For the second week in succession, Greshams faced the trek out to Felixstowe, this time to the Coronation Street ground, or something, the whereabouts of which nobody was sure of. Finally arriving, it was discovered that parking was chaotic, and as the players arrived in ones and twos, it was a late announcement of the team by manager Cashen. Looking to bounce back from the previous week's miserable effort against Feathers, the 11 entrusted with the task were: Rob in goals; Ollie, Greg, Hamblin and Phil; a midfield 5 of Emy, Rob Minns, Matt, Sam and Meng; with Steve Norfolk on his own up front and player manager Cashen, feeling the effects of Man Flu, on the bench.
Although everyone was aware of the need to put in a better performance than in the previous weekend's debacle, Greshams started slowly, too often failing to switch on at set pieces and allowing the Grosvenor midfielders to come through unchallenged too often. Having conceded early on, a simple headed goal, Greshams began them to grow in to the game and finally get the measure of Grosvenor. Greg and Steve Hamblin in particular had the measure of the Grosvenor strikers and were snuffing out their supply. At the other end of the pitch, most of the problems for the Grosvenor rearguard were being caused by the pace and persistence of Emy down the right, and there was some terrific hold up play from Steve Norfolk up front, although too often he was finding himself isolated.
Just as they were well in the game however, Greshams found themselves three down after conceding two soft goals in a short space of time. This was particularly harsh on Rob in the Greshams goal, who had made several good saves, including one flying tip around the post from a shot which looked for allthe world as if it was going to nestle in to the top corner.
At this point Greshams needed to find some impetus from somewhere and a way back in to the game. They found it, unsurprisingly, through Emy. The Greshams wide man managed to chase down a ball that appeared a lost cause before turning and putting in a cross - shot. The keeper got a rather flapping hand to the ball and only succeeded in palming it across the goal to where the onrushing Norfolk was lurking to nod the ball gratefully in to the back of the net.
Buoyed by this goal, with just a few minutes to half time, Greshams were suddenly inspired. A great team move developed down the left, initiated by a fine dummy from Rob Minns. A few passes later and a great cross was put in to the far post where Emy was on the move and met the ball with a thumping header. The keeper parried the ball, straight back to Emy, who got another header on target only for the keeper once again to make the save. However this time the ball came out invitingly to Norfolk who made no mistake, steering the header into the vacant part of the goal to cap an excellent passage of play.
Half time Grosvenor 3 Greshams 2
Following an inspiring half time team talk from Manager 'Tic-Tac' Cashen, Greshams shot out of the blocks at the start of the second half and found themselves level with their first attack. A ball in to the box by Norfolk found Meng in the box, but with several defenders in attendance. However, Meng produced a brilliant sharp turn and fired low into the bottom corner. The ball actually came out of the badly pegged net causing some delayed celebrations among the Greshams ranks, but a goal it was, and Greshams had emulated Anderlecht in coming back from 3 goals down.
Unfortunately, Greshams were not able to hold on to this lead for long enough to frustrate Grosvenor. A decent cross came in, Greg was challenging the striker, and the ball somehow looped over Rob and in to the Greshams net.
Despite this setback however, Greshams continued to put Grosvenor under pressure and were denied another equaliser only by two goal line clearances. First, Emy again showed great pace to get on to a through ball, but his shot just lacked a bit of conviction, and having got through the keeper's legs, it just did not have the power to reach the goal before being cleared by the defender. Then, Sam managed to connect perfectly with one of Matt Miller's brilliantly flighted corners only for the defender on the line to be able to clear.
In the last twenty however, Greshams began to tire a little and Grosvenor began to dominate possession. Greshams were conceding some free kicks in dangerous positions, and from one, Rob was called on to make a brilliant save. In one of their rare attacks however, Greshams should have had a penalty as Rob, trying to get on to a through ball, was clearly impeded in the box. On the other hand Greshams were lucky not to concede a penalty themselves as Sam appeared to simply block off the run of the attacker, but nothing was given by the referee.
In the closing minutes, a fine finish from the Grosvenor striker gave the scoreline a more emphatic look than Greshams deserved following their battling display.
Full Time Grosvenor 5 Greshams 3
Man of the Match
This was a massively improved display from Greshams against a Grosvenor side containing some very good players and which had won its last 14 games. The 3 goals scored by Greshams represent the most Grosvenor have conceded in the league this year.
Having been slow to get to grips with the game, the comeback from 3-0 down was really impressive, inspired by Emy and two poachers' finishes from the predatory Norfolk. A close call between the two for the Moet this week, but the bubbly goes to Steve Norfolk, not just for the two very welcome goals, but for a great display of hold up play up front and some real hard work for the team. Well played mate.