The UNITS semi-final against WCT was off again due to pitches in Worcester being deemed unplayable by the council but we had a league game scheduled against league leaders Wall Heath so that went ahead. It was good to see the council had got off their 'arris's and spiked the pitch so it wasn't in too bad a condition despite all the rain we continued to have. Cuzer was dealt a blow pre-game with Sean picking up an injury at work and with him and DJ absent two of the regular back four were missing as we had to shuffle things about. We lined up Tom, Chinner, Gilo, Ben, Taylor, Baker, Ashton, Coco, Pountney, Seeks and Azza. Subs were Dan Butler, Jim, Newt, Kie Watters and the returning Si Hollick.
Wall Heath came as league leaders and we knew it would be a tough game yet the lads were well versed pre game of how we wanted to play and the UNITS were right on it from the off, forcing WH back as we quickly got the upper hand. Seeks had a great chance on 10 minutes when played in by Coco but when through he shot just wide with the keeper beaten. Baker then had a 25 yarder deflected wide and Chinner couldn't get enough of a touch on Seeks low cross with the goal gaping as the UNITS looked to get in front. Wall Heath carry a goal threat yet Ben was playing out of his skin as make shift centre half and all the back four were solid meaning Tom was a spectator. Surprisingly with WH's keeper being a giant he was struggling with Tayl's long throw and on 25 minutes he palmed away a throw straight to Azza who from 15 yards on his favoured left foot could only slice wide from a good position.
The UNITS were well on top but the opening goal on 35 minutes came with a bit of assistance from the WH defence when their full back under pressure from Coco he played a back pass to their keeper but Azza was on to it in a flash, rounded the keeper and from a tight angle supplied a great finish into the empty net to give the UNITS a well-deserved 1-0 lead. We pushed hard for a 2nd before half time and one scramble from a corner almost resulted in the 2nd goal but the UNITS came in at half time 1-0 up with Tom in the home goal not having a shot to save such was our dominance.
HT UNITS 1 v 0 Wall Heath PA
Cuzer was delighted with the first half effort, everything we spoke about pre game was being uted and everybody was working hard. Darbs reminded the boys we've took our foot off the gas at the start of the second half of late and we couldn't do that today. Credit to the lads they took those words on board as for the opening 15 minutes of the half we tore into WH and could have had a hatful. First seeks was free in the box and could only shoot at the keeper from 10 yards, then from a Coco corner Taylor headed against the angle of post and bar from 6 yards with the keeper well beaten. We kept coming, Azza spun and slid in Seeks who shot low from 15 yards only for the keeper to make a superb save low down to his left to push the ball wide for a corner and Ashton was inches away with a 20 yard shot with the keeper beaten.
On the hour mark we did get the elusive 2nd, Coco skinned the full back and slid in a superb low cross which Seeks tapped home from 6 yards to put the rampant UNITS 2-0 to the good and all looked well. Wall Heath were down and out at this point but from nowhere some 5 minutes later with their first attempt on target they pulled a goal back, it was a deep, back post corner and their forward DJ, hardly a man mountain, was afforded a free header in the 6 yard box due to UNITS sloppy marking and he made no mistake. This was a real life line for WH and the momentum of the game completely changed in the next 15 minutes as the visitors now were the more dominant side.
Cuzer replaced Chinner with Newt's, Pountney dropping to full back as Dan Butler had mysteriously vanished from the side that would have been the like for like replacement. With WH now playing 4-3-3 and throwing caution to the wind they were asking all the questions, thankfully we defended well and Tom made a routine save from a 20 yard effort and then from a good WH move their midfielder side footed wide from the edge of the box when he really should have tested the keeper. With 15 left Cuzer brought on Kie Watters for Azza quickly followed by Jim for Coco as we needed to hang on to what we had. WH kept coming but the back four once more marshalled by the excellent Taylor kept clear chances at bay. On the break we had a good couple of chances to wrap up the game, Ashton fired wide from the edge of the box and from a Seeks throw Kie Watters had a header scrambled off the line by the visiting full back. The Ref added 4 minutes injury time on which made for a nervy end but the UNITS held on for a superb 3 points against the league leaders, closing the gap to 4 points with 6 games in hand.
For 60 minutes we were top notch today but credit to Wall Heath who were given a life line and made the most of it and pushed hard for an equaliser but over the 90 we got the result our football deserved.
Man of the match went to Ben Cohen, who stepped in at centre half and kept the dangerous WH frontline at bay.
Next up the UNITS take on another testing league game as we travel to Hare & Hounds.