Casuals and Pelhams unbeaten start to the league season continued as they played out a second draw of the season against Saffron Hawks as it finished 2-2. A similar team started to the one that began the game last week against Albury Saints but unfortunately Pelham could not carry that same performance into their seasons first home game. Both teams matched eachother in the first 20 minutes and neither out played the other but Pelham would be the more disappointed of the two teams as they can and have played a lot better. Saffron Hawks took advantage of that and broke the deadlock on around the 20 minute mark as they fired in a low hard shot into the bottom corner of the Pelham goal. Again the rest of the half was very similar as the two teams continued to cancel eachother out in a half a few chances. Pelham started to create a few more however and their best chance of the half came just before the break as Dan Boyce tee'd up Mark Jolley on the edge of the box and he thumped a shot low and hard to the keepers left which would have crept in if it was for a good save from the Saffron Hawks keeper.
The second half saw changes made to the original Pelham side as they couldn't quite find their rythm in the first half and the guys on the bench were rightly so given the opportunity to prove themselves. Pelham started the second half in a similar fashion to the first and unfortunately conceded a second goal when a direct freekick from Saffron Hawks on the edge of the area was deflected off the wall and wrong footed Dan Monk and crept into the bottom corner. After a flukey second goal for the opposition it seemed a long way back for Pelham, but they managed it the week before and were not going to go down without a fight. A quick reply is just what Pelham needed and it came when Tim Shaw chased down a ball on the opposition by-line which seemed to be a lost cause who he then cut back for Rob Parrish to tap home easily from two yards out. Parrish managed to keep himself switched on and reacted quicker than the defender and scored the goal which then gave Pelham a new lease of life. Pelham then stepped their game up and started to become the dominant side and added a second goal not long after as the pressure from the Pelham attack got too much for the Saffron Hawks defence. Dan Arran managed to flick a ball on into the path of Rob Parrish who found himself unmarked in the box and for the second week in a row guided a header into the far corner to make it 2-2. Pelham again seemed to be the dominant side but their momentum was cut short when the lively Tim Shaw to a whack to the face and was forced offf with an injury. A couple more changes were made and Pelham continued to be the better side but just could not find that third goal to take all 2 points.
Overall not the best performance in recent times and we know we can play a lot better. There will be disappointment knowing on a different day we could take maximum points from that game but the fact we still managed to get a point knowing that we didnt play well shows that we can still grind out results when we need to. I think the lads who came on really proved their worth today and will be pushing for a starting place in an already competitive squad. Man of the match was a tough call today and the final decision was down to the generall vote of everyone after the match. I think Sam Kellow once again was solid and deserved it but for me 3 other players as well as Sam deserved the award. I thought Tim Shaw again had a very good game and put himself about all over the park, when he was taken off injured it did stop the momentum that was building and that shows the effect he was having on the game. Rob Parrish bagged himself two goals and two vital points of the game and could also have easily got man of the match. Finally another player who I thought could easily have got man of the match was Steve Willett, he had a much more understated performance but absolutely worked his socks off and not only held when he had to but pushed on in support of the front two when needed. On to the next match now and lets hope we can finally get that first win of the season next week.