Sabden 6 – 2 Stanley Blackcats

WHERE THERE`S A WILL, THERE`S A WAY
Sabden 6 – 2 Stanley Blackcats

Sabden returned to winning ways in a full-bloodied encounter at Nutter Barn.

Playing into the teeth of a strong wind in the first half, chances were few and far between, with Blackcats perhaps edging the overall play whilst Sabden battled doggedly without putting too much pressure on Sam Burrows in the Blackcats goal – although on two occasions, Paul Astin sprang clear but was unable to find a finish.

In the 40th minute, Sabden keeper, Tom “Barthez” Diggins dribbled out with the ball, but his clearance struck the `Cats forward and bounced into the net, for a bizarre opening goal.

Determined to get to half-time still in touch, Sabden pressed higher and won a throw on the right. Charlie Collinge, who gave a creditable display throughout, threw the ball long, and Will Child nipped in at the near post to steer his header into the net, for the 43rd minute equaliser.

The joy was a little shortlived, as within a minute Blackcats nosed ahead again. Jack Birkett could not intercept a threaded ball from midfield, and the Blackcats forward slotted past “Barthez”, to give `Cats a 2-1 advantage going into the break.

The second half belonged to Sabden as, with the wind at their backs, they pressed Stanley from all angles, who responded with wild tackling, some reckless. Dane Meyler was brought on in the 50th minute to replace Ricky Grayston, and Meyler made an instant physical impact on the left; giving central pairing Adam Fuller and Ryan Ellis that little extra time they needed in the middle.

And the Stanley Barricades? …. They began to creak ……..

On 65 minutes, the equaliser arrived. The Blackcats keeper was unable to hold a rasping drive, and right midfield man, Will Child raced in to smash home the rebound. Sabden continued with the relentless pressure, and five minutes later, Child completed his hat-trick from a smart Collinge pass, to give the Treacle Miners the lead for the first time.

The Stanley captain was furious with the goal, and was sent from the field of play for foul and abusive language. Ellis, Zac Musker and Grayston were targeted all afternoon with ridiculous and dangerous tackles, yet rarely was a card of any colour produced for these.

Unabashed by the rough stuff, Collinge in particular was starting to enjoy the freedom of the park and two minutes after the visiting captain`s early bath, he bore down unchallenged on goal, before squaring for Astin to steer home.

The same players combined again on 80, with the unselfish Collinge once again putting it on a plate for Astin to score his second. Two minutes later, Collinge went alone and was hacked down in the box. The cries for a penalty echoed around The Barn yet the referee saw it differently (don`t they always?)

Having provided 4 assists, it was only fitting that Collinge got his name on the scoresheet, and this he duly did in the 87th minute to wrap up a good win for Sabden who now lie in 3rd place in the table.

GOALS
Child (43, 65, 70), Astin (72, 80), Collinge (87)

OTHER STATS:
Sabden Attempts: 24 On Target: 14
Blackcats Attempts: 13 On Target 6

MEN OF THE MATCH: (Two this week – can`t split them ….)
Will Child – returned from injury and gave a gutsy performance, and made intelligent runs to score a hat-trick from right midfield, whilst never neglecting his defensive duties.
Charlie Collinge – went into the game as top scorer, but demonstrated his unselfishness with 4 assists and a goal