Games against today's opposition are always great spectacles and highly competitive occasions and this latest encounter certainty didn't disappoint. We came into the game in buoyant mood having won our last two league fixtures and both teams were vying to enhance their position in the table with 4th place up for grabs for the winners. We made a sluggish and slow start and Joe Wilson had to make an early save in the opening minutes which was concerning but we quickly eased our way into the game and take control of the game. Our speed of play in attack was fantastic and Zico Williams should have put us ahead when he was put through on goal only to see his effort well saved. It was a warning to Venny and in our next attack we made sure to take a well deserved lead. Skipper Paddy done well in a central area and played a precise pass through to Kaleb down the right channel, our number 14 done superbly to get to the by-line and cross for Alex Mc at the far post who kept his composure to convert for his 8th of the season. Alex played a part in our second also when his effort was well saved but Zico was first to react to the rebound to side foot home into the bottom corner to double our early advantage. A poor decision from a throw in just two minutes later allowed Venny back into the game Dan Edge was caught napping and despite a last ditch attempt to stop the cross Sam O'Neill could only watch as their man arrived at the far post to narrow our lead. The goal from Venny didn't unsettle us although the game was beginning to become physical and a Kaleb Sweeney defence splitting through ball found Zico who was chopped down in the box which looked all day a penalty. The ref however had other ideas when he awarded a free kick indicating that the first point of contact was outside the box. It was clearly the wrong decision and denied us the opportunity to restore a two goal lead although Anthony Cooke's well struck free kick had to take a low save from their kipper to tip around the post.
James Boner replaced Dan Edge at the break who had picked up a slight knock on his knee and it wasn't long before his centre back partner Sam was putting his body on the line making a brave goalmouth clearance which saw him collide with the post and suffer a deep cut to his chin. A patch up and change of shirt saw Sam return to the pitch heavily bandaged but he was to go on and defend like his life depended on it. It was one of the finest defensive displays seen from a player who over the last few games is doing the ugly part and showing tremendous leadership and courage at the back. Chances fell to both teams and the game finished with a tense 8 minutes of stoppage time but our lads held out and where like a brick wall to breakdown for Venny who gave it their all until the very last whistle.
It's been a magnificent week with so many tough games and physically it's been a huge challenge but one that we've rallied through together. The togetherness and spirit in the squad at the moment is spot on and despite not getting carried away it feels as though the hard work and change in mentality has shifted. We mustn't allow for complacency to kick in however as Bootle await in a weeks time and will be a team determined to rectify the result of our last meeting . Onwards Together L4!!