Away league match played on 20 November 2011.
Kicked off at 10:45 AM

The UNITS took on runaway league leaders Gornall this morning at a fog drenched and boggy Garden Walk stadium

Gornall have been ripping up the division so far and with the UNITS having a couple of off colour games in the previous 2 weeks a tough morning ahead was clearly on the cards

Cuzer shuffled the pack and formation this morning bringing Lacey back in at the expense of the benched Chinner, new signing James Ashton came in for Marcus with Paul Taylor going up top

The UNITS were told of their jobs and how we wanted our tactical shape to work and after a fairly solid first 10 minutes we allowed Gornal to take the lead from a bit of poor defending when from a Gornal corner we only half cleared and from the ball back in we switched off as their left winger was left clear to cross low for the Gornal striker to sidefoot home from 2 yards out

It was important we didn't crumble and credit to the UNITS we dug in and started to impose ourselves on the game, from one mix up their forward raced clear only to sidefoot straight at Mala but that apart Gornal's chances has dried up as we gave them no time on the ball

The UNITS came close to levelling up on the half hour mark when from a corner Darbs has a low shot blocked on the line as cracks in the Gornal back line started to show. Shortly after Pountney did well to cut insdie and shoot with power from 25 yards which the Gornal keeper did well to push around the post at full stretch
James Ashton was having a fine debut and after some good work from him Taylor fired over from 25 yards as the UNITS ended the half in the ascendency but we came in 1-0

The half time team talk was very much more of the same, take out the moment we switched off from the corner and we had restricted Gornal due to our shape and work rate and on the counter was starting to ask questions and were very much in the game

Early in the 2nd half Pountney was starting to get a lot of joy in behind the full back and the UNITS forced a couple of corners from which one Darbs had another effort on goal blocked as we came close to making things level

Alas just before the hour mark from a long Gornal goal kick Kirbs took a touch and allowed the nippy striker to pick up the 2nd ball, as he accelerated towards our box Kirbs brought down the striker 25 yards out and from the resulting free kick the Gornal midfielder bent a beautiful free kick over the wall and into the top corner giving Mala no chance

It was harsh on the UNITS as for all Gornal's quality we were very much in the game and competitive

Credit to us only 5 minutes later after good play between Ashton and Pountney Ashton was brought down by the byeline and Pountney whipped in a low free kick which took a touch off the stretching defender and nestled in the bottom corner to get us back in the match

This was clearly not in Gornal's gameplan as they were now getting wound up, going front to back quickly and this played into our hands as we really started to get at them, 10 minutes later and we were level after more good work down our left the ball was fed into Pountney who lost his footing but still had enough to poke the ball square to Taylor who sidefooted home from 6 yards to make it 2-2

We almost took the lead shortly after when from another attack their keeper headed clear and the ball fell to Coco 30 yards out who lobbed towards the open goal only for the covering Gornal centre half to head off the line before hacking clear. The other Gornal centre half then did excellently to make a goal saving tackle on Jim who was about to sidefoot into an empty net from 6 yards after good work from Coco

Shortly after Jonah replaced Coco in a like for like swap

With 15 remaining it was Gornal's turn to up the anti as they had a good spell, one shot from the edge of the box was saw over by Mala then their wide player got in behind as the flag stayed down and Lacey did exceptionally well to just do enough to ensure the Gornal wideman fired over from 12 yards

Marcus then replaced Taylor for the last 15 with Tayl's really warming to the frontman role as the game went on

Back up the other end Darbs yet again went close with the ball trickling past the wrong side of the post with the keeper beaten. There was just time in injury time for substitute Chinner to fire a 30 yard ball into Marcus who released Jonah, he got in behind the Gornal full back and fired across goal with Pountney just a whisker away from a back post tap in

Full Time Gornal Wood 2 v TS UNITS 2

An excellent point for the UNITS against a side who will take some stopping in winning the division but we gave them a proper game today and every player can be extremely proud of their performance

Man of the match could have been one of five or six but went to Chris Darby who was excellent at centre half after a couple of off colour weeks by his high standards

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