Home league match played on 19 March 2017.
Kicked off at 11:00 AM

Today we faced Shafts Youth a team who in 2 seasons we have failed to beat, a game in which if we could take all 3 points we would only need another solitary point from our remaining 4 league games to be crowned champions for the second successive season. The atmosphere in the changing room was different to other weeks everyone seemed focused and in a quiet sort of manner…extremely up for it! Indeed even management were totally focused a good 10 minute talk about how to line up occurred, perfect preparation before the team was named. A change to our normal formation we lined up very strong with a line up aimed at keeping us tight but still having the ability to attack with numbers, and from the off it worked, a poor low early corner from Curran was aimed in and as the ball broke Smith intelligently played it back out to Curran wide and his cross this time was perfect as it was met by Hamm who’s chance just went over the bar. Dave Leslie won a crunching challenge then Curran won a huge tackle in the middle of the park which pumped us up even more, the ball was fed to Hamm who in turn fed Hardman who was cynically fouled, Smith from the resulting free kick hit a beauty which there keeper superbly saved. Chances were coming and you could sense a goal was on the way, some superb link up between the 3 forwards saw Hardman feed Jimbob who superbly played in Hamm who rifled a sweet low effort past the keeper to deservedly send us 1-0 up. We again ploughed forward, Hamm had a header clawed away and then a messy scramble inside the box resulted in Matthew Easterbrook scraping it over the line to send the home fans berserk 2-0. We was playing superb, simple football and relentless harrying of the opposition it was a joy to watch, The defence marshalled by Easterbrook, O’Donnell, Edge and Yates were like the great wall of China stopping anything that aimed to get past them. In midfield the 3 of Curran, Smith and Leslie were totally dominant all 3 have been huge for us this year and today was one of the best performances the 3 have collectively put in together. Upfront Hamm, Hardman and Thomas were like them pesky mosquito’s u get on holiday forever round u never giving you a moments peace. Stu Hardman simplified the ethic in the team today playing in a wider position he tracked back time and time again and it was his tireless work which created an opportunity for Jimbob who’s effort was saved. Half time Kieran Hamm had took a nasty twist to the ankle in the first but such was the impact he was having on the game we decided to give him some time to see if it recovered but only 3 minutes into the second half he went in for another challenge and struggled to get back up, Liam Rose entered the fray in his place. We had the wind advantage the second half and it helped with our third goal, just past the half way line Ryan Smith collected the ball and noticing the keeper way off his line hit a stunning effort which sailed high over the keeper and nestled in the net to send everyone wild…beautiful goal 3-0. Dave Leslie was on a mission to stifle out everything and he won a number of tackles on the bounce and played thru edge on the left who’s effort just went wide, seconds later another huge tackle from Curran had the home support screaming with approval……Shafts looked shocked and scared, we had them, they finally seen the real Dell Fc. A corner was won and Curran hit it right on the button between keeper and penalty spot and that man who just can’t stop scoring lately Matthew Easterbrook met with a great header to send us 4-0 up, with half an hour to go things were looking rosey, while we are on about Rosey he had our next chance as after being put intelligently thru by Leslie he just missed the bottom corner. Jimbob made way for Lennon after busting a gut for 65 minutes, unfortunately Shafts then pulled a goal back as a mistake cost us a clean sheet as Jason slipped on the line allowing there striker to fire it past him. A number of changes were made to see us kill the game off Hardman made way for Briggs and Machin replaced Smith, shortly after Dan Poval came on in place of Sam Yates all around the 75 minute mark. We tightened the screws on Shafts and looked to kill the game off in its entirety. With seconds left on the clock Leslie continued his tireless work rate by chasing down ball after ball, the ball broke to Curran and he hit a superb Crossfield ball which split the Shafts defence in half and was met brilliantly by Lennon who rounded the keeper and as he fired into the empty net the referee inexplicably blew his whistle as the ball was inches from crossing the line??? Shocker but as we was 4-1 up lads could see the funny side…well apart from Lennon and Curran! Stunning performance from everyone involved today, everything just clicked and Shafts now know what we can do when we are on our game, our nearest challenges blown out of the way in devastating fashion, 1 more point and we will become Champions again. Before we can get that solitary point Telegraph await in the Tony Smith Cup Final, we can’t rest yet, the double is what we want another performance like this will give us a great chance of achieving it.

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