Sabden 3 – 4 Flying Dutchman

MATCH REPORT

Sabden 3 – 4 Flying Dutchman

SABDEN TAKE OFF EARLY BUT END UP WITH WINGS CLIPPED

Sabden`s hard working groundsmen toiled throughout the morning to get the pitch playable. We reckon we were one of the only games playing in East Lancashire. Credit goes to Jack Birkett, Tom Connell and Jason Bates for getting the show on the road!

The game started exceedingly well for the home side. With only one minute on the clock, Ryan Graves brought the ball under control and played a through ball to striker, Jonny Heap. Taking a touch to create an angle for himself, Heap finished smartly to give Sabden an early lead.

Whilst it had undoubtedly been an aid to the drying of the pitch, the gale running the length of the pitch meant that Sabden had to rigidly hold their shape to nullify its effects. On a couple of occasions, Zac Musker, who had a very solid game at full back, linked well with David Fallon, only for the normally lethal striker to be snuffed out by some excellent last-ditch defending by our opponents.

The Sabden backline, marshalled well by Birkett and Will Child, held firm in the teeth of the gale until the 35th minute when a low shot from just inside the left hand side of the penalty area nestled into the far corner of the Sabden net, to give Flying Dutchmen their equaliser.

Six minutes later, a fairly innocuous foul by Adam Fuller, led to a free kick some 35 yards from goal. Holding midfielder, Joe Keane, whose job in open play was to mark the dangerous set-piece taker, had to stand his regulation 10 yards from the free-kick. The dangerman took advantage of this rare time and space to swing over a superb cross that was headed onto the crossbar. The relief was very short-lived as the rebound was bundled into the goal, to give the Dutchmen a half time one goal lead.

At the start of the second half, Sabden decided to make use of the considerable wind-advantage by bringing on Zac Ashworth in an advanced position. It didn`t take long for Ashworth to start causing mayhem with his physical presence and direct running.

Five minutes in fact!  In the 50th minute, Ashworth laid a ball across to Heap in the centre. Heap tustled valiantly with his marker, and poked the ball through to in-running midfield maestro Adam Fuller who passed the ball into the corner of the net for a sublime equaliser.

The Dutchmen were having difficulties coming to terms with the wind, and a series of Ashworth Howizter-like throws caused sheer panic in the Dutch defence. Birkett powered a header goalwards, only to be thwarted by a heroic visiting keeper – he had no right to save that !!

Not content with denying our peerless centre-half with his goal, the visiting keeper then pulled off another “worldie” to deny Graves with a 22 yard rocket that was searing into the top left hand corner.

Question: Why do visiting keepers always play out of their skin at Nutter Barn? Answers on a postcard please ………

With 20 minutes remaining, the Sabden midfield was freshened up with the introduction of Tom Diggins. Man-marker, Joe Keane, who had run himself into the ground in a unselfish display, made way.

The heavy ground was now taking its toll on players from both teams and the play became really end-to-end. With 9 minutes to play, the Dutchmen scored to make it 2-3. Their joy was short-lived as straight from the kick off, Fallon found Ashworth in space on the right. He strode forward before despatching a venomous finish into the bottom right corner. Three all – eight minutes to find a winner!

With both teams now going for the jugular, it was sadly our opponents who scored the deciding goal, with some poor team defending putting a slightly sour taste on what had been a good display.

So our Nutter Barn hoodoo continues …. 5 games, 4 defeats … all bar one by just a single goal.

We will get better! We must get better!