Buck-up talk hits home
Minehead 1, Ottery Crickets 2 The game against Minehead away started slowly for Ottery Crickets as it seemed to take a while to shake off the journey. Minehead started strongly and pressed play, making it very difficult for Ottery Crickets to play their
Minehead 1, Ottery Crickets 2
The game against Minehead away started slowly for Ottery Crickets as it seemed to take a while to shake off the journey.
Minehead started strongly and pressed play, making it very difficult for Ottery Crickets to play their normal passing game.
In the first half, Minehead had many chances and should have taken a comfortable lead into half time.
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Johnny Thompson, the Ottery goalkeeper, made some outstanding saves and, coupled with some poor finishing from Minehead, they went in only 1-0 up. This was after a well taken goal from a short corner.
A stern half-time chat encouraged Ottery to play with more pace and purpose in the second half and they also felt Minehead began to run out of gas.
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Ottery began to make more chances and also took hold of the game.
Minehead still had their fair share of goal attempts but exceptional Johnny Thompson kept them at bay.
Ottery began to win short corners and equalised through a shot from Nick Goode which the keeper saved only for Nick Doman to pounce on the rebound and flick into the net.
Shortly afterwards, another short corner was won and Will Ellison flicked a superb shot only to be stopped illegally by Minehead on the line.
Jack Pritchard stepped up and scored from the resulting penalty flick with ease.
Ottery held on to their 2-1 lead to win and earn precious away points.
Minehead would be devastated not to take anything out of the game with all their chances in the first half, with Ottery more than happy to gain three points away from home with a mediocre performance.
Ottery Crickets (2) 4 ECV Hornets (1) 3
Crickets returned home to Colin Tooze to take all the points in a finely balanced game against visitors ECV Hornets by a single goal in a seven-goal thriller.
Crickets made the better start, breaking down early ECV pressure to work the ball to Archie Fraser on the left where he slipped the ball to Ali Slade at the top of the D who drew and beat the keeper to his left and hit a reverse shot into the open goal, 1-0.
ECV replied quickly from a well-worked short corner from short range, 1-1.
Ottery made a confident reply in short order - Tom Down passed to Ali Slade in the D and he ghosted past two defenders in a very tight space and rounded the keeper to slap in his second, 2-0.
Crickets' build-up play had showed significant improvement from previous games, but, despite this, they failed to dictate the play sufficiently.
The rest of the half was end-to-end stuff, with both teams coming close in both open play and from short corners.
Decisive goalkeeping kept the scores unchanged with Neale Frood pulling off some fine saves at the Crickets' end.
ECV started the second half the strongest and levelled the scores from short range after the ball was played in powerfully from the Ottery right with the defence unable to clear effectively, 2-2.
Crickets restored their lead with an improvised short corner; Tom Down netted from short range, 3-2.
ECV, who managed a number of rapid breaks in both halves, returned the scores to level pegging again with a fine individual goal from a break and a shot low to the keeper's left.
Crickets sealed their 4-3 win with a sublime strike from Jake Tuckett, who received the ball from Man-of-the-Match Slade after good work from Down, rocketed a shot from an acute angle and some distance into the top right hand corner. Fantastic!
The players' deserved man of the match was Ali Slade.
Crickets' win sees them rise to 5th in SE Division 1 with 10 points from 7 games - 5 points off top spot.