level and the ‘Scholars’ had finally scored after a wait of 494 minutes since their last one!
Doyle continued to be instrumental in the midfield whilst Nathaniel-George was being constantly fouled just outside the area.
On 81 minutes a foul on Nathaniel-George in a central position just outside the box allowed the evergreen Murray to curl his free kick into the left hand corner for a trade mark ‘Muzza’ finish.
There was just time for a few players to get bookings but the visitors easily held on for a much needed win.
The ‘Scholars’ remain 9th - but still only two points of 8th with two league games remaining.
Team: Berkley Laurencin, Billy Baird, Garry Jones, Carl McCluskey, Will Wambeek, Ryan Forde, Max Holland, Chris Doyle, Michael Murray, Rob Hastings (Femi Ogunsola 65 mins), Ashley Nathaniel-George (Alfie Gibbs 86 mins).
Unused subs: James Duncan, Shane Gilsenan
Man of the Match: Chris Doyle.
Updated 10:41 - 9 May 2018 by Steve Ringrose