Portslade went into their second game of the season against friendly rivals Montpeilier Villa on a 3G surface at Stanley Deason. Having played the opposition last year on the same surface in Hassocks, Slade lost the game 4-1. However, a 10-1 win over Old V's later in the season gave us confidence that we could perform on this type of pitch.
Absent this week was skipper Sean Trend who took a day off to go and see the new One Direction movie. In came John Boddy who was returning from suspension. Jamel Hanson proudly took the captains armband.
After an even opening period Slade began the scoring in the 15th minute . John Boddy played in a clever low free-kick which deceived the Montpelier Villa defence. Karl Boffey ghosted in to delicately flick the ball over the advancing goalkeeper. 1-0 !
Only two minutes later and Slade doubled the lead. Karl Boffey took a quick throw in on the left which set Nathan Cook clean through on goal. Nathan drove in on goal with the ball and made no mistake in making it 2-0 !
Towards the end of the half Montpelier Villa started to make some of their own chances and their number 7 had a couple of great opportunities to get on the scoresheet but Slade stayed firm.
Slade made it a 3 goal lead on the stroke of half time. Nathan Cook played a delightful outside-of-the-boot pass to Jack Larkham who broke free down the left hand side. He whipped in a low cross from the byline and Karl Boffey stroked home with a trademark finish (from within the 6 yard box!). 3-0
The second half was rather uneventful in goalmouth action. However, there was a lot of head action. First of all Montpelier Villa won a corner on the 65th minute. The ball was floated in and a villa player rose high. A goal look inevitable but the man that comes alive in the 6 yard box - Karl Boffey - turned on this turbo boosters and majestically headed off the line to save a certain goal.
The heading theme continued in the 70 minute was John Boddy was headbutted in the box after an altercation after a set piece. JB was taken off immediately by Paul Norris with blood pouring from his brow and replaced with Veenaye Munsraum.
The game continued its niggly nature and Montpelier Villa's number 5 was dismissed in the 82nd minute for allegedly aiming a deliberate kick at Jacob Everett while he was on the floor. Matt Collins was booked in the melee after several officials and players all got involved on the pitch.
With Villa down to 10 men Slade played out the remaining minutes by keeping possession and moving the ball around well. Only a slight blip in the 88th minute when Rich Smith fluffed a kick and that Villa a chance of being the first team to score against us this season. Fortunately their winger narrowly missed with the net gaping while Richard O'Brien nursed his bruised ego.....or groin strain.
Congratulations to Sammy Dudek who made his first team debut coming on for the fatigued Jack Larkham who had have been struggling with an infection all week.
To summarise; it was another solid performance which descended into a niggly farce in the second half. However, Slade remained focused & vigilant and secured a second win in as many games. Not only that but it was our second clean sheet. Hats off to all the team for giving 100% throughout. This weeks main man was David Goffin who picked up the MOM after a composed and classy game at centre back.
In a brief post match conference the Veg Man was ambushed by a microphone : "I thought it was a solid display again from the boys. We dominated the game from the start and weren't often threatened. Most satisfying for me is two clean sheets in a row. The defensive unit as a whole is looking top class at the moment."
TEAM: 1. Smith 2. Hanson © 3. Larkham 4. Collins 5. Goffin 6. Cook 7. Boddy 8. Shelley 9. Boffey 10. Sutton 11. Everett SUBS: 12 Dudek 14 Munsarum 15. Foster