CANTERBURY MARINERS 2 ASHFORD INTERNAZIONALE 1
Our second game in 2 days saw the 60s team again in action, this time at home against Ashford. The hope was to continue to play in the same way that the team completed the game against Woodnesborough last Friday, and the team delivered in spades.
We were on the front foot from the off, with us having plenty of possession and playing good football. The cross wind was proving detrimental but the ball was played to feet and moved well through the team. We soon started to get chances and Steve Rich, Geoff, Mark and Simon all got early shots away but their keeper was equal to them. We maintained a good shape and high line which stifled Ashford's ability to get out and limited them to several long range efforts.
Despite our apparent control, Ashford scored first with a speculative shot along the ground that somehow squeezed under Jan and trickled in.
Despite the 0-1 scoreline at half time, our heads didn't drop, and the setback appeared to galvanise the team, We pushed harder with ball being moved quicker between the players and saw the defenders even striding forward to join in the attacks with both Peter and Andy shooting just wide.
Eventually our pressure paid off and a poor pass from their defence was intercepted by Geoff who moved forward before sending his shot past their keeper's right hand and into the net. Then, within three minutes we had taken the lead. Good work out of defence and through the midfield from Simon and Geoff saw the ball break to Steve who rifled his shot beyond their keeper into the roof of the net.
Fresh legs were introduced but the formation remained the same. Anthony regularly found space on the right and that seemed to be our best outlet.
We defended stoutly and had it not been for the Ashford keeper we would have moved further ahead. Jan was resolute in goal and, feeling that he needed to atone for their goal, pulled off several good saves.
We maintained our discipline and shape throughout which certainly frustrated Ashford. We kept clear of the goal area choosing to defend higher. As people tired, the substitutes came on and all played their part in this effort and our game management towards the end was well maintained.
There was no more scoring, and the game finished with us earning a well deserved 2 - 1 victory.
To put this win into some sort of context, last season we played a very similar Ashford team and we were on the receiving end of a 9 - 0 defeat. so to turn this around just goes to show just how much this squad has improved and offers an insight of what they are capable of achieving.
Congratulations to the 10 players on the pitch and the other squad members. I could not have been prouder with the way you worked for each other, moved the ball well and got the win that you all fought hard to achieve. Enjoy this moment it has been a long time coming but it is nothing more than this squad and our club thoroughly deserves.
Thank you, as ever, to the supporters for their vocal encouragement, especially the other 60s squad members, and those from the 50s squad that came to watch their team in action. That is always needed and much appreciated.
This is only the start of things to come - bring on Ramsgate in a fortnight!
Paul Jones Manager