Chucky Pad Warriors 2 – 6 Sabden

MATCH REPORT
Chucky Pad Warriors 2 – 6 Sabden

TREACLE MINERS REGISTER TITLE INTENT
A third league win in a row saw Sabden climb to third in the table after another emphatic away day victory over the fantastically named Chucky Pad Warriors.

Although the entire squad was suffering from a beer virus, matters started well with a goal inside the opening 3 minutes. Sabden won a throw on the left, and Zac Ashworth hurled one of his leather missiles into the home side`s box. Jack Birkett rose to challenge and the ball flew into the top right corner of the net. Whilst technically coming off the defender`s head for an own goal, without Birkett`s challenge the ball would have been easily cleared – so Jack is fully deserving of being credited with his first goal of the campaign!

The Warriors tried to take the game to Sabden, but excellent positioning from the ever-dependable Adam Fuller and stoic defending from Birkett and Ben Dewhurst in the centre meant that Sabden keeper Nick Galea could have spent the first half composing his next hit single – he was almost totally redundant.On 28 minutes, Sabden`s youngest player, 17 year old Michael Hickey had a chance to put his name in lights, but his 18 yard drive, whilst beating the outstretched hand of the Chucky Pad keeper also curled agonisingly wide of the right hand post. However, just after the half hour, the irrepressible David Fallon got his name on the score-sheet, taking advantage of a woeful piece of home defending to slide the ball into the right hand corner of the net.Half time arrived with Sabden`s 2-0 advantage intact, and looking to be heading for a comfortable win, with perhaps the luxury of a clean sheet for Nick Galea to savour! Somewhat to the annoyance of Galea and his manager, Sabden contrived to gift the softest of goals to let their opponents back into the contest. Several chances to clear the ball were spurned and the ball was eventually thumped into the net from close range.Galvanised by the potential setback, Sabden dug in again and tried to get a foothold in the match. Right midfield man Joe Keane was starting to link up nicely with the front two and Jason Bates put in a number of shuddering challenges to win the ball back for his team.Shortly before the hour mark, Sabden restored their two goal advantage, with what turned out to be a landmark goal. Darting on to a through ball from midfield, Fallon burst into the area, deftly took the ball around the keeper and poked the ball into an empty net. It was a simple yet personally important goal for the striker, having now hit the first milestone set of him by the manager. Come in number nine, say va-va-voom to number fourteen!

Fallon then demonstrated he is not all about goals. Sabden won a corner on the right. Rather than wait for players to get organised, Fallon swung a quick corner into the six yard box. It turned out to be a sound choice as Ashworth leapt above his marker and powered the ball into the net; 4 – 1 and game safe!

Oooosh! Ashworth buries his header from a Fallon corner

Whilst Warriors` early season form has not been good, their strong point has been that they do seem to know where the net is, having scored twelve goals in their last two games. This was evident five minutes after Sabden`s fourth goal, as a toe-poked shot on the turn from 22 yards arrowed into the top right corner, with Nick Galea helpless to intervene.

Despite this setback, Sabden`s superior fitness levels (despite the consumption of vast quantities of alcohol only 12 hours previously) were beginning to tell. Fuller and Graves were finding themselves in acres of room in midfield and Joe Keane was giving his marker nightmares on the right. Those nightmares became reality for the Warriors` left back when, with about 12 minutes to play, Keane cut inside onto his normally weaker left foot and smashed in a beauty from 20 yards, which arced into the corner.

With time running out, Sabden hit Warriors with a sucker punch, turning defence into attack in the blink of an eye. Zac Ashworth, from the edge of his own penalty area, ran the length of the field with the ball before belting it past the Chucky Pad keeper for the final goal of the afternoon.

Having secured a fine win, the news filtered through that the top two teams in the division had both been beaten; and so it is official – Title Challenge On !!!