Pelhams first game of the season ended in 3-3 draw away from home against Albury Saints. Pelham started the brighter of the two teams and had the majority of possession in the first half hour. They carved out some good chances and kept moving the ball well whilst working together and communicating for the first time in a while. Unfortunately Albury Saints finished off their first real chance of the half and went in to a 1-0 lead. Pelham continued to press and battled hard but just couldnt break down a resistant Albury Saints defence before the half time whistle. With Pelham down 1-0 at half time a couple of changes were made with Cain Robinson replacing Matt Boyce and Danny McGurk replacing Paul Knight.
Pelham started the second half a bit slower than the first and were pegged back again when the Albury Saints striker finished well and made it 2-0 at the start of the second half. Pelham continued to battle and didnt accept defeat, replying with a quick response after some good work from Sam Kellow who battled (as he did all game) to win a ball off the striker and lay a pass to Brad Adams who played a wonderful ball through to find Tim Shaw who finished off calmly. Albury Saints were working a lot harder second half and both teams were matching eachother in terms of possession and work rate. After a while Albury Saints again found the back of the Pelham net to restore their lead to 2 goals and go 3-1 up. Once again though from the restart Pelhams attitude and determination was outstanding and they could not be criticised for giving up as they were adament of getting back into the game. Once again after both teams equalling each other out with work rate, Pelham started to create more chances and Tim Shaw took his second of the game after Danny McGurk found him from the right with another delightful ball through. With time ticking away Pelham continued to press and Albury Saints dropped off a bit deeper to see out the game. However the pressure from Pelham got too much and with 1 minute left on the clock Rob Parrish managed to get himself free in the box and after a great cross from Danny McGurk, Rob managed to just guide the ball into the far corner. With seconds left on the clock Albury Saints tried their luck from the kick off by having a shot and trying to lob the Monk (they obviously done their homework) but in the end the chance was wasted. From the goal kick the ref blew the final whistle and Pelham had battled from behind the whole game and carved out a well deserved draw.
A special mention to Sam Kellow who once again was outstanding and rightly so named man of the match, with Tim Shaw scoring 2 goals and still not being man of the match that tells you how well he played. Overall although Pelham started the brighter team, Albury Saints came back in to it and for me a draw was a fair result. Much more talking and communicating this week which makes it so much easier and it showed today on the pitch. With only 2 points for a win in the league, a point today is a great result away from home at the dreaded paddocks for the first game of the season. Lets make sure we do the business against them at home and take the win. As the weeks go on we will get used to playing with eachother more and more and match sharpness will improve. Hopefully the beginning of an unbeaten run and on this performance the season looks bright.