Smithswood Firs continued their excellent form with a fantastic 8-1 win at Alcester Town. The team has been playing some amazing football this season and could easily have hit seven or more goals in their recent games with the chances they have missed in front of goal so some believe that this result was coming, it was just unfortunate for Alcester Town that it happened to be them on the receiving end.
On National Non League day, Alcester Town put on a great day for the many fans that turned up to watch the game. They gave free entry, programmes, hot drink and sweets away on the day with the local press present to witness the game.
Paul Ryder’s team wasted no time in taking the lead although they were fortunate in the way it came about. Ashley Weeks hit a shot from outside the area but didn’t connect with it very well and it looked easy for the keeper to stop but unfortunately for him he let it slip under his body.
Alcester Town were level though five minutes later from a free kick. A great delivery found unmarked Matthew Layton who headed home virtually unchallenged. Smithswood then started to turn it on and played some great flowing football. They were back in front on twenty minutes through a fantastic Sam Hulme goal. He picked the ball up inside the area and had four defenders to beat but with his quick feet and turns found a way past them all and buried his shot in the back of the net, a wonderful individual goal. It was 3-1 four minutes later as Curtis Thomas picked out Adam Rooke from a corner who powered home.
Curtis Thomas made it four following a great counter attacking goal lead by Danny Charlton. Charlton looked to be fouled inside the area as he tried to pass it to Curtis Thomas but the ref played an advantage as Thomas jinked past the last man and passed the ball into the back of the net.
Alcester Town had a chance before half time when Lewis Cottrill rushed off his line and gave away a penalty missing the ball and catching the man. Luckily there was a man on the line and the colour of the card was yellow. Cottrill made amends with a phenomenal save from the penalty to keep Smithswood Firs 4-1 up at the half.
Paul Ryder was extremely happy at half time and wanted his team to go out and keep attacking the way they had been. He was convinced there were at least another four or five goals in the game for his team and he wasn’t wrong as the Lions really put Alcester Town to the sword in the second half. They were untroubled at the back after the first goal.Carl Thompson and Adam Rooke are forming a solid partnership in front of Lewis Cottrill and Jack Duffy continues to excel on the right side. Tyrone Borland took his chance on the left with Adam Reece not being there and was faultless along with the rest of the back four. What this done was give Smithswood’s attacking players the freedom to have a go at Alcester Town, especially in the second half.
Ashley Weeks, Curtis Thomas, Nathan Leek and Aaron Anderson were fantastic in the midfield as between them they covered numerous formations during the game and no matter which one they were playing, they were still able to dominate possession and create chances for each other and the front two.
Any small chance Alcester had of getting back into the game was over a minute into the second half. Danny Charlton pressured their defender at the back and won the ball off him and calmly slotted the ball past the keeper to get the goal his play has deserved over the past few games.
Paul Ryder only had two outfield substitutes in Anthony Short and Lee Sayer but they both made an impact in the last twenty minutes. Lee Sayer scored a great team goal as Sam Hulme wrong footed two defenders with a back heel to put Sayer clear and he hit an early shot across the keeper into the bottom corner. Both Sayer and Hulme were involved again in the seventh goal as they played a great one two in the box and laid the ball across the goal for Anthony Short who just managed to beat their defender to the ball.
Lee Sayer saved the best goal for last though as he picked the ball up on the right. He looked to go one way and switched the ball to his left foot and bent a curling shot into the top corner leaving the keeper no chance. He scored an identical goal at the other end in last seasons game so certainly likes playing on this pitch.
Sam Hulme and Danny Charlton also looked to have a great understanding in their first game together up top together. The inter-play between the two and the way they linked up with the midfield was exceptional and only bodes well for the rest of the season. Man of the match was a tough decision as everyone was exceptional but it was given to Danny Charlton who scored one and got an assist but was pivotal in Smithswood’s attacking play. I don’t think anyone could have argued though if any other player had been given it as they were simply exceptional as individuals but even better as a team.
That win keeps Smithswood Firs top of the table with a game in hand over second. Next week sees us back at home as we host Henley Forest of Arden in the County Cup. As it is a Cup game kick off will be 2pm in case it goes to extra time