The most complete Ellistown performance since the days we were challenging to win the East Midlands Counties League.
We fully deserved our 2-0 victory against promotion chasing Friar Lane & Epworth. Before we get into the match report, let’s take a step back and recognise our volunteers who invest hours per week to ensure you can read our match report.
Take a bow, Bernard, Sue, Trudy, Banner, Joanne and Roachie.
Back to the game, 2 hard training sessions midweek and the pre-game huddle on the pitch confirmed Town were up for this and a bold teamsheet suggested we were being set up to be hard to beat. With Friar Lane flying in the league and Town beginning to get desperate for points, credit to the Management team for the sensible approach.
With the wind in Friar Lane’s favour in the 1st half, it was key Ellistown played as a compact unit and wow we done that to perfection.
Straight from the kickoff, we were in Friar Lane faces and never gave them time or space on the ball. We held our shape and very quickly started to boss the game. Friar Lane have some great attacking players and its credit to our full-backs, Man Of The Match Harry Hayden and Harry Straw that they nullified the wing players.
What was impressive, was the ability of our players to read the game and double up when needed and defend there space without panicking.
To do that we needed teamwork and led by Captain, Leader, Legend Chris Nettle with encouragement from Manager and Assistance Manager from the bench and an over-excited Secretary from the stands we defended as a team and attacked as a team.
We won the majority of 50/50s and by holding shape, starting to find holes in the Friar Lane back line and chances started to come and go.
Would we pay for failing to take our chances, today the answer was no. As you would expect from a quality side, Friar Lane created enough chances of there own but never brought their shooting boots with them.
We deservedly took the lead on 25 minutes when a great through ball left Andy Reed one on one with the goalkeeper and he made no mistake.
EFC 1-0 25 mins
Would we panic, no chance. We continued where we left off before the goal and as Friar Lane started to open up a little, this gave our wingers Callum York and Kai Smalley the freedom to exploit space on the wings and squeeze the midfield. This freedom gave them the confidence to provide the ammunition to Andy Reed and when necessary drop back to support the midfield.
The midfield was brilliant, with holding midfielder George Wesley breaking up everything Friar Lane threw at us. Terrier like performance from Aaron Windram who provided the link between attack and defense who were superbly marshalled by Ben Worrell and Adam Poxon.
The only player in the 1st half who had a quite half was our goalkeeper Warwick Miller and that's a credit to the team.
We walked off at half-time knowing we should have been further than 1-0 ahead and knew we were in for a tough second half as Friar Lane would not be as wasteful in front of goal in the second half.
EFC 1-0 HT
The second half was better than the 1st half, as game management came into play and we got that spot on. We suffocated the opponents who were getting frustrated at our high intensity pressing game.
With instructions of "kept your shape", "fill that space" and "slow the game down" coming from the bench and a hyper secretary ready to burst a blood vessel, the team never panicked and while Friar Lane had their moments, it was town who looked mostly likely to score.
On 75 minutes, Lee Windram and Martin Worrell made the decision for Callum York and Andy Reed to swap positions and that decision gave us the game as on 85 mins a huge kick from Goalkeeper Warwick Miller allowed Callum to run unopposed on goal and make the game safe.
EFC 2-0 85 mins
With the over-hyped secretary now moving into panic mode by telling the team this game is not over, you could see the team look over at him and say calm down, we know what we are doing.
The last 5 minutes flew by without any concern and the final whistle went with the final score of.
Ellistown FC 2 Friar Lane & Epworth 0
All connected with the club knew the team had this performance in them and now the team know they can do it.
All the hard work over the last 2 weeks in training is beginning to pay off, while hard work behind the scene continues to put Ellistown FC on a secure footing for the future.
Everyone connected with the club are proud of today's result and performance. Well done lads, enjoy your weekend and your challenge is to do it all over again next week at home v County Hall.
Roachie, this one is for you.