Away league match played on 13 March 2016.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

Greshams found themselves once again in the familiar surroundings of Gainsborough, which is becoming more of a home to them than the Tuddenham Road ground. After watching some comedy parking from Harry including a donut on the field, the team went in to the changing room where the customary pre match banter was soon flowing. Manager Cashen named the team which lined up with Rob in goals; a back four of Cash, Groggy, Hamblin and Froudy; in midfield The Hunn, Rich Minns, Sam and Nathan; with Rob Minns and Norfolk up front and Harry on the bench.

Having named the team, the next problem for Greshams was to get the shirt numbers entered onto the team sheet. The challenge of getting the shirt number of a player written next to his photograph on a piece of paper, does not appear on the face of it terribly taxing. However, already having seen the task prove too much for Nathan, Manager Cashen should perhaps have known better than to pass the pen and paper to Groggy. Groggy stared at these two unfamiliar implements as if confronted with a puzzle of enormous complexity before finally getting to grips with the requirements. However, with time marching on, Cashen took control and completed the remaining ten numbers on the sheet following Groggy's valiant effort and Greshams headed out to the pitch.

Despite a chill in the air and a fresh breeze it was a lovely day for a game of football and Greshams for once started as if they meant to enjoy themselves. With two teams looking to play football a decent contest was in prospect and Greshams were playing with freedom, passing the ball around with confidence in a way they are capable but has been all too often lacking in 2016. They came very close to taking a lead when Rich Minns' header from a corner crashed against the bar and bounced down and unluckily out. At the other end, Cats were playing some decent football of their own but seemed to rather run out of ideas when they reached the edge of the Greshams box and, with Steve Hamblin handling the big number 16 well, Rob was relatively untroubled in the Greshams goal. The Cats left winger was proving a handful but on the rare occasion he got the better of Froudy, Nathan showed exceptional pace and energy to get back and cover.

Greshams best opportunity came in something of a goalmouth scramble where they had a number of half chances ending with the ball falling to Steve Norfolk a few yards out with his back to goal. Quickly finding himself surrounded by defenders, Steve was just unable to turn and stick the ball in the net. However, with half an hour gone Greshams made the breakthrough they probably deserved. It came from a Cats attack which resulted in a shot against the post which bounced out to Cashen. The ball was moved rapidly forward and soon reached Rob Minns in the inside right channel. Rob delivered the ball hard and low and it rather hit Norfolk and bounced in to the net, but as the arch poacher himself observed, you have to be in the right position for the ball to hit you!

Half time Cats 0 Greshams 1

After a positive team talk it was more of the same required from Greshams and they came out in the second half to give a really good display in front of their newly arrived season ticket holder. With Rich Minns and Sam excellent in the heart of midfield and Nathan and the Hunn a threat down the flanks Greshams were soon carving out chances. Steve Norfolk was unlucky with a header as a cross came in from the left which he put narrowly wide. Rob Minns found himself clear but under a bit of pressure from the defender didn't really connect and the keeper made a comfortable save. The Hunn also had a couple of chances which he might have done meter with, shanking one decent opportunity and dragging it across the goal.

However, despite all these chances going begging, Greshams were defending with great determination and looked like holding on to their lead. Groggy and Hamblin were tacking and heading everything and the two full backs were defending strongly while also getting involved going forward. Cashen in particular made a couple of last ditch tackles. At this rate it would take a decent effort to get through the Greshams rearguard but unfortunately that is just what happened. The big number 16 lumbered on to a lay off on the edge of the box to catch the ball sweetly and see it crash off the underside of the bar into the net giving Rob no chance.

With players tiring the game now became end to end. Harry replaced Nathan who had run himself in to the ground. In the final moments, Cat forced a succession of corners. From the last of these, Greshams were just unable to prevent the striker getting a flick on. Rob saw the ball late and could only parry it, and it fell unluckily to the feet of a Cats player who managed to poke it weakly towards the goal where it eluded everyone and trickled into the net.

Full time Fat Cats 2 Greshams 1

Man of the Match

Following the fightback from 4-1 down in the previous match, this was another much improved performance by Greshams, who now unfortunately have only three games left to add some gloss to their season. Despite the really unfortunate and cruel result, Greshams played well and there were good performances all round. Everyone came out of the game with credit with Nathan in particular working exceptionally hard down the right. However following a vote among the players, your match reporter is going to award the bubbly to himself, for the first ever time, which makes him either very modest, or a consistently average performer! The fizz has slightly gone from the Moët after the last gasp defeat but the MoM is appreciated and well played everyone.

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