Away league match played on 23 April 2017.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Casuals and Pelham had a big ask in their final game of the season, going away to top of the league and unbeaten SC Birchanger Reserves. The task was made even bigger with the away side only managing to get 11 players to the game as well, compared to Birchangers full 16 man squad. Pelham started the game the brighter of the two sides, keeping a compact tight unit when defending and hitting quickly on the break. This was working to Pelhams advantage and it was the away side who took the lead 10 minutes in with another counter attack. The ball made its way through to Steve Callan, who had enough time on the ball to turn and thread a pass through the Birchanger backline for Liam Perry, who just managed to get on the end of it before the home teams keeper did, 1-0 to Pelham. That goal gave the away side a big confidence boost and they continued to dominate in the manner they had done, limiting Birchanger to a small number of chances. Pelhams lead was doubled not long after as a free kick from Mark Jolley looked to be a routine save for the Birchanger keeper, only for him to spill the ball and Jamie Richards to be quickest to react and smash the ball in off the far post, 2-0. Pelham had worked relentlessly hard in the first half and had done everything they could to go into the half with at least that two goal lead. However Birchanger halved the score through a gift from Pelham, a throw in took three deflections off Pelham heads and wormed its way under the Monk and into the back of the net, 2-1. However even after the goal Pelham carried on in the manner they were and went in to the break leading 2-1. Pelham knew the second half would be a big ask with just a bare 11 and Birchanger constantly chopping and changing and that proved to be evident not too long after kick off. Birchanger were starting to create chances they didn't have in the first half and off a Pelham throw they managed to pinch the ball and break quickly, with the Birchanger striker latching on to the pass and slotting home evening the scores, 2-2. Both teams were pushing for that third goal but it would unfortuately be the home side who would get it to complete their comeback. Once again Birchanger broke on the counter attack and slotted the ball through to the striker, who appeared to be about a yard offside but with Pelham only having 11 men and no linesman, they didn't get the decision and were punished for it. After getting away with the offside decision, the Birchanger striker finished off similar to the first goal making it 3-2 to the home side. Even with the squad advantage it was Birchanger who seemed happy to run the clock down and take the 3-2 result, avoiding any upset and it would be Pelham who would push for a winner. They came close on a couple of occasions to getting the point they thoroughly deserved, most notably through a Mark Jolley header which just went over the bar. However it wasn't to be for Pelham and the game finished 3-2 to SC Birchanger Reserves. A great performance lads against a top of the league and unbeaten side and we didn't get what we deserved from the game today. The story of the season cost us today and with fresh legs to bring on and a linesman to help us out we definitely would have got something out of today, so this needs to change before next season. Everyone who played a part today played really well but this weeks man of the match goes to Jamie Richards who just edged out a couple of others with some of his good work today.

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