For the third time in succession, we found ourselves playing away from home against Servicemaster FC.
With a complete lack of players, Damo only had the bare 11 (due to players running the Great South Run and being on holiday) with Paddy thankfully running the line even though he was injured.
we started brightly, passing the ball well and winning the arial battles. We put a lot of pressure on servicemaster, although they did counter attack well. Five minutes into the game and Dan pulled off a blinding save. With two gashes taped up on his finger, a neat through ball saw their striker one on one with Dan. Deciding to go for power he lashed his shot in and Dan pulled off a superb block and managed to hold the ball on the second attempt, thwarting their attack.
We had a few corners, and free kicks putting Servicemaster under pressure, but they defended well and broke out well too. Fifteen minutes into the first half saw Service master take the lead. A quick break down the left saw their player skip past Leroy, only for Leroy to bring him down whilst going for the ball. Their striker stepped up and smashed the ball home to make it 1-0.
Five minutes later and we had a chance to pull level. With a good free kick into the box from Leroy, Rosey came in and tried to chest the ball down before smashing his shot home, but the defence did well to clear the ball.
Five minutes after that and we equalised. After Servicemaster had cleared our free kick, the ball broke to 25 yards out. He lobbed the ball back in and, with the keeper back tracking, and their players shouting "all day!", the ball dipped just under the bar and zipped down into the net.
We went in at half time and worked out where we were going wrong and went out for the second half knowing we could win the game.
Using the wings well we continually put them under pressure and, after fifteen minutes we managed to take the lead. With good work from Aidan and Rosie, the ball came to who ran away from the goal, before smashing a skimming low drive right into the bottom corner. It was a great finish and well deserved.
We continued to attack and with ten fifteen minutes left, a mistake at the back let in their centre forward who ran in on goal and lobbed Dan who came out to block his shot.
We felt pretty hard done by and, rather than letting our heads drop we pressed for the winner. With good work from Marv, he played the ball to Jas who got tripped in the box. The referee on this occasion waved play on.
Again, some good inter play betwen Jas and Marv, saw Jas cut in from the right and sending in a left footed shot, the keeper gathered the ball at his near post. A few minutes later we had a free kick that Damo took from about 35 yards. He powered the ball in but the keeper got down well to save the shot. Jas then drew probably the best save of the match. Getting the ball on the edge of the box, he volleyed a superb shot towards the top right corner of the net. The keeper at full stretch managed to save the ball before turning it around his post for a corner.
Two minutes to go and it looked like being a draw. Marv collected the ball and ran into the box. Rosey was going to take the ball from him but decided to leave it as one of their centre backs started sliding to take the ball. Tapping the ball away at the last minute, saw Marv hacked down for a penalty.
Having scored one pre-season, stepped up to take the responsibility trying to make amends for losing the game last week. With a long run up he ran in and smashed the ball hard and low into the bottom left corner of the net, with the keeper getting his finger tips on the ball, the pace had luckily beaten him.
Two minutes later and the ref had blown for full time.
Another great win for the first team, shwoing true character to come from a goal down to eventually win the match.
As was the case last week, there were a few shouts for man of the match but Dan took the votes for some outstanding goalkeeping and also playing with a badly cut finger. Well done boys. AFC Northend next week, which should be a close game.