The UNITS travelled to Halesowen to take on Taverners in their 2nd league game. Cuzer had 16 to choose from this week and we lined up with Tom, DJ, Gilo, Taylor (c) Millette, Baker, Azza, Ashton, Coco, Pountney and Seeks. Bench was Kieran P, Si Hollick Acer, Trigger and Jim.
Taverners like the UNITS recorded a good opening day victory so we expected a tough test. The UNITS started brightly, we were passing the ball well but clear chances were at a premium for both sides. On 15 minutes we were within a whisker of taking the lead when some slick football down our right flank resulted in DJ and Ashton exchanging passes with DJ beating his man in the box and rifling a left foot effort off the post with the keeper well beaten. Azza was next to threaten when again after some nice build up play he rifled in a 20 yard shot which flashed inches wide. At the other end Taylor and Millette were keeping the Taverners forwards quiet and Tom was untested bar one 25 yarder which he gathered comfortably. On 30 minutes again we went close when Ashton played the ball wide to Coco who slipped in Seeks who fired over on his favoured left foot from 10 yards out.
The UNITS were in the middle of a purple patch and were peppering the Taverners 18 yard box and the goal finally came on 40 minutes when Coco whipped in a delightful ball and DJ who had carried on his run into the box headed the ball goal wards only to see the Taverners keeper pull off a fine save pushing the ball onto the bar and it bouncing over. However, from the resulting corner Taylor did well to head Coco's corner back across the box and Pountney was on hand to poke the ball home from 6 yards out. There was still time for the UNITS to almost have the luxury of a second goal when on half time Pountney dragged his shot wide from a good position.
HT Taverners 0 v 1 TS UNITS FC
Cuzer again was pleased with the first half display; we were in control of the game and just needed to be a bit more clinical in the final third. Taverners matched up our shape 2nd half yet it was still the UNITS who were in the ascendency. Coco cut inside on 50 minutes and shot low from inside the box yet it was a routine save for their keeper and then Seekings did similar from the angle and again the keeper saved well, pushing the ball around the post. Pountney then volleyed over at the back stick from another Coco cross yet that was to be his last contribution, having picked up a knock in the first half and he was replaced by Jim on the hour mark. We were still defending well, Taverners had one opportunity when the UNITS were guilty of over playing and Taverners had a man over however his shot from the edge of the box was poor and Tom saved comfortably.
The UNITS thought they had the elusive 2nd goal on 70 minutes when Seeks did well down the left, crossed low for the on-rushing Jim who poked the ball goal wards, the keeper saved with his feet at the near post yet the UNITS went up as one as the ball appeared to be over the line but the referee waved play on. Paul Taylor was called upon to make a great block in the box on 75 minutes after a corner was half cleared as we kept Taverners from creating clear chances. Acer and Trigger then replaced Seeks and Coco with 10 minutes left. Trigger immediately won a free kick 25 yards out and Azza stepped up to bend in a left foot effort where the Taverners keeper made another great save, this time pushing the ball onto the angle of post and bar.
The UNITS saw out the remaining minutes without any alarms and recorded another clean sheet and another 3 points in a game we could have made more comfortable but ultimately deserved the victory.
Man of the match went to Ashton who was superb playing in the hole and was at the heart of the majority of our best moves.
Next up we take on Stourbridge Rangers who despite a poor start by their standards will no doubt pose another stiff challenge.