Second half blitz gives firsts the points
The first team picked up an important three points on Wednesday, when twice coming from behind to defeat Colliers Wood Utd.
Darren Salmon, on his 500th game in charge, made several changes to the starting line up from the Bedfont Sports defeat, with George Murphy in for the injured Jeffrey Addo-Dankwa and youngster Matty Auletta replacing Elton Gjoni.
Colliers Wood got off to the perfect start, and were ahead inside three minutes. A corner on the Colliers left was swung into the near post, skipper for the night Craig Bradshaw didn't get to it, and the prolific Dan Harding nodded home from close range, but aside from that there was little goalmouth action in the opening fifteen minutes.
SCR seemed to have continued where they left off on Saturday, with all too often passes going astray or players being caught in possession. Anis Nuur caught Liam Holden with a late challenge on 18 minutes, and the game was starting to get a little feisty. Colliers almost found a way through on 22 minutes when a long ball found Harding but he was well defended by Dave Burton and the danger cleared.
Theo Woodhouse and Sam Blowers both found their way into their referees notebook for poor challenges, as the game, although being very competitive was lacking that little bit of quality.
Adam Allen went close on 27 minutes, when he latched onto a deep Aaron Bogle free kick, but his shot was deflected wide for a corner, which was comfortably dealt with by the Colliers backline.
The scores were level on the half hour, when Blowers found Auletta wide on the right, he took on and beat Charlie Ottaway and fizzed over a low cross which was met by Adam Allen to make it 1-1. A minute later and another tremendous Auletta run led to a low cross, but no SCR man was on hand to fire hand.
Parity did not last long though as Colliers regained the lead just six minutes later. Michael Campbell was dispossessed on the edge of the area by Tyrone Newton and the ball quickly transferred forward to the live Anis Nuur, who had caught the SCR backline flat-footed and he raced clear to lob the advancing Bradshaw for 2-1.
Sanchez Benali then weaved his way across the SCR defence, before setting up Ross Chalke who say his shot comfortably saved by Bradshaw and at the other end, Jordan Johnson-Palmer found Campbell who lifted his effort over Wester Young in the Colliers goal, but wide of the left hand post, and five minutes before the break Allen set up Campbell, but his shot whilst falling was gathered low to his left by Young.
Benali had a shot deflected wide for Colliers, and the last action of the half saw Campbell fouled by former SCR man Luke Harmsworth on the edge of the area. From the free kick Campbell forced Young into an excellent save away to his right.
Colliers opened the second half brightly and a horrible passage of play which saw a mistake by Keano Robinson gift Nuur a shot on goal, but in keeping with the moment, his shot went well wide of the left hand post. Two minutes later and after Colliers had snuffed out an SCR attack and cleared quickly, Benali fired well wide of the left hand post.
The scores were level ten minutes into the second half, when a Young goal kick was initially won by Bogle, and after Allen flicked the ball on, Campbell raced clear to lob the advancing young for 2-2.
Just shy of the hour, and it was nearly 3-2, Auletta did well driving into the area, and from the clearance the ball reached Robinson, his cross was only half cleared, and Johnson-Palmer bought an excellent save out of Young, diving to his left. Campbell dragged an effort wide of the right hand post on the hour, as SCR started to turn up the pressure on the Colliers rearguard.
Darren Salmon made his first change on the hour replacing the combative Sam Blowers, with the equally feisty Danny Fernandez
It was 3-2 on 64 minutes, when Auletta, who had tormented the Colliers left side all night long, picked up the loose ball wide on the SCR right, bundled his way beyond Benali and then outpaced Ottaway, before firing over a low cross which was half cleared by Harmsworth to the edge of the area, where Jordan Johnson-Palmer was on hand to lash home his first goal for the club.
We were dominating possession, but still had to be on our guard. A half cleared Holden corner dropped to Johnson-Palmer who lost possession leaving Colliers Harding and Benali to break. It was Johnson-Palmer though who atoned for his error by working back and making a clearing challenge on the edge of our area.
The hosts almost levelled on 74 minutes, when a ball into the box found Chalke who was denied by a last gasp Burton tackle, the ball dropped to Harding but he fired wide of the left hand post. Mo Hussein and Benali then linked up well but we defended well and cleared the danger. Robinson and Johnson-Palmer broke quickly, with the ball finding Campbell and his shot went just wide of the left hand post.
Murphy should have scored with a free header from a Holden corner on 80 minutes, and Campbell put another effort inches wide after latching onto an Allen flick.
With just under ten minutes remaining Auletta completed a memorable performance by notching number four. Picking up the ball on the right, he beat a couple of players, rounded a couple more on the edge of the area, and poked home beyond Young for 4-2.
Salmon replaced Campbell with another 17 year old in Josh Greenleaf, and then the two 17 year olds linked up to almost create a chance for Johnson-Palmer, but Colliers did well to clear.
A final change saw Anson Cousins replace Dave Burton, as the lads secured another vital three points.
Overall a good game, lots of action, lots of committed play from both sides, but for us, I would say that the second half performance was our best effort of the season, with some excellent football played going forward, and players putting their bodies on the line defensively.