STC hoped to better the 0-0 draw played out between the 2 sides earlier in the year, on what looked like a dodgy looking pitch at best. Roberts still hanging from the previous night, Slim returning after 8 weeks and Gavin arriving in shorts……… Gok’s advice for others clearly doesn’t extend to his self.
A strong looking STC side started the brighter and deservedly took the lead. Scotty floated over a perfectly weighted free kick into the box which was met by Justin to head home. After a double take, it was confirmed that Justin has indeed scored a header, which he confirmed in bar later was a first since the times of the Rubic Cube and WHAM.
Sanatogen started to come back into it with some meaningful breaks, only hampered by their centre forward being caught offside more times than I’m sure he will care to admit.
30 minutes in, and Sanatogen were back in it with a dubious penalty at best, and that’s a stretch. Steve Cousins was adjudged to have handballed in the box following a corner. Despite protestations from us all and Slim flagging like a deranged orangutan on the line, the ref waived all away and Jordan failed to keep up his fantastic record of penalty saves. 1-1
The remainder of the half was petering out before Justin burst into the box before being upended, stone wall penalty. Up steps the unlikeliest of penalty takers with a 100% record, and boom, smashed into the roof of the net by Shaun who moved level with Sheggs on 4 for the season, although Sheggs later claimed in the bar he had 7 or 8. Bollox Sheggs you have 4, you just need to shoot straight.
A few half chances were squandered by both teams and Sheggs should have done better with a free header at the back post, and with their number 9 causing problems, albeit namely through his elbows, half time and 2-1 to STC.
The second half brought a tactical change from STC, with Scott being tasked to track and staunch Mr Elbow, sorry the Sanatogen forward and it also brought the return of Slim after 8 weeks out replacing, the still looking rough, Roberts.
The second half quickly became a scrappy affair with the pitch no resembling the Somme in some parts, but STC still were trying to play and were linking up well and Scott doing a great job of tracking their most influential player, often ending up sliding in to make a challenge. The more worrying thing was how happy he looked rolling around in the mud with another grown man…… Deano might have competition.
After some slack defending the ball dropped nicely for Slim who hit the post with a snap shot drive, that looked to be in and shortly after, with Roberts back on for Phil (I wish I kept my mouth shut for the first 20 mins of the Rugby last week), put in a great teasing cross that just eluded Slims diving lunge for Sheggs to slice wide… AGAIN. Sheggs, this is why you only have 4 this season.
With the pitch getting worse, some late and dodgy tackles started flying in, some of which were a little naughty, but this was more to do with the pitch and clumsiness rather than malice.
Chances were few and far between now, although Rob did put in a fantastic challenge in the box following a Sanatogen free kick. Justin hot the bar with a corner which he swears was intended.
With a few minutes left, our hearts were in our mouths when Sanatogen put the ball in the net. A speculative long ball looked no danger until Steve was manhandled over and their forward headed past Jordan who slip over, got up, slipped again and then still couldn’t manage to stop the ball pee rolling over the line. After what felt like an age, the ref rightly blew the whistle for the foul on Steve and the score remained 2-1 which is how it stayed until the end of the game.
A good win, in an albeit sometimes scrappy, but hard fought victory on what can only be described as mud bath of a pitch.
Man of the match was a toss-up between the ever improving Rob Freeman and the evergreen Scott Dolby. And the winner was Scott. Well played and not a bad effort I might add when it turns put their forward was 29.
At home next week lads against a strong Farnborough old Boys side.