Still smarting from their opening day beating by Grosvenor, Greshams gathered at the old John Players ground on what was an absolutely glorious day for football – arguably too glorious as the sun was beating down and had baked the pitch rock hard. They entered the changing room to find it occupied by a ghetto blaster and sundry other junk leaving the squad of 15 very little room in which to actually get changed. Groggy did not help by unleashing several unwelcome smells into the small and crowded environment, a sign that his ‘rectal rocket fuel’ had not yet fully cleared his system. A scramble for the open air meant that the team was soon out on the pitch where Cashen named the team which was rotated from the previous week and lined up with Rob in Goals; a back four of Cash, Hamblin, Groggy and Froud; in midfield Hunn, Matt, Heady and Nathan with Tom and Steve Norfolk up front and the Brothers Minns, Sam and Harry on the bench.
The game started and from the off it was an open game going from end to end. Going forward Rangers had one or two useful players and Greshams had to be alert and make the odd last ditch block and tackle. Greshams also looked strong when they had the ball and menacing on the attack, they just weren’t keeping the ball quite well enough to build sustained pressure. However mid way through the half it was Greshams who got the breakthrough. Some good passing culminated in Nathan playing the ball in to Matt on the edge of the box and Matt swivelled neatly and sent in a shot which, while not carrying a great deal of power, had enough on it to squirm under the keeper and give Greshams a deserved lead.
Before long Greshams doubled their lead and what a goal this one was. Some great work down the Greshams right saw Froudy surging forward. He hit in a cross and what a cross, landing perfectly on the head of Nathan who powered it into the net with the keeper nowhere. What a goal from Greshams!
The other incident of note came in an accidental collision between two Greshams players. Rob came charging to the end of his area to clear a ball that Steve Hamblin was also going for. In a coming together with the articulated truck that is the Greshams keeper, Steve was also going to come off worse and he collapsed to the ground with the cartoon birdies swirling and tweeting around his head. On a more serious note however, once Steve’s concussion passed he realised that he had some pain in his wrist which turned out to be broken, putting the Greshams skipper out for 6 weeks. We all wish you a speedy recovery mate.
Half Time Rangers 0 Greshams 2
A couple of changes were made from the strong Greshams bench, with Rich Minns replacing the injured Steve Hamblin and Rob Minns coming on for Heady, who had had a fine game in central midfield. The half time team talk was positive, with the suggestion that another goal would effectively kill the game and so indeed it proved. Greshams had a great chance to score early in the half when Tom was clean through but rather than take on the shot, tried to play in Steve Norfolk but put the ball just a yard too far ahead of his strike partner. After 15 minutes of the half Sam replaced Tom allowing Rob Minns to move up front, and it was Rob who got the Greshams third. Some great work again down the right saw Rob bearing down on goal and he made no mistake, lashing the ball past the keeper for a fine finish.
At this point Harry was introduced and virtually his first involvement was to rather unluckily concede a penalty. There may have been some contact but the striker threw himself theatrically to the ground and the ref pointed it to the spot. A decent penalty gave Rob no chance and Rangers a glimmer of hope.However Greshams soon restored their advantage when Hunn, teed up by Norfolk, produced a delicious chip leaving the keeper grasping at thin air.
The game was getting a little fractious by this point with Rich Minns involved in a few incidents and Rangers appealing frantically for a goal when Nathan was on hand to clear off the line following a corner. However, with the scoreline as it was Rangers were rather giving up. Towards the end their fniggly forward decided he did not fancy it any more and went off leaving Rangers down to 10 and allowing Greshams to plunder a few more goals. Norfolk scored with an audacious lob from close range which the offside Rob Minns wisely allowed to bounce in to the net. Then Hunn was in the clear with almost too long to think about what to do. He elected to round the keeper but took a heavy touch and had to frantically sprint after the ball, swivel, and hit it into the net right footed from a tight angle. Hunn rounded off the scoring and competed his hat trick after more good work by Nathan. In between Rangers grabbed a consolation when a long ball over the top was taken first time by the striker who finished neatly.
Final Score Rangers 2 - Greshams 7
Man of the Match
The bubbly goes this week to the hat trick man, Richard Hunn, but there were many other good performances, with Nathan in particular a constant threat down the right where he linked well with Froudy, and Heady putting in an eye catching performance at the heart of the midfield. However the Hunn’s goals made the difference in what was a much improved team performance. Well played mate.