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

The UNITS were once again moved off their "home" pitch at Brown Westhead as we took on SPR in the league
Cuzer had the rarity of 16 to choose from and lined up
Mike, 2-ton, Danny, John H, Taylor, Baker, Ashton, Coco, Acer, Pountney & Hunter
Bench was Ginge, Ross, Kieron P, Eggy & Chinner

The pitch as you would expect was extremely heavy after constant rain for days but was more than playable. SPR who declined the opportunity of a double header turned up with 16 and on the back of a good 4-4 draw with Gornal so the UNITS were under no illusions they were in for a tough match

SPR must be the biggest side in the division with at least 7 of their team towering over 6ft 3" and they put the UNITS under pressure early with some high balls into our box which we dealt with well
We settled well and started to get on top yet on 10 minutes Danny Giles switched off from a quick throw, conceding a free kick some 30 yards out. SPR fooled everybody with a low free kick into the danger zone and in stretching to clear John could only divert past Mike as we fell behind

However we were only behind for 3 minutes when we scored a lovely equaliser when some slick passing released Pountney who beat the full back before whipping in a lovely cross which Hunter did well to beat his man in the air and head down into the bottom corner

We were now on top, Pountney got in behind and their keeper saved at his feet on the edge of the box, Hunter first to the loose ball dancing round two challenges before dragging his shot inches wide after beating the covering defenders on the line

However on 20 minutes we conceded another soft goal when a long throw was headed clear by Taylor the ball was helped back in this time Baker guilty of ball watching as the ball found its way all the way to the SPR wide player who crossed to their striker who had a yard on all of the UNITS defence and he slid the ball home from 6 yards, despite Mike almost saving on the line

On 25 we got level though when Coco whipped in a fine corner and Ashton rose highest to power a header home from 10 yards to make it 2-2

SPR we're competing for every ball but the UNITS were enjoying their best spell, Pountney and Acer now going close as we started to get on top and sure enough on 35 minutes we got in front for the first time
Despite the size of SPR it was another corner from which the UNITS profited, Taylor having a header blocked on the line at the far post yet managing to scramble the ball home from a tight angle

Shortly after the goal Coco had to come off with a knock to the knee, Ginge coming on with Pountney going wide

Half Time TS UNITS 3 v 2 SPR

Cuzer said to the boys to win this game they would have to grind it out. You could see why SPR had some good results of late, they were a very strong committed side and the UNITS had to stand up to everything they would no doubt throw at us in the 2nd 45

Sure enough the pattern of the 2nd half was pretty much set in the opening exchanges, SPR were generally in the ascendency yet it was the UNITS creating the clearer chances on the counter

Twice Pountney was released and on both times he cut inside the full back and curled shots over the upright from just inside the box
At the other end a routine ball forward was missed by Danny with their striker getting away only to be denied by Mike in a one on one

In general the UNITS were standing up to everything SPR threw at them and the UNITS came close to extending the lead when Hunter skipped past two challenges and had a low shot from 18 yards clawed away by the keeper when the shot looked destined for the bottom corner

On the hour mark Pountney who had picked up a knock was replaced by Ross in a straight swap

The game was now end to end and clearly the next goal was crucial and would kill the game for us, if we could get it

With 20 left Chinner replaced Danny at left back who had also picked up a knock

On 80 minutes the UNITS really should have secured the 3 points when from a poor clearance by the keeper Ginge found himself clear, with plenty of time he steadied himself only to curl the ball wide of the post from 12 yards
To add insult to injury a minute later and similar to last week v Hagley we were punished immediately when their striker got a yard the other side of John, held off the challenge and beat Mike at his near post from 12 yards

With the game at 3-3 both sides fancied a winner yet the UNITS finished slightly stronger, Acer getting in behind twice down the flank but the final ball was lacking with strikers in the box & Chinner hitting the outside of the post and bar but the SPR keeper had the cross come shot covered

All in all a great game I'm sure for the neutral but disappointing we couldn't hold on for a valuable 3 points. Credit however to SPR who were streets ahead of the side I watched pre xmas, strong, physical and committed, sides will have to be at their best to get results off them if they keep that squad together

Man of the match went to Paul Taylor who's aerial ability was invaluable at the back as we were asked a lot of questions

Next up we're at home to Enville Athletic in the league


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