Sabden 2 – 4 Glory (League)

Sabden 2 – 4 Glory


The day began with high hopes of re-igniting the title challenge. However, the match, watched by an excellent crowd, ended in disappointment as Sabden slumped to a 4 – 2 home defeat despite having twice taken the lead.

I do not believe in dwelling on negatives, because week in and week out, the Sabden boys have shown great effort, burning desire, steadfast togetherness and, at times, quite breathtaking ability. It would therefore be utterly wrong and churlish to make criticisms when, just for once, these admirable attributes start to desert them

Mother Nature had tried her best over the preceeding 24 hours to render the game unplayable. Credit must be given to our groundsman (and peerless central defender) Jack Birkett for toiling with his fork to get the match played. Nonetheless, the heavy ground did not lend itself to Barcelona style football and both sides struggled at times to keep their feet; particularly in the flanks.

Zac Ash (10) lets fly but the ball just clears the bar

Sabden did try to test the Glory keeper on a number of occasions, but the efforts were mainly from distance and mainly off target. Ball girl, Eliza Fielding, made several sorties into various gardens to retrieve balls – apologies to our near neighbours; we will work on long-shots in training next week!

However, it was from distance that Sabden broke the deadlock. On 26 minutes, Tom Connell, once again chosen in the left midfield berth, battled valiantly to win a ball on the edge of Glory`s box. He laid the ball back to Ryan Graves, and the captain smashed one of his trademark howitzers into the bottom right corner of the net from 25 yards

Alas, the lead was short-lived and Glory were back on level terms four minutes later, as a litany of errors resulted in the opposing striker flicking the ball over the advancing Nick Galea to equalise.

Sabden continued to try to press their opponents as best they could but Glory seemed to be more nimble across the heavy turf, and the Sabden midfield found themselves often chasing the ball. However, Sabden do possess a very potent set piece taker in long-throw maestro Zac Ashworth. Having seen his captain produce one of his specialities with his long-range goal strike, Ashworth showed his amazing long-throw ability on 43 minutes; flinging a mammoth throw fully 25 yards towards the back post. Tom Connell saw his excellent goal-bound header brilliantly saved by the Glory keeper, but Jonny Heap continued his good start for the club, by netting the rebound to put Sabden 2-1 up, and to give Connell his second assist of the game.

We take the lead again …..

At this point, we were hoping to get to half time with our lead intact, but almost from the restart, the Glory pulled level, and once again the team committed uncharacteristic basic errors. As the Glory right winger cut inside, keeper Galea had no option but to race out towards the unmarked opponent. Despite taking a clatter from a shuddering challenge from Galea, the forward managed to steer the ball into the far corner of the net, to square the match at 2 – 2.

On 54 minutes, yet another schoolboy blunder allowed Glory to head themselves into the lead. By now, Sabden seemed unable to string two passes together, although David Fallon burned the keeper`s fingers with a scorching left footer from 25 yards. Less than a minute later, the same player beat the keeper but was denied by the crossbar – probably with some justice as the ball had gone out for a throw to Glory which the referee failed to award.

Several formation changes were made and several players switched positions, but this only seemed to make the play less cohesive than before. One or two half chances were created, and the Glory keeper made a number of smart saves to retain their lead.

With a minute remaining, and Sabden throwing caution to the wind, Glory broke away, leaving Jack Birkett no option but to bundle the forward over in the box. The referee rightly kept his cards in his pocket, but also rightly pointed to the spot. Galea was unable to repeat his penalty save heroics from the previous week and Glory sealed their first win of the season.

Sabden lay siege to the opponents goal, but it was in vain

It is difficult to write an engaging report about a football match that ultimately has a disappointing outcome for most of its intended readership. What is easier to write about is that, on a day of disappointment on the pitch, there were very encouraging signs that Sabden Football Club is once again becoming something that villagers can enjoy and be proud of.

A crowd of just over 50 people attended the game and the kitchen staff, supervised by Harriet Fielding, were kept very busy dispensing refreshments to both home and away supporters, lending a warm community spirit to the proceedings.

Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls, we are very grateful for your support and we are determined to put this right next Sunday, 25th November, when the League Leaders roll into town.