There were notable absentees for Bankers this week that included Mauro Pistis and James Nield-Smith; plus the management duo of Ryan Griffiths and Andy Taylor. Matt Taylor took charge of management duties and also replaced Pistis in midfield.
There was a sense of excitement before the game; largely due to the fact is was Scotty D's birthday. A win in this game was the only present he asked for.
Bankers started the game brightly, looking to press high up the pitch. Chris Tunstall had an early effort on goal from just outside the area but the keeper saved it. Jo Robinson played a couple of good crosses into the box but Bankers were unable to convert them into chances.
Despite a positive start from Bankers, it was Ecclesfield Red Rose that got the early goal. A mix up in defence ended up with the ball falling to Ecclesfield’s striker, who had an open net to pass the ball into.
Bankers looked to bounce back quickly. Matt Taylor had a chance after he chased down a long ball from Jo Robinson. The keeper hesitated when coming out to the ball and Taylor managed to get there first and knock it round him; unfortunately he slipped on the turn and couldn’t recover to stop the ball from rolling out for a goal kick. Fan favourite Robert Jerrison looked to get involved in the action and had a strike at goal from just outside the area.
The turning point of the game came around 30 minutes in when an altercation between a number of players resulted in a sending off for a player on each team. For the rest of the first half, Ecclesfield were on top as they sacrificed a defender in order to have an extra man in midfield.
Just before half time Phil Miskell had a curling free kick effort saved by Ecclesfield’s keeper. The score going into half time remained 0-1.
The second half saw a spirited Bankers side up their game and force more pressure on Ecclesfield’s goal.
Around 10 minutes into the second half Matt Taylor was replaced by Sam Dean, with the team switching to a 3-4-2 formation. Bankers pressed higher up the pitch and began to create a few chances. Jo Robinson fired a decent strike from the left, forcing the keeper into another save. Shortly after, Robinson was rewarded for his decent effort by being replaced by Ben Clitheroe at wing back.
Ecclesfield were still enjoying the larger spells of possession, but the Bankers’ defence limited them to half chances in the second half. Likewise, Ecclesfield’s defence were also resolute in their performance.
Bankers’ best chances were mainly through set pieces. Jack Joyce and Terence Balmer both had headers narrowly miss the target following a couple of corners. Joe Lodge also whipped in a curling free kick towards the back post from the far right hand side, which Ecclesfield’s keeper dealt with well by punching it away.
Joe Lodge had a couple of strikes from outside the area saved late on and Captain Mikey Russell also had an effort on goal from the edge of the area saved by the keeper.
A shout for a penalty following a challenge on Sam Dean was waved away in the closing stages; adding to the frustrations of the Bankers team that day. The match finished 0-1 to Ecclesfield Red Rose; making in two losses in a row and the third of 2016 for Bankers.
Next Saturday Bankers host AFC Dronfield. The two clubs’ previous meeting was a closely fought contest where Bankers came out 1-0 winners.
At the end of the game Matt Taylor announced his retirement from management, going out with a record of one game, one defeat. Fans watching on the sidelines could be heard shouting chants of “Skinny Taylor Out! Bald Taylor in!"
Chairman’s Man of the Match: Phil Miskell