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09 April 2012 | GaryBenson11

Match Report......

Sunday 8 April 2012

Gainsborough Sunday League Division 3

Stanwood Engineering 3 Vine Inn 2

Despite defeat last week Stanwood went into this game in an optimistic mood and manager Tom Duffield made four changes to the starting line up with recalls for David Pearson, Matthew Jones, Simon Rowe and Gary Benson and kept faith with the 4-5-1 formation that had worked well in previous weeks.

The game kicked off and neither side could claim authority of the game in the opening stages, in fact the opening fifteen minutes of the half were very scrappy with both sides trying to play football but neither side able to retain the ball for any length of time. The first chance of the game didnt arrive until midway through the first half and it came the way of the visitors. After a run down the left by the Vine Inn winger his ball into the box was picked up on the edge of the area by the Vine Inn attacker but his low shot was superbly saved by Stanwood keeper Chris Davies. The Stanwood custodian was soon called into action again shortly afterwards, this time saving low at the feet of the Vine attacker as he made his way towards goal. Stanwood gradually started to play their way into the game but chances in the first half were few and far between but they almost opened the scoring when, after a great run down the left by Sean Thornhill, he pulled the ball back but the Vine defender cleared the ball before an advancing Stanwood player could get a strike at goal. From the resulting clearance, Vine should have opened the scoring but the Vine attacker, after picking up the clearance in the Stanwood half, outpaced the Stanwood defence but with only the goalkeeper to beat he somehow shot wide. To their credit Stanwood kept trying to play football but struggled to create any clear cut chances and were restricted to long range efforts, the best of these a Matthew Terry effort from the edge of the area deflected wide. Both sides continued to battle but there was no further meaningful action and the referee blew the whistle for half time, the scores level at 0-0.

For the second successive week, Stanwood had a full complement of substitutes but made no changes at half time.

The second half kicked off and Stanwood made the perfect start, opening the scoring minutes into the second half. The ball was picked up in midfield by Nathan Elsom and he sent a superb pass forward to Sean Thornhill and from just inside the area he sent a low finish beyond the reach of the Vine keeper into the corner of the net. The early goal gave Stanwood a lift and they dominated the opening stages and they soon doubled their advantage. The ball was won in midfield by Stanwood and a Chris Reay pass forward was picked up Sean Thornhill and as the Vine Inn goalkeeper advanced the Stanwood striker flicked the ball past the goalkeeper, the ball taking an age as it rolled towards goal, before finally nestling into the back of the net despite the attempts of the Vine defender. Stanwood continued to dominate and were unlucky not to extend their lead even further as chances came and went. A corner from the right was headed goal wards by Nathan Elsom but was saved at the second attempt by the Vine Inn keeper and then a cross from the right by Nathan Elsom found Matthew Terry at the back post and he will be disappointed not to have hit the target the Stanwood winger failing to make proper contact before the danger was cleared. Stanwood then made their first change of the game with Mick Leak coming on to replace Chris Reay. Despite their early domination of the second half the visitors gradually started to get back in the game and they soon scored their first goal of the game. The Vine Inn attacker picked up the ball inside the Stanwood penalty area and sent an unstoppable shot past goalkeeper Chris Davies high into the roof of the net. Stanwood then made their second change of the game with Thomas Duffield coming on to replace Gary Benson. That goal gave the visitors a lift and they enjoyed their best spell of the game but a combination of poor finishing and resolute defending kept Stanwood in the lead. Chances again came and went at both ends before the visitors scored the goal of the game to bring the scores level. The Vine Inn winger picked up the ball on the right, cut inside and sent a superb left foot curling effort into the top corner, Stanwood keeper Chris Davies having no chance and could only watch as the ball hit the back of the net. So the scores level at 2-2 and with twenty minutes remaining you would think it would be the visitors who could on and win and maybe earlier in the season they would have but Stanwood have a new found believe and confidence and they continued to battle and with fifteen minutes remaining they made their final change of the game with Lee Mason coming on to replace Matthew Terry. More resolute Stanwood defending kept the visitors at bay and as the game approached the final ten minutes, Stanwood finished stronger and were rewarded for their efforts by taking the lead again five minutes before the end. A superb passing move involving Langton, Leak and Rowe resulted in the ball finding its way into midfield were Nathan Elsom again sent a superb pass forward to Sean Thornhill who outpaced the Vine defence and as the goalkeeper game out sent a superb lob over him and into the net, the goal rounding of a superb hat trick, and his 13th goal of the season. Five minutes left then and Stanwood defended superbly for the remainder of the game with every Stanwood player giving 100% and no player shirking their defensive responsibility, Vine attacked down the right but Tom Duffield won the ball superbly before sending a long toe poked clearance forward to Sean Thornhill who equally superbly held the ball up front before the referee blew the whistle for full time, Stanwood winning the game 3-2.

A superb victory for Stanwood who have now only been defeated once in the last four games and with only two games remaining will go into these games confident of getting the points they need to lift them from the foot of the table. However, with a two week break until their next game, lets hope they continue this good run when they return to action on Thursday 26th April (Kick Off 6.15pm)

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