Northfield Emerald FC 2 Ellistown 1
A disappointed Ellistown side dragged themselves off the Northfield pitch knowing they had 3 points in the bag and a mad 10 minutes cost us the game.
In a scrappy first half with limited chances, it was town who dug in and had control of the game with man of the match Fran Blake controlling midfield and captain, leader, legend Michael Hills controlling the back line.
Town took the lead on 43 mins with a goal within context of the game, as Hayden Brown and Danny Turner chased down and harassed, the Northfield defender who got in a mix-up with the goalkeeper and allowed Hayden to poke the ball into the net from close range.
NE 0-1 EFC 43 mins
The late goal ensured town went into the break 1-0 up and in control.
NE 0-1 EFC HT
As you would expect Northfield came out of the traps with a point to prove and with Ellistown starting to play football, you sensed Town would and perhaps should have used the breakaway to add to their lead. We were comfortable and while Northfield were seeing more ball in our half, Max Alford making his debut in goal was assured when called into action.
The game changed on 65 mins when to the amazement of everyone on the pitch (including the ref), the linesman flagged for a Northfield penalty for a coming together of an attacker and defender that happens every time the ball is floated into the box.
We held our breath as the ref and the lino deliberated and like VAR the ref pointed to the spot.
Lewis Turland took the penalty and Max Alford was unlucky as he got a hand on the shot.
NE 1-1 EFC 65 mins
The pen impacted town as while we kept our discipline we stopped playing and started to lick our wounds.
Northfield are too a good side for us to go hiding and they took advantage on 70 mins when a looping header from Goncarlo Santos found back of the net.
NE 2-1 EFC 70 mins
Plenty of time for town to get back into the game, but a flustered town struggled to find rhythm and started to panic. A pattern that continued from the Allexton game that we need to get out off as it's costing us valuable points.
In terms of chances, Northfield had enough to put the game out of reach while town could not master the clear cut chance, Joe French or Haydn Brown would have taken.
As the game drifted, it became more physical, and town took the bait as a streetwise Northfield side sucked the life out of us.
The final whistle went with Town knowing they had only themselves to blame for being knocked off their perch and not being able to get back onto it.
NE 2-1 EFC FT
The penalty changed the game and knocked the stuffing out of us. Credit to the officials who took time after the game to explain the decision. After winning a debatable pen last week v Magna, we know sometimes you get them for you or against you.
We need to learn conceding a goal is not end of the world and when we do, we regroup and go again.
We are a good team and a learning team and I'm sure Greg will drill this into the team for next week's Ibstock derby when Ellistown roll-up at the welfare to play Pro Chance.