Home league match played on 18 January 2015.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Almost exactly a month after their last fixture Greshams finally reconvened after their winter break for the start of part 2 of the season, with the league restructuring pitching them against some new opponents and some familiar foes. Todays opponents, Eastern Electricity Reserves, fall into the latter category having recently narrowly overcome a Greshams team consisting of a bare 10 men including the athlete that is Snelly. It was a stronger 11 this time as Cashen named the team as Rob in goals: a back four of Harry, Greg, Hamblin and Cash; in midfield Emy, Sam, Rob and Matt; up front Norfolk and Meng with an extremely welcome return from Froudy who started on the bench.

From the off it was clear that the winter break had not done Greshams any favours as they were finding it impossible to pass to a team mate, instead misplacing every pass directly to the opposition. They had something of a scare in the first couple of minutes when there was a goalmouth scramble and Sam just did enough to prevent the onrushing Eastern attacker getting anything on his shot. Greshams did create problems going forward however, with Meng showing some lovely touches and Emy scampering dangerously down the right. It was slightly against the run of play when Greshams took the lead, Meng was again involved providing a neat little ball to Matt Miller who, from around the penalty spot, drove a nice little finish into the top corner.

However not for the first time this season, Greshams were unable to hold on to the lead. This time they were barely ahead for a minute before they were cut open through the middle, with a runner appearing from nowhere to finish confidently past Rob. Only minutes later it was two as the attacker managed to beat Greg in a one on one situation and plant a decent finish to the far post beyond Rob’s despairing dive. And just when things couldn’t get much worse Eastern added a third when a misplaced Greshams pass led to a quick attack that was poorly defended. Rob did manage to get a save on the initial effort but the rebound seemed to strike the attacker and just trickled over the line.

Having conceded the three quick goals Greshams managed to steady the ship and get in to proceedings. At last the odd pass was going to a team mate and a little pressure started to build. The best opportunities Greshams had were from a couple of free kicks at the edge of the box, but the normally reliable Rob’s radar was a little awry. His first effort was comfortably saved while the second went narrowly over the bar.

Half time Greshams 1 Eastern 3

All the half time talk was that despite the score, Greshams were firmly still in the game. There was a definite feeling that so long as Greshams could keep a clean sheet second half, they could go on to win the game.

Early in the half, the crucial goal to get back in the game came Greshams’ way, and it was provided by the arch poacher Norfolk. Emy’s pace down the right was causing all sorts of problems and he managed to get a cross in which the keeper could only parry over his head to where Norfolk was waiting to nod home gratefully from point blank range.

With Greshams gathering momentum manager Cashen summoned transfer window signing from Melbourne Victory, the returning Steve Froud, from the bench to replace Matt. Froud was soon involved showing his familiar ability on the ball. Chances were now coming regularly for Greshams and Kit Meng, who was having a great game, was really unlucky when he thumped a shot against the outside of the post. Norfolk very nearly added to his tally when a cross / shot from Emy eluded him at the far post by inches. Harry ws also involved in the attacking half when Emy picked him out with a backheel and he knocked in a great ball that nobody could quite get on the end of. However, the pressure was bound to tell and it was Emy who brought Greshams level, thumping the ball into the roof of the net from close range after a great cross from Rob Minns. Shortly later Emy should have doubled his tally but instead made a total hash of things, collapsing in a heap while the ball skewed hopelessly off his boot and out for a goal kick.

As the game wore on it was a matter of whether Greshams could grab a winner. The Eastern number 12, who had been a handful in the first half, seemed to tire in the second half and was better marshalled by Greg and Steve. As a result, Rob in the Greshams goal was a virtual spectator in the second half, although he had to be alert when he was in a race to a through ball with the Eastern forward. Rob got to the ball first and made a great tackle to clear the ball away to safety.

With a matter of 5 minutes to go, Greshams finally went ahead. From a corner, Emy rose like the proverbial tin of John West's and headed the ball firmly goalwards. Norfolk was on the line and despite being tightly marked was able to stick out a foot and divert the ball into the roof of the net for a brilliant finish.

There was just time for Greshams to put a cherry on the cake. Cashen slipped a nice looking ball through to Froudy, who was in a foot race with the keeper to reach the ball first. There could only be one winner, and only one outcome. The keeper realised he was never getting there and hoofed Froudy up in the air – the type of challenge Froudy seems inexplicably to attract. Norfolk was thinking about taking the spot kick for the hat trick goal but instead the regular taker Rob Minns took responsibility and thumped the penalty down the middle to give Greshams a great 5-3 win and a brilliant recovery from 3-1 down.

Man of the Match

Once Greshams had got their festive season rustiness out of their system they really came into the game and everyone had a good second half. However, Man of the Match today goes to Kit Meng who showed a lovely touch on the ball and great awareness of his team mates and was unlucky not to score. Well played mate.

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