Let’s set the scene to this game. A late change of kick off time from 3pm to 2pm decimated the team with players at work unable to change shifts and a club secretary stuck in Birmingham, therefore going into this game on Friday morning we had 8 confirmed players and threat of a failure to fulfil a fixture charge hanging over our heads.
Crying off at late notice and taking the charge would have been the easy option but that would not be fair on Cottesmore and the integrity of the league, therefore during Friday our management team dusted down the black books and managed to secure the signings of Celeb Taylor, Owain Parker and Charlie Alldread.
Close of play Friday, we had a starting 11 and 1 sub. Saturday morning, with the usual late withdrawals, we were facing the real possibility of playing the game with 10 players. By kick-off, the management team managed to cox 11 players and 1 sub to start the game.
With players playing out of position, gelling with new players who had only met their teammates 1 hour before kick-off, it would have been no surprise if Cottesmore filled their boots before xmas.
With your match reporter not getting to the ground until 20 mins after kick off, I cannot tell you what happened in those first 20 mins but it was 0-0 and the home fans agreeing we should be 1-0 up.
A quick observation of the game confirmed Ellistown were dealing with everything that Cottesmore threw at them, while the quality crossing from wing man Carl Liddington ensured we looked dangerous on the break.
The players looked at home in their strange positions and emergency fullback Jacob Stevenson was having another barnstormer as he reminded me of Ashley Cole with his runs up and down the flank. The returning Caleb Taylor looked like he had never been away and patched up Captain, Leader, Legend Chris Nettle was defying medical science and George Wesley with Arron Windram was controlling the midfield.
Up front our fox in the box, Tom Antill was having a fine game holding up the line and bringing our wingers, Owain Parker and Carl Liddington into play.
This was a performance full of grit and determination not to get beaten, therefore it was disappointing that Cottesmore took the lead on 41 mins when Tom Caldicott out jumped the defense to head past Keenan Tailby who up to that point was the master of his own penalty box.
CFC 1-0 EFC 41 mins
We could have equalised straight from the kick-off as a beautiful ball into the box from Carl Liddington just evaded the on rushing Arron Windram.
The half-time whistle went with Town's away following cheering on their team who can be proud of the 1st half performance.
CFC 1-0 EFC HT
The 2nd half was 5 mins old when with the best passage of the play, George Wesley played a 30 yard cross pitch pass that fell at the feet of Owain Parker who run through on goal and slotted the ball under Cottesmore's goalkeeper and into the net.
CFC 1-1 EFC 50 mins
The goal lifted the team, and you sensed a shock away victory could be on as Cottesmore were struggling to break us down and we were looking dangerous on the break.
Throughout the second half, Cottesmore freshen their side through frequent substitutions, while we were limited to a single change when Finn Chaplin replaced the excellent Carl Liddington.
We were out on our feet and Cottesmore took advantage by scoring the winning goal through Harry Stannard on 68 mins.
CFC 2-1 EFC 68 mins
Much to the surprise of all of us, Town went again and that sent the away fans into a rapture as they cheered the lads onto to find more energy.
Town responded by pressing Cottesmore back, but we could not get the equaliser we deserved, and the final whistle went with Cottesmore running out 2-1 winners and away fans singing "Elllistown FC, we are proud of you".
CFC 2-1 EFC FT
Everyone connected with the club who was at Cottesmore deserved credit. This was a brave team effort, and we are proud of our fans and players.
We now enter our xmas break, so have a great xmas and new year and looking forward to going again on Saturday 8th January at home to Desford.