Match Report - Cribbs Life v Sharpness

Match Report - Cribbs Life v Sharpness

By James Marklove
3 August 2011
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Despite losing 3-1 to their County League opponents the 1st team put in another promising team performance that continues their strong pre season form


Cribbs Life started the game very quickly and imposed their slick passing style on the visitors, dominating much of the early possession and forcing the Sharks to play very deep and defensively as they struggled to get to grips with the pace and organisation of the home side.

The Cribbs wingers caused the Sharks fullbacks Stutter and Priday lots of problems as they struggled to prevent the seemingly endless supply of crosses which were desperately defended by the very able center backs Webber and Higgs who were also assisted by keeper Marklove who seemed in fine form making a string of difficult saves.

Cribbs saw their pressure and persistence rewarded after 15 minutes when their center forward was allowed to dribble across the edge of the area before looping an instinctive shot through the defense and over the stranded Marklove and into the net.

The Sharks made some organisational changes bringing Max Brain back into central midfield to help Sherman try and break up play which allowed Tim Thomas to move out to the wings with new signing Ross Lindley to try and help stem the wide attacks. This change had an almost immediate effect and saw Sharpness fight their way back into a game that had looked like being a rout.

The work rate for Sharpness increased dramatically after going behind which prevented the possesion from Cribbs being anywhere near as effective thanks to much better closing down from Priday, Sherman and Brain.

Despite the improvement Cribbs still maintained much of the possesion and due to Sharpnesses front line of Ben John and Will Hawes playing ever deeper roles to help break up play there never seemed to be an easy outlet when the Sharks did win the ball back, although Hawes did make a great run battling through 3 challenges before shooting wide to show the Sharks were more than capable of getting back on level terms however another slick passing move from Cribs saw their lead doubled just before half time.

A stern half time talk and the introduction of Paterson and Collard to the Sharpness lineup seemed to have the desired effect and the Sharks started to impose themselves much more with some great passing and linkup play between Sherman, Thomas, Paterson and Brain in midfield allowing John and Hawes to press further up the field and were getting much more service to work with.

Finally Sharpness got the goal they deserved when John played Hawes in behind the Cribbs defense and unleashed a stunning strike that was virtually unstoppable into the top corner. The game was now in full flow with both teams playing very entertaining football. Sharpness almost equalised when a cleverly clipped Paterson free kick found Sherman at the far post but he could only find the side netting.

Just before the final whistle Cribbs extended the lead to 3-1 despite a strong call for handball against the forward as he blocked Higgs' clearance with his arms above his head, despite this Sharpness can be very proud of their performance especially in the second half against a very strong and well organised county league side.

Man of the match went to manager and goalkeeper James Marklove for a string of high class saves throughout the game. He commented after the game "Cribbs play the kind of football that I want us to be playing within a year and we proved today that we have the quality and potential within our current squad to achieve that goal".

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