Match day three was a bitter pill to swallow after last matchdays clean sweep, as the Strollers B squad fell to two defeats and a draw on a cold but sunny day in Holbeach.
Strollers 0 Long Bennington 3
The lads started this game very well, pushing the ball around and getting the best of the league leaders. Unfortunately, we were unable to turn that into goals and were largely restricted to couple of long shots from Frank Smith and John Phythian to go in at half time scoreless.
The second half was a different story, as Gerry Monaghan (an occasional Stroller) turned on the style which energised the Long Bennington team. Our squad struggled to keep check on this and despite some good saves from keeper Tony Fisher, we conceded three goals in the second half and we were well beaten.
Strollers 1 Lincoln Invictus Green 1
Strollers went into this one looking to reverse the 3-0 defeat suffered against Lincoln in matchday one, a game where our lads dominated the ball but failed to score. The game started very well and Colin Barrett-Treen finished a nice move with his left foot after being fed the ball by Phythian.
Sadly for the Strollers, the next significant event of the game was a huge blow as Barrett-Treen damaged his calf in what looked a serious injury. With no player near him he said he'd felt something give as he turned towards the ball. His marker said he heard an audible pop. All of the squad hope this injury is not as bad as it looked and that we have Colin back with us soonest.
Despite the loss of Barrett-Treen, our lads continued to dominate the match and Smith was unlucky not to get on thy score sheet with a shot that went just wide of the left post.
The second half continued with Stamford domination of the ball but without a recognised striker, we were struggling to turn possession to goals, as in the first match against Invictus. Matters were then made worse when a wild shot from distance looked to be well covered by keeper Fisher, until Dave Forth unluckily stuck out a foot and deflected the ball into his own goal. The game finishing in a 1-1 draw.
Strollers 0 Grimsby Mariners (Glover) 3
Another fast start by our lads saw the Grimsby keeper make two excellent saves, and from one of these our opponents broke quickly and a well taken shot resulted in the first goal.
Shortly afterwards a harsh decision by the referee saw Phythian pick up a blue card for seeming to kick the ball away to delay a free kick, which was not his intent. Grimsby made the most of this 4 minute extra player and put us under a lot of pressure, and as Phythian was just about to take to the field, they score a second.
The second goal seemed to deflate our lads and moving into the second half the game was more or less all over when their forward stole the ball off Forth's toe and finished with aplomb. The guys continued to battle afterwards but were unable to break down Grimsby who then defended the lead very well.
Only one point from the potential nine leaves us a fair way behind the leading pack with a couple of match days left to play.
Despite a disappointing day it was good to say two more Strollers jhoin the team to make their league debuts. Well done Dave Forth and Pete Beyer.
Dave Forth (debut)
Pete Beyer (debut)