Home league match played on 10 November 2013.
Kicked off at 10:45 AM

The UNITS finally returned to league action as we took on Station at Brown Westhead. Again Cuzer had numerous players unavailable due to injury and absence but we welcomed Dan Butler into the squad for the first time and both Jim and Ginge returned from injury as we lined up:  Tom, DJ, Gilo, Taylor, Millette, Newt, Jim, Coco, Pountney, Acer and Seeks. Subs were Ginge, Trigger, Dan Butler, Chinner, Barney.

Pre-game we were a shambles, nets took an age to put up, people were late arriving and we made it out onto the pitch 10 minutes before kick-off, not how we normally do things and not something I'd expect to see again in fairness. As expected Station flooded the midfield and left an isolated Godfrey up front as they sat deep and tried to give the UNITS no time on the ball or space in behind from the off. We started like our approach pre game, lethargic, yet it was still all one way traffic but clear chances were at a premium. Pountney pulled up injured early on and was replaced by Ginge on 10 minutes for his first action of the season. The first clear chance came after 15 minutes when Coco and Gilo combined to release Seeks who got away from the centre half and opened up his body and shot across the keeper right footed only for the ball to drift wide of the far post. Acer was then in the thick of it as first he headed over from a DJ free kick and then from a Coco corner he missed a free header in the 6 yard box when he should have hit the target at least, his next contribution was to land awkwardly when challenging for a header and had to be replaced by Trigger.

As the half wore on it became wave after wave of attacks as Station had not yet had an attempt on goal, in the space of 10 minutes Seeks had 3 shots from the edge of the area and he failed to hit the target on each occasion as he dragged his shots wide of the post when normally he would have worked the keeper at least. It was then the turn of DJ who weaved his way into the box made a yard of space but could only scuff his shot straight at the keeper when well placed. On 40 minutes the breakthrough finally came and what a goal it was, Newt's won the ball deep inside the UNITS half and drove forward through midfield, he skipped past a couple of challenges and continued forward, beat another defender 30 yards out then checked onto his right foot before finishing into the bottom corner from 20 yards out, a superb solo goal and the UNITS perseverance finally paid off. A second before half time almost came when from two corners we forced Station to scramble clear in their own 6 yard box but the UNITS came in 1-0 up at HT.

HT UNITS 1 v 0 Station

Cuzer asked the guys to be aware of Stations one and only threat, the ball down the middle and to try and be a little more clinical in the final third as for all our dominance clear chances were hard to come by with Station having so many men behind the ball. The 2nd half just carried the same pattern, Seeks worked his way into the box on 50 minutes and dragged his shot wide from 15 yards, then from a great Seeks run and cross Ginge was all alone in the 6 yard box and tried to take a touch when any diversion on the cross would surely have resulted in a goal, the touch was heavy and the Station keeper pounced on the loose ball. Seeks then rattled the crossbar with a 30 yard free kick and then from a 25 yard screamer the keeper got the faintest of touches as the ball cannoned again off the crossbar, the rebound falling to Trigger who's sweetly struck volley was straight at the keeper, a yard either side and it's 2-0.

The UNITS then planned to bring on Azza for Jim who had picked up a knock only for an oversight to mean Azza wasn't named amongst the subs so we had to shelve that and Jim soldiered on as was. The longer it stayed 1-0 the more edgy you became, one of Stations players commented on 70 minutes they had not had a shot on goal in the whole game but on 72 minutes that all changed when from a UNITS attack the Station centre half hoofed clear from the edge of his box, Russ Godfrey challenged with Tayl's and picked up the loose ball, raced into the box and finished superbly into the bottom corner past Tom, all that dominance, all those chances and we were pegged back. 2 minutes later it could have been worse when in a carbon copy lump down field this time Russ got away from Sean as we had piled forward and Tom pulled off a fine save palming the ball wide for a corner.

The last 10 minutes were like the Alamo and the Station keeper pulled of some remarkable saves, the pick was off Newts who drilled the ball goal wards from 8 yards out and he pushed the ball round the post as it came through a crowd of players. From the resulting corner Tayl's climbed highest and looped his header over the keeper and it looked the winning goal all the way only for the recovering Station defender to head off the line from under the bar and away for another corner. There was still time for Jim to be clipped form behind in the box but despite loud penalty claims the referee was having none of it as the UNITS had to settle for one point when it really should have been all three.

Credit to Station no team in this league makes it easy for you and they didn't today, we were sloppy and lethargic pre-game and we took this onto the pitch, that can't happen again if we want to have a successful season so we all need to buck our ideas up on that front. Ultimately just one of those days but a disappointing two points dropped when we were already behind the pace due to our on-going cup fixtures.

Man of the match goes to Paul Newton who put in an energetic display in the middle of the park and scored a wonderful solo goal.

Next up we travel to fellow Div 1 side West Hagley in the League Cup.

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