After another lockdown it was again back to grassroots league football, after last weeks friendly the Derby City League decided our first game back would be against a strong Belper Red Sox both teams unbeaten and both teams knowing a win could have a major impact on where the title might end up.
Belper had a league game against Duffield last week which they won 4-3 putting pressure on us and having a competitive game in their legs.
Saturday I was worried with a couple of players walking wounded and playing games for their Saturday teams, I received a message saying our midfield dynamo Reece was subject to a rash challenge in his game and therefore would miss today’s crunch game.
Every one of the Chello lads knew what they’d have to do to get the win, intense pressure on the Belper team from the get go.
I was not disappointed, the hunger, the desire and will to win was evident and it wouldn’t take long for us to get to grips with the game and Chris would fire us into a 1-0 lead, great start for us and him, hungry for more Chris got our and his second and this was as controlling as we’ve been, not letting Belper settle and taking the game to our opponents, 2 would become 3 with Charlie getting his first for Chello and our dominant display were reaping its rewards.
Belper always dangerous grew into the game and found a way back into the game and scoring a great long range effort boosted their spirits 3-1. It didn’t take long for us to wake up again and after some great football and work by Charlie he was brought down in the box, penalty given up he stepped and buried the ball into the net 4-1 and half time whistle came.
Few words of encouragement, no let up, hunger, desire what we all want to achieve as a group.
Second half was one way traffic, Chellaston had the grit between their teeth, not long in the powerful and imposing Chris would get his third and Chellos 5th its great to see a lad work hard and find reward.
We’re not done here, Chello would get a free kick inside the Belper half, Connor would put in a lovely ball for Charlie to run onto and powerfully bury the ball past Belpers keeper, what a debut for Charlie a hat-trick, beaming smile and Chello 6-1 up.
I’ll make my feelings clear, this team do not stop, as a coach I demand 100% effort from all players for the whole game, we were playing some lovely football, Jayden would send Fin away, a challenge in the box and the ref awarded a penalty, Belper were aggrieved with the decision, as a coach I’ll take it, Fin stepped up and buried the ball into the net with power and we were now 7-1 up.
Fin was not stopping here again after some great football and a bit of pressure from the lively Karsen the Belper defence failed to deal with the ball and Fin found himself in the right place at the right time, to get his second of the game and Chellos 8th.
Belper would get their second of the game late on, a bit sloppy from us, maybe too casual or tiredness creeping in.
Full Time Chellaston 8 Belper Red Sox 2
Belper I think were missing one or two players but I’m taking nothin away from my boys, they wanted to win today, they wanted to make a statement and they did just that.
From 1 to 16 everyone of them lads were brilliant for me today and I thank each and every one of them for allowing me to coach and develop them and most of all for playing together as a team and enjoying what they are doing. We don’t stop here many many tough games ahead and we need to maintain hard work in training and we must be willing to learn with every passing week.
Good luck to Kev and everyone at Belper Red Sox, all of us at Chellaston thank you for today’s game and I’m sure our paths will cross again in the future.