The Strollers B squad went into this matchday knowing they needed nothing short of three wins to grab the runners up spot in the Championship.
Strollers 0 Lincoln Invictus 0
Unfortunately, in the first game against Lincoln Invictus, the team couldn't reproduce the slick passing and form they exhibited on the previous match day and stuttered their way to a 0-0 draw. Chances in the game were at a premium and when we did threaten the goal the shooting was wayward. As the game wore on we became increasingly frustrated and continued to struggle for rhythm.
Strollers 0 Grimsby Mariners (Glover) 1
Despite dropping two points in the first game, the runners up slot was still possible, although no longer in our hands. Three points against Grimsby Corinthians (Glover) were mandatory however.
Bouyed by this, the team finally started to put some flowing football together and created a number of chances, but with very little on target. It was during on of our attacks that a wayward pass was intercepted by a Grimsby player and our opponents broke to score the only goal of the game.
The squad continued to push for an equaliser but our chances were weakened when Tim Marsden had to be withdrawn due to two warnhings and the threat of a blue/red card. Despite continuing to have the lions share of possession we failed to score and lost the game, and the chance of a runners up spot.
A special mention to our keeper Tony Fisher for this one, as when Grimsby did break, he was a solid obstacle in their way.
Strollers 2 Gainsborough 1 (Les Woods x2)
A much better performance from the team and a score that probably flattered Gainsborough when looking at the possession and territory stats.
Strollers opened the scoring from a Les Woods penalty after a defender stepped into his own area when trying to prevent Ian Scarborough getting off a shot. Woods stepped up and tucked the ball into the net with aplomb.
Even though we were then dominating the game and creating more chances, it was Gainsborough that struck back with an equaliser. Initially a good save by Fisher prevented this, but a rebound fell to a Gainsborough player with Fisher still on the floor and he stroked it into the empty net to make it 1-1.
The game continued in the same pattern but again it was Gainsborough that looked to have taken the lead from a penalty, after Peter Beyer stepped into his own area. Luckily for our lads, the referee disallowed it as the penalty taker had stepped outside the 2m limitation zone.
Shortly after this Strollers went ahead after a slick move saw Marsden's raking pass feed in Les Woods who took his chance superbly, smashing it into the top right of the Gainsborough net.
There wwre no further scares for the sqaud and we then saw the game out comfortably to take all three points.
Not the best match day overall but we still finished in a respectable 3rd place in the league in our first season of running a B squad.
The team on the day was Tony Fisher, Frank Smith, John Phythian, Tim Marsden, Les Woods, Ian Scarborough & Peter Beyer.
My thanks to all 13 squad members that represented the B team throughout the five matchdays. You all did the club proud.
Full Squad List
Top Goal Scorers
3 Barrett-Treen & Scarborough
1 Phythian, Marsden, Guest & Blakemore
Match Days Played
5 Smith & Phythian
4 Woods & Fisher
3 Marsden, Barrett-Treen & Scarborough
2 Lovesey & Beyer
1 Jansen, Guest, Forth & Hutchins
Final Championship League Table