Stamford 60+ B made a steady start in our first matchday of the new season.
Strollers B 1:1 Long Bennington
Up against last year's league winners, and this years leaders, the squad played some good football and created a number of chances.
In the first half Taff Lovesey won a ball in midfield and slipped in Ian Scarborough who finished neatly to put the Strollers one up.
In a tight game Stamford were slightly on top, but with both goalkeepers, including our own Tony Fisher, in fine form there were no more goals by half time.
The game continued in the same pattern in the second half with both teams having periods of being dominant. Midway through the half an unlucky deflection off the toe of Frank Smith ran perfectly for the Long Bennington forward to equalise with a well hit shot.
The game could then have gone either way but finished in a 1-1 draw.
Strollers B 2:1 Grimsby Ancient Mariners (MAC)
Strollers started strongly in this on and Scarborough opened the score for us fairly early in the game.
The Strollers continued to play some good passing football and shortly before half time, Lovesey took possession in midfield and with the defenders pulled out of position by the movement from Scarborough and Smith he was able to progress with the ball to hit a solid shot into the back of the net.
The Ancient Mariners came back strongly in the second half and were rewarded when a well struck corner was driven across the area to find an open player at the far post. A poor goal to conceded from a Stroller view point but well worked by Grimsby.
Phil Hall thought he had added a 3rd for Strollers when he advanced through midfield and hit a shot that the keeper could only parry into the air. It then went over him and into the net but was disallowed as the ball had travelled over cross bar height.
With time running out Strollers changed tactics to a more defensive shape and were able to see out the game for a 2-1 win.
Strollers B 1:4 Grimsby Ancient Mariners (Glo)
An early penalty conceded in this game when Peter Beyer literally fell into the area after losing his balance. Unfortunately the referee didn't see how Peter had entered the area, only the aftermath, so understandably gave a penalty which was slotted home by the forward.
This had us chasing the game from very early and a good passing move in the second half from our opponents allowed their forward to break free of David Kaye to open up a two goal margin.
This seemed to spur the strollers forward and after some good work in midfield, John Phythian went close. These efforts were closely followed by an excellent team-made goal from the Strollers when Scarborough laid a ball back to Lovesey who side stepped two players and threaded a pass into the path of Smith who finished superbly.
Buoyed by the goal we quickly created another chance through midfield only to see Phythian's shot whizz passed the left post.
Trying to push for an equaliser Kaye was left 1 on 1 with a very skillful forward and this proved our undoing as another quick break by our opponents resulted in a 3rd.
A little deflated, the heads dropped somewhat and we lost concentraton to allow a very similar 4th goal for Grimsby just before full time.
So a good day for the squad and played with great team spirit. One observation from manager Lovesey though was that the squad spent longer in Wetherspoons post match than they did actually playing football (and so they shoul...... LOL).
A word of thanks to Dave Bent too who refereed all three of our matches and, as usual, was excellent. Fair, clear and informative - a top ref.
Taff Lovesey (capt)