Home league match played on 04 February 2018.
Kicked off at 10:30 AM

With rain having fallen in the week it was something of a surprise for Greshams to find themselves at the Tuddenham Road ground for their home fixture against Martlesham Old Boys. However a pitch inspection showed the ground to be in decent condition other than the centre spot and goal mouths. In the familiar surroundings of changing room 1, Manager Cashen named the team which was Rob in goals; a back four of Danny, Hamblin, Rich Minns and Cash; in midfield Froudy, Sam, Heady and the returning Romanian Exocet (who had been unexpectedly allowed back into the country) and up front Steve and Rob Minns with Gareth and Ollie making up a strong bench.

After last weeks dire first fifteen minutes, Greshams needed to get the attitude right from the off, and they did just that. Down the right, Emy started off with particular enthusiasm, chasing down the Old Boys at every opportunity and giving them all sorts of problems with his pace. Greshams were dominating possession, playing the ball from the back with confidence, and down the flanks in particular, where Froudy and Emy easily had the beating of the full backs. It was no surprise when Greshams took an early lead. It was a brilliant cross field through ball from Danny that found Rob Minns miraculously onside. Full of confidence after the previous week's brace, Rob raced towards the goal and finished emphatically giving the keeper no chance.

Shortly later it was two to Greshams. Froudy’s deliveries from corners are always excellent, and he occasionally expresses frustration that they are not often converted into goals. On this occasion he didn’t need anyone on the end of his ball as with a bit of assistance from the wind, he was able to swing a fine corner directly into the back of the net with the Old Boys’ keeper grasping at thin air.

With Greshams well on top, it was unfortunate that they were not able to get the third goal that would surely have settled the game. They came close when Cashen rolled back the years with a jinking run to the bye line but his dinked cross was just behind the predatory Steve Norfolk. However, the Old Boys made a surprise double substitution mid way through the half and suddenly Greshams found themselves on the back foot. The Exocet, perhaps feeling the effects of several gallons of Rum consumed on holiday, seemed to lose some energy, and Greshams were having to defend strongly. However, with Rich and Steve forming a solid partnership in the middle they were able to see things through to half time with Rob in their goal remaining relatively untroubled.

Half Time Greshams 2 Old Boys 0

Playing against a strengthening wind, Greshams again found themselves on the back foot at the start of the second half. Unlike the first half however the Old Boys were actually creating some real chances. Their striker somehow managed to put the ball over the bar from point blank range when surely it was easier to score. Then the bearded number 7 was put clear by a decent through ball but put his shot miserably wide of the goal. Manager Cashen decided to try to inject a bit more energy and brought on Gareth for the flagging Exocet and Gareth was involved in a few promising moments for Greshams as they were able to relieve the pressure a bit. However, mid way through the half came a moment of controversy. The Old Boys midfielder knocked the ball forwards and it was a race between him and Hamblin to reach it. The Old Boys player won the race and knocked the ball forwards before colliding with Steve - with Steve completely unable to avoid the collision. Steve was badly hurt in the incident with an elbow to the throat and the full weight of the burly Old Boy landing on his ribs and to add insult quite literally to injury, the decision was a free kick to Martlesham. Steve had to leave the field with Heady dropping to centre half, Froudy going to centre mid, and Ollie coming on at left midfield. However the new formation had no chance to settle, as from the long delayed free kick, the ball was smashed into the Greshams net via the underside of the bar.

Not long after Martlesham were level. As Froudy called for the ball in midfield he seemed to be impeded by Rob Minns and the ball broke to the Old Boys midfielder who biffed a hopeful punt toward the Greshams goal which caught the wind and flew over Rob into the net.

As the game drew towards its conclusion Greshams continued to defend well, with Rich Minns imperious as a succession of free kicks and corners rained in. They were also riding their luck somewhat. The ball was carried forward by the pacy Old Boys forward who was just too quick for Heady. Heady lunged in with a despairing attempt at a tackle, missed the ball completely and caught the striker. However the ref, maybe mindful of the questionable free kick from which Old Boys scored their first, saw nothing wrong with the challenge and waved play on, to the general amazement of both sides.

However Greshams were getting the odd chance on the break and with just a couple of minutes to go, Rob Minns found himself on the ball just in Martlesham territory. He spotted Ollie making a lung bursting sprint up the left and put a perfect ball into his path. Ollie still had plenty to do but took the ball on, committed the keeper, and tucked the ball away left footed, to the delight of his team mates. There was just one more nervy free kick to defend before the referee blew for full time to signal a slightly fortunate win for Greshams.

Man of the Match

This was a battling performance from Greshams. Steve Norfolk held the ball up well up front despite for the most part living off scraps while Danny had his usual tidy game at right back. However the defence was held together by Rich Minns who won every header, made numerous tackles and clearances and generally orchestrated what was for long periods a rearguard action by Greshams. So the bottle of bubbly to Rich this week, well played mate.

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