Ellistown put in their best performance of the season to run out 4-0 winners away to Fleckney Athletic.
Before we get into the match report, many thanks to Fleckney who made us feel welcome against the backdrop of no changing rooms due to Covid-19 guidelines. They managed to put up Gazbos to protect the players and later fans against the wind and rain. You were under no obligation to do that and it was appreciated by our players and away fans. Your a class club and we enjoyed the banter during the game. I suspect good times are just around the corner.
Back to the game.
Elistown started like they meant business and the away fans could not believe what they were witnessing as town raced into a 2-0 lead after 5 mins.
The 1st goal on 3 mins through Ben Minshull was pure quality. Taking a through ball in the penalty area, with back to goal, he brought the ball under control and with a Torvell And Dean swivel turned and with the outside of his foot, bent the ball round the keeper. Goal of the season contender.
FA 0-1 3 mins
The 2nd goal 2 minutes later was a simple affair, Fleckney stopped playing and Josh Anderson was able to have the freedom of the park to walk the ball into the net.
FA 0-2 5 mins
At this point, the floodgates could have easily opened up in Town's favour. The reason why they were closed was due to the Fleckney Goalkeeper Craig Coombs who put in the best goalkeeping performance I've seen while following Ellistown.
Each time Town applied pressure on goal, Craig was there making flying saves, closing down angles and getting every inch of his body behind the ball. This gave confidence to a Fleckney side who started to play football and give Town something to think about at the back.
A feature this season is the ability to look dangerous going forward and you had a feeling Town would have enough attacking threat to put Fleckney to bed but we just could not get past the goalkeeper.
In defence, we had enough warnings that Fleckney could score and it took a flying save from our own Keenan Tailby and an offside goal to keep them out.
The half-time whistle went with Town on top but Fleckney knowing a goal would make the 2nd half nerve racking for the Ellistown faithful.
FA 0-2 EFC HT
2nd half was a carbon copy of the 1st as Craig Coombes frustrated Town's forwards with save after save after save. It was key town's frustrations never boiled over into their play and it took a man of the match midfield box to box performance from Ollie Coe to keep town ticking over.
Ollie was supported by our flying wing-backs Arron Windram and Callum Yorke, while Ash Riddell who put in another 8/10 performance at full-back was supported by towering centre backs Ben Worrell and Dec Grewcock.
We also saw an encouraging debut by Oscar Blair-Park before he had to go off injured in the 1st half, this give Haydn Brown 60 minutes to show what we all know in that this kid has a great future in the game.
As the game wore on, Fleckney tired and it got to the point where it was shooting practice for town but we could not get the 3rd.
Fresh legs on 77 minutes when Own Brader replaced Callum Yorke who had put in another lung busting shift worked as finally Craig and his defence crumbled to let Ben Minshull scored twice in quick succession on 83 and 85 mins to get his hat-trick.
FA 0-3 EFC 83 mins
FA 0-4 EFC 85 mins
What followed in the last 5 mins, should have resulted in Town scoring 6 or 7 but you guessed it Craig Coombs ensured it stayed at 4.
Final whistle went with the score of.
Fleckney Athletic 0 Ellistown 4
Behind the score is a lot of respect on and off the pitch between both sides. Football is the winner today.
It also good to bump into old mate Matt Cowley who was cheering on Fleckney. Mate, get those boots on and many thanks to the Ellistown faithful who made the journey when the weather said put your feet up in front of the fire.
Well done guys, a top quality performance and we won't meet a Craig Coombs every Saturday. We are starting to gel as a squad and our play on the pitch is attractive and on a par with top teams in the league.