Home v Buckden
The lads arrived at the Pavilion with a lush pitch, great balls and beautiful sunshine awaiting them.
Kingy had worked hard to to get a referee but without success. Fortunately club stalwarts Stuart Smith and Roy Shaw agreed to ref half each. Fortunately for us all there were no contentious decisions and the Game was played in a friendly but competitive spirit.
We had 13 players at our disposal and looked to rotate throughout the Game.
The early exchanges were competitive. Buckden had a few younger additions than in previous encounters and they were working very hard to stifle our play. A good bit of play saw their forward race away but as he pulled his leg back to shoot, Chris Keeble athletically dived in and made a fantastic tackle to deny the shooting opportunity.
We were moving the ball well and looked technically superior.
However, the midfield battle was intense with Two Touch and Keeble ratting away in a similar vein to their opposite numbers. Sedge was firing some good through balls around that freed Two Touch, Rudders and Gavin - who was playing up front to utilise his pace. Within minutes, a slide rule pass freed Rudders who burst past the defence and fired a low shot close to the keepers body that evaded him and gave us a deserved 1-0 lead.
Soon after Rudders dispossessed a Buckden defender that dwelt on the ball and slipped Gavin away who shot off at pace. He side-footed the ball crisply past the keeper but sadly it went inches wide of the post. This was a lucky escape for Buckden.
Both keepers made a few good saves and there was no doubt that it was a competitive encounter. We had a brief one minute lapse towards the end of the half, where we created a few chances for our opponents but thankfully we got this out of our system quickly.
At half time we had a chat and agreed that we needed to be ruthless with our finishing and solid at the back as small margins could make a difference in this game.
The defence was great on the day and stayed strong throughout almost all of the 90 minutes. Nigel, Kev, Roy, Daz, Dippy, Stuart and Alex all covered for each other excellently and moved the ball well too. They were decisive with their decision making and kept our opponents at bay for most of the Game. Keeble and Two Touch pinched a load of balls off their forwards (Pearcey's) toes which helped us to break up their play.
As the match kicked into gear, Sedge received a good ball to the middle from Dippy. He dropped a shoulder, wrong footing the central defender, took a touch out of his feet before powerfully rifling past the keeper high into the net. 2-0.
Soon it was 3, as a fabulous bit of play down the right saw Sedge, Stuart, Gavin and Simon exchange passes down the right before a great cross from Simon evaded all of their team and dropped to Sedge who guided a cultured side foot into the top corner with the keeper stranded. 3-0
We continued to exert more pressure and Rudders, Gavin and Two Touch all came close. Breaks were coming with increasing regularity now as Buckden appeared to tire. Before long Sedge broke in from the left at pace, he shaped as if to cut it back to Two Touch, who was expectantly lurking on the edge of the 6 yard box. However, the defender had anticipated this and shaped to deny the cut back but Sedge drove a strong finish into the bottom corner with the outside of his left foot from an acute angle. 4-0 and a quick fire hat trick for Sedge.
Buckden did not get down hearted though and an excellent 1-2 with Pearcey saw their winger cut in from the left on goal and he fired a terrific low shot into the bottom corner that left Alex stranded. It was a really sharp bit of play at full speed and but there was nothing Youngy could do with this one as it was very well-worked and extremely well-taken. 4-1
At the other end, another good break saw Rudders in on goal but the keeper made a great save. The ball rebounded out high towards the edge of the box - only to fall towards the on-rushing Sedge who ruthlessly drilled it into the bottom corner with a sweetly struck volley much to the disappointment of our game opponents. 5-1
However, there was still time for Buckden to snatch another consolation. Local lad Alex broke down the left at pace before squaring a perfect ball to Pearcey who side footed into an empty net for a good goal. Pearcey is a great lad and a big character who plays for us on some occasions and he deserved his goal for his effervescent endeavour. 5-2.
It was a terrific morning. Sedge scored 4 and was named man-of-the match but it was very much a team effort with everyone playing their part in the whole squad. It was an excellent 8 out of 10 performance from all of the lads and in addition, Rudders laid on some fabulous food which was decimated by the players from both teams who all came in for a drink too.