Away league match played on 24 February 2013.
Kicked off at 10:45 AM

The UNITS made the trip to Garden Walk to take on high flyers Gornal with some key players unavailable
Hunter, Pountney, 2-ton & Ashton were all not involved however we welcomed back Barney from his jaunt down under and the re-signed Si Hollick to the squad
Cuzer shuffled the pack and played a wing back system as we lined up
Mike, Chinner, Gilo, Taylor, Barney, Eggy, Newton, Coco, Baker, Ginge & Acer
Subs were Si, Ross, Kieron P and Darbs

The pitch just about passed an inspection with the referee saying he would give it the first 15 minutes to see how it played, hardly ideal

The UNITS almost snatched the lead within 2 minutes when Coco released Acer with a good ball, Acer couldn't get the ball fully under control and had his scuffed shot blocked by the Gornal keeper, he headed the rebound goalwards with the keeper scrambling back to claw the ball off the line, possibly over but nobody was close enough to over rule and a chance to be 1-0 up went begging

The lads were sent out with clear instructions on how they were expected to play and we were looking very solid in our shape. Gornal have some quality throughout their team yet Mike remained largely untested for the opening 15 minutes as we competed well and we always looked lively on the break

Gornal were playing a high line and time and time again we got in behind them only to be denied by a close call offside decision, slightly better decision making was all that was required from the UNITS to carve them open

Mike made two routine saves from the edge of the area as we continued to frustrate Gornal and get our own game going, like us Gornal were playing on the last man and were caught offisde by a well organised UNITS back line

From a quick UNITS break Ginge had a shot blocked inside the area after a fine solo mazy run as it seemed the sides would come in goal less at half time

However, on 40 minutes it was the home side that took the lead, with the UNITS deep in Gornal territory a punted clearance evaded everybody resulting in their striker getting in behind the UNITS back line, Mike came out to challenge some 20 yards out only for the block tackle to ricochet in favour of the Gornal striker who had the easy task of rolling the ball into an empty net

Mike took a blow to the foot in the challenge and needed lengthy treatment before we could get under way again and continued to struggle throughout the game, testament to him for carrying on

Half Time Gornal 1 v 0 TS UNITS

Cuzer was pleased with how we were doing, we just needed to be a little smarter in their final 3rd with our approach and chances would come

The 2nd half got under way and Gornal we're pushing for the killer 2nd goal yet the UNITS back line marshalled by the impressive Taylor was keeping Gornal at bay whilst at the other end the excellent work rate of Ginge and Acer was asking questions of the Gornal back line
The pitch was now heavy and it became a battle in the middle of the park but one we were standing up to with our 3 giving Gornal no time on the ball

The UNITS had two gilt edge chances to level things up just before the hour mark, firstly after some good approach play Coco played Ginge in behind their centre half, some 12 yards out on the angle Ginge had the keeper beat all ends up but could only drag his shot wide of the far post, a real chance

Moments later Coco whipped in a delightful corner and Acer found himself unmarked some 6 yards out yet could only glance his header wide when any meaningful contact would surely have resulted in a goal

On 65 minutes Gornal got their elusive 2nd goal and not without controversy. Taylor made a fine challenge on the edge of the 18 yard box with the ball being won and cleared some 30 or so yards up the pitch yet amazingly the referee pointed to the spot for the challenge, a decision which baffled all, the Gornal player making no mistake from the spot

The UNITS felt deflated after such a poor decision undone the hard work they were putting in and we were lucky not to fall 3 behind when in a 10 minute spell Gornal blazed over the bar on three occasions when they really should have done better

Acer had a decent chance to get us back in it when he controlled well on the edge of the 18 yard box, turned his man but snatched at his shot firing well over from a good position

That was to be his last contribution of the morning as Si replaced Acer and Ross replaced Eggy as Cuzer shuffled the shape as we tried to find a way back into the game

Our lifeline duly arrived on 80 minutes when Ginge had a shot saved at his feet by the Gornal keeper, the loose ball found it's way to Baker some 30 yards out who again played the ball into Ginge who skipped over one challenge and went to stroke the ball home before he was clattered from behind resulting in a penalty
Having missed their last two spot kicks the pressure was on Taylor but he made no mistake from the spot and the UNITS had 10 minutes to try and snatch at least a point

Kieron then replaced the tiring strap who had a fine game on his long overdue return to the starting line up

The game now resembled a basketball game with both sides having chances, Mike made a good low save and Gornal missed another good chance as the UNITS now were throwing caution to the wind at the back

At the other end Coco whipped in a lovely free kick which Taylor rose highest only to head straight at the keeper from 8 yards, Ross then controlled and volleyed goalward from 25 yards again the keeper saved

In the end time ran out and despite a spirited performance the UNITS went down 2-1

Never an easy place to go Gornal, you know what you're going to get up there but we stood up to everything and imposed ourselves on the game, couldn't fault any of the lads for their effort or commitment and on another day we could easily of got a point if not more

Man of the match went to Barney who despite having 6 months plus without a game was really thrown into the lions den and came through superbly, defending well and not giving an inch all game.



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