Saturday 6th November – back to the league again this week after another no show last week in the cup!! We were at home to Leigh who hadn’t had a great start to the season but had scored a few goals. We had 15 this week which was a bit of a nightmare and once again I had to leave out good players which is never good! The pitch was in good condition and it was a pretty good day for football so we were all keen to get started.
The Leigh keeper looked a bit nervous so it was important we tested him nice and early, with the mighty Cruncher and Paul Stuart up front he was in for a torrid time. We started strongly and took the game to Leigh, Ryan and Lee working really well down the flanks. I had asked them to get in some decent crosses as we had some great strength in the air. In the 13th minute Lee did exactly that and put an absolute peach onto Crunchers head who then planted it in the top right handed corner of the Leigh goal, brilliant. Ryan was making some great strong runs down the right as well and 5 minutes later he went on a superb run which ended with the Leigh defenders fouling him and setting us up with a penalty. Cruncher stepped up and absolutely pulverised the back of the net with a great strike, 2 -0. We were absolutely flying now and already it was looking like it may be a bit of a rout. Paul Stuart was giving us real strength up front and 2 minutes later he got his reward, he controlled it beautifully on his right and hit a beauty passed the Leigh keeper who had no chance, 3-0. We were having all of the game and Leigh were looking completely punch drunk!! We won a corner on the left and Lee stepped up to produce a lovely delivery which found the right boot of Rob Jones who hit an unstoppable low shot into the bottom right hand corner, 4-0. We won the ball straight back from the centre and put the ball through to Paul who took it on his own, went past a couple of very disillusioned Leigh defenders and struck number 5 into the right hand corner of the net. We were playing some absolutely brilliant football and were tearing Leigh to pieces, 3 minutes later and Ryan found himself just outside the Leigh penalty area with the ball at his feet and he hit a bullet straight into the bottom left hand corner of the Leigh goal, 6-0 and only 31 minutes gone!! The goal frenzy wasn’t over yet as the legendary Dave Cocksedge showed great control and then hit a left foot unstoppable volley past the hapless Leigh keeper, 7-0 and I was becoming rather embarrassed on the side line. The ref finally blew the whistle for half time and unbelievably we went in 7-0 up after probably the best first half performance I’ve seen.
I knew the 2nd half would be a challenge as Leigh would be hurting and looking to get some pride back. As we were 7 up I brought on the subs early on to give them a good run and that meant changing the team around a fair amount. I brought off Ollie and Richard Wads who had both been great in the first half and brought on Ash and Foxy. We continued to play well but our shape had suffered from the changes, Leigh were also very up for the second half and were playing much better. As expected we were finding it tough to get back into our scoring rhythm and the half was disappearing very quickly, Leigh were also getting more and more confident. In the 81st minute Leigh were pushing hard and Keith managed to keep out the first effort but they followed up and got 1 back. That was a pain as we wanted another clean sheet but not a disaster, we went straight up and Foxy scored an absolute beauty with his head. Unfortunately the ref disallowed it as he was perceived to be offside, very harsh I think. Leigh weren’t finished and on the 88th minute they scored their second. That’s how it finished 7-2, a great first half and a disappointing second but that’s often how it goes when you score a hat full so early. Very happy with a great result.
Man of the match. Has to go to Lee Griffiths, beautiful feet and some lovely deliveries.
13th No game. Watching the 1st team knock Reading Town out of the cup.
20th Woodmansterne Hyde away. LDLL