Sabden 4 – 0 Jolly FC

SHUT OUT JOY FOR SABDEN
Sabden FC 4 v 0 Jolly FC

While clean sheets are nothing for a twenty-something to boast about in normal everyday life, they are to be lauded enthusiastically and bragged about when talking about them in a football sense.

Following on from last week`s “dazzling dozen”, there were concerns that complacency would lead to the typical “after the Lord Mayor`s Show” type of performance. However, the Sabden boys delivered a great performance and result, on a horrendously boggy pitch, which carried the team into 3rd place in Division One.

A very cagey opening saw both teams struggle to put together any attacking move of note – Sabden`s methodical probing unable to find a way through a young but talented Jolly backline. When Jolly attacked, they broke with pace, but intelligent positioning by Ryan Ellis and Jack Birkett at the heart of the Sabden defence snuffed out the threats before they got near to Tom Diggins in the Sabden goal.

A poor clearance by the Jolly `keeper on 23 minutes found Jonny Heap who ran at the last defender with the ball, before cutely rounding him, and smashing an unstoppable shot inside the `keepers near post to give Sabden the lead.

Sensing there may be more joy to be had, Sabden pressed. A superb cross from right back Ben Dewhurst found Jason Bates, whose excellent header screamed inches the wrong side of the post. Just before half-time, David Fallon went on a mazy run, evading several challenges (several times!!) before cutting in from the left and rasping his shot over the bar.

After half-time, Jolly applied pressure to try to get back in the game, and it was perhaps a little against the run of play on 55 minutes when Sabden doubled their advantage. The ball found Ryan Graves in the centre of the park. The captain spotted the run by Fallon and played in a peach of a pass that Fallon despatched across the `keeper into the left corner to make it 2 – 0.

Whilst the Jolly side were perhaps quicker and more lithe than the Sabden team, the heavy pitch began to favour the physically stronger Sabden side, and they started to turn the screw. Graves had several long range strikes; hitting the base of the post with one, and Sabden won numerous corners and throws in dangerous areas.

One such set piece saw Sabden put the game out of Jolly`s reach, as Birkett`s close range shot was saved, but super-sub Ricky Grayston bundled the ball over the line from close range.

Fallon smashed in his second of the game in the dying moments from a Heap cross, to add further shine to the scoreline.

GOALS
Heap (23), Fallon (55, 90), Grayston (80)

MAN OF THE MATCH
Delightfully difficult again to single out one player from such a fine performance, but its only right for a defender to get the limelight after a result like this, and RYAN ELLIS was monumental with his powerful defensive display and ability to win headers.

STATS
Sabden Shots 23 On Target 10 (43%)
Jolly Shots 12 On Target 5 (42%