Away league match played on 01 November 2015.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Casuals and Pelham put in their best performance so far this season (on par with the match against Sawbo Town) as they ran out 5-3 winners away at Manuden United Reserves. It was a contrast in performance from the away side and they knew they had to bounce back from the disappointing shift they put in last week. With a bare 11 and half of those carrying knocks, Pelham knew it wasn't going to be an easy day. Both teams started fairly evenly but pretty slowly and each team had early chsnces to take the lead. Manuden Reserves however took it to the next gear and slowly started to put their stamp on the game. For ten/fifteen minutes they dominated the game and really had a go at Pelham. That spell payed off and they took the lead after 23 minutes. A ball over the top was latched on to by the striker and he stroked the ball into the back of the net. The home side very nearly went two ahead as the same ball again caught out Pelhams back line, the Monk saved the first shot but could only palm it away, landing at the feet of the Manuden midfielder who blasted the ball towards the Pelham goal, but unfortunately for him it hit the Manuden striker on the line who was standing in an offside position before going in. With the game still at 1-0 and Manuden Reserves very much on top, it looked as though that would be it for the first half. However, five minutes of magic from Pelham between 40 and 45 minutes ensured that wasn't the case. The away side suddenly clicked and decided to play out from the back, keeping their passing simple but quick. Pelhams first reply came from a move down the right hand side, starting at the back, they strung 8 passes together in quick succession with Sam Carter making the final one, whipping a ball across the box for Steve Callan to get on the end and place the ball past the keeper. Pelhams second came a minute later, once again from some good passing work all over the pitch, linking around 20 passes together before some good hold up play from Dan Arran who played a short pass to Dan Boyce, then in turn curling the ball low into the bottom corner. Pelham weren't finished there, and once again some good passing saw the ball break down the right hand side, a ball was whipped in, flicked on by Steve Callan forcing a parry from the keeper, straight to Liam Perry, who hit the ball on the full volley and in to the back of the net. Pelham went from 1-0 down on 40 minutes, to 3-1 up on 45 minutes, with the full time whistle blown. Pelham knew that Manuden Reserves were going to come out swinging at the start of the second half, and were fully aware that they were unable to drop their level of play. As anticipated that's exactly how the home side came out, and Pelham were equal to it. After keeping themselves in it for the first ten minutes of the second half and keeping the score at 3-1, they pushed on to extend their lead. Doug Hazell came close to adding to that tally from a corner and some good work from Sam Carter saw him carve out a good few chances. However Pelham finally struck their fourth (and the next vital goal) around the 55th minute mark. Once again Pelham kept going with their quick, simple but effective passing and Dan Arran this time was on the end of the final pass, holding off two defenders and curling the ball in to the top of the net. Even at 4-1 Pelham knew the game wasn't over, and Manuden Reserves continued to push on. However so did Pelham and they added a fifth goal when Dan Boyce picked up a short pass on the left from Liam Perry, and whipped in a ball towards Dan Arran at the back post. However, Manudens defender beat Arran to the ball and his header nestled into the top corner. At 5-1 the game looked to be done and dusted, and it was a long way back for the home side. However with Pelham only having a half fit 11 with no subs, and the tempo and effort they had put in so far, it was inevitable the away side would drop off. However Manuden scored their second of the game before that happened. Some great play from the ever solid Doug Hazell saw him take on half the Manuden team, hold up the ball, then only for him to play the ball back and unfortunately through to the home sides striker who latched on to the ball, out paced the back line and slotted in to the net. It looked as though it would only be a consolation and it turned out that it would be. However the home side weren't done there, and they added their third goal, and another consolation on the 80th minute, will a very lucky long range strike, which dipped and swerved a huge amount, in to the top corner of Pelhams goal. The rest of the game was played out and Pelham got their well deserved victory. Good win today boys and it sees us sitting in third at the half way stage of the league campaign, not a bad effort considering it's not been the consistent season we had hoped for. Here's to hoping for some more consistency for the second half of the campaign. Today's performance was definitely joint top with our game against Sawbo town and it was encouraging to see after last weekend. Shame we conceded as many as we did and in terms of performance that score line flattered the home side, 5-1 I feel would have told a better story. Some top performances today and no one had a shocker of a game today at all. Big mention of some of the performances from today, Paul Knight played his first full 90 for about two years, Dan Arran had his best game of the season and actually used the attributes he posses, and Ant and Doug looked as solid as they did last weekend (apart from that back pass Dougie, apologies haha). Dan Arran was a very close second for this weeks man of the match, and any other week probably would have won it. However this weeks man of the match is Sam Carter, who for me also had his best game of the season so far. He was involved in most passages of play, covered so much ground defensively and attacking, putting in an absolute shift, disappointing he didn't get himself on the score sheet as he thoroughly deserved to. Bit of a break now from the league and on to some of the cups now. Reserve team down, now on to Manuden firsts next weekend.

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