After an awful week full of rain again I was amazed to get the call this morning that the game was ON ! Fair play to Toton, just like us they are of the opinion that the pitch, whatever condition, is the same for both teams and kids just want to play football.
Upon arrival though the pitch was found to be not great, very boggy, long grass, not exactly a flat bowling green type surface but lets get stuck in !
The whistle blew and Toton were firmly in control. Some of the nicest football I've seen played against us. We did actually seem a little shell shocked by it, perhaps the lads are just getting used to winning and having it their own way having had some good results lately but if they were going to get another win on the board, they were going to have to snap out of this.... and quick !
After some screaming and shouting (I mean wise words) from the sidelines, both Brendan and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when Harry B set up Conor to shoot and into the back of the net it went. 1-0 to Chellaston. Perhaps slightly against the run of play but we'll take it whatever.
Toton weren't going to rest there though and were making a real game of it and it was soon 1-1. A great strike from one of there players gave Josh no chance and straight into the top corner it went. We were slowly getting into the game though and some nice passing was beginning to happen. That was until a rare unforced error from our back line allowed a chasing Toton player to get to the ball just before Josh and a calm finish put it again into the back of our net again. 2-1 Toton.
When I came to Chellaston it was noticeable that at this point in years gone by the lads heads would have dropped, they would be arguing between each would apportioning blame and a heavy loss could have been on the cards...... but not now, not this team, these players were mad, were gritting there teeth and wanting victory. Connor was leading by example and his incredibly vocal words of encouragement were great to hear. As was his next cheer when a ball from Jayden allowed him to slot the ball past there keeper and we were all even again heading into the half time break at 2-2 with 2 great goals from our captain Connor who was really leading this team by example.
Its fair to say that Brendan wasn't quiet at half time and the lads were made fully aware of what was expected in the second half.
As the whistle blew and the second half started though there was only one team in it. Chellaston..... You will not see a more one sided half with the ball rarely creeping into our half. The only thing missing though was a goal but that was sure to come and who was next to step into the spot light but our 2 defending stars, Jeevan and Harry B. After a corner from Connor and a bit of a scramble Jeevan managed to find big Harry B who calmly slotted it into the back of the net and we were once again back on top at 3-2. Absolutely fully deserved in my opinion.
After this again it was one way traffic and the boys were hungry for the win. Jayden made run after run just falling at the final hurdle on multiple occasions not quite having the legs to have the final touch into the back of the net. On another day he surely would have got one and no one could argue he didn't deserve a goal.
Then after an incredible passage of play up the wing that looked like it came straight off the training field, a string of controlled passes ended with Finlay squaring the ball up for Harry L who drove a superb shot into the roof of the net from distance. Harry doesn't do tap ins because they're "boring", when Harry scores you KNOW its a cracker and this was no exception. What a Goal and what a way to finish the year with a 4-2 win against a very good Toton side who will clearly end up towards the top of the Division come the end of the season.
So as 2019 ends, Chellaston finish where they started the season after game 1. On top. 5 league games played (4 counting) and 5 wins. We are also 3 games in hand on second place. I'd say thats not a bad start to the season. Lets see if we can keep this going after the break !
Man of the match was decided by me and I had no hesitation in picking out Connor. Obviously his two goals were great to see but the manner in which he conducted himself and captained the lads did it for me. A real captains performance so well done Connor.
Now thats the football over I would like to take this opportunity in wishing you all a Very Happy Xmas and a Great New Year and look forward to seeing you all on the 29th at the Bonnie Prince for a few beers and hopefully lots of laughs. Don't forget to wear your Xmas jumpers to keep us all in the Xmas spirit !!!