A return fixture against Trinity awaited Greshams on Sunday, this time in the delightful surroundings of Gainsborough Sports Centre. The team chosen for the job showed few changes from the previous week's victory over the same opposition and Greshams lined up with Rob in goals; a back four of Cash Cooky Hamblin and Phil; in midfield Froudy, Rich Minns, Sam and the Hunn; with up front the prolific duo of Rob Minns and Steve Norfolk, and Neil Potter as sub.
It was a warm spring day that looked ideal for football but on closer inspection the pitch, which would have been saturated only a few weeks ago, had dried out alarmingly and now resembled a dust bowl in places, uneven and hard all over. Added to this a surprisingly strong wind that was behind Trinity in the first half, and the conditions were far from ideal for Greshams.
Sure enough straight from the kick off the play was riddled with errors, the ball bobbling and bouncing around and being next to impossible to control. Sliced passes, shanks and mis controls were commonplace as Greshams found it difficult to string two passes together. Trinity, whose tactics were based around an aerial assault of long throws and set plays, were finding the conditions far more to their liking, with the wind adding still further distance to their throw ins and agricultural hoofs.
In fairness Greshams were defending much better this week, knowing from the previous week exactly what to expect. The near post was stoutly defended and Greshams were dealing with relative comfort with the bombardment. However it was inevitable that the pressure would at some stage pay off and this happened from yet another long throw. This time it was headed clear by Cooky but the ball fell to the Trinity striker who had drifted away from his marker Cashen and took the ball on the volley giving Rob no chance.
The game then continued on through to half time in the same scruffy manner, with a melee at one point breaking out after a couple of challenges in quick succession involving Richard Minns, but these amounted to little more than handbags. When the football got under way, Greshams managed to fashion a couple of half chances, the best one when the Hunn got free down the left, skinned the full back for pace, and crossed the ball just out of reach of the onrushing Norfolk.
Half time: Trinity 1 Greshams 0
After a first half when virtually no football had been played a frustrated Greshams team were forced to admits that having been under the cosh for most of the half, 1-0 didn't represent a bad scoreline. For once, rather than ignore the half time talk, Greshams really stepped up from the start of the half and were now starting to look like a team at last.
The equaliser came early in the half and resulted from a decent move. The ball was fed into Norfolk's feet and he controlled it and bustled his way in to the box before teeing the ball up perfectly for the Hunn, who finished expertly from left to right across the keeper.
Unfortunately the lead didn't last long. Trinity soon took the lead again and inevitably the goal resulted once more from a set play. In an almost carbon copy of the first goal, Greshams won the first ball but the clearance dropped once again invitingly to the poorly marked number 9, who struck another decent volley into the Greshams net.
This second goal deflated Greshams who now turned to Neil Potter from the subs bench replacing Richard Minns. As the game wore on, it looked like Greshams might not find the breakthrough but once again leading scorer Hunn was able to find a goal. Out of nowhere the Hunn, with the ball at his feet wide on the left, curled in a shot cum cross that was impossible to defend and curled into the far corner.
Greshams nearly lost the game at the death when Neil Potter, ignoring his own sage advice to 'stay on your feet' and 'not to foul', launched himself into a brutal tackle on the corner of the box. The number 10, a half decent player, struck the kick near perfectly but fortunately for Greshams and for Potter in particular, it struck the bar and rebounded to safety leaving Greshams with, in the end, a well earned point.
Man of the Match
In a game that was more notable for poor performances than decent ones, Greshams solidity at the back when under the cosh in the first half, restricted Trinity to few clear chances despite their territorial dominance and so the bubbly this week goes to Steve Hamblin for a solid and committed display at centre half. Well played mate.