Another day at PDFL and another two challenging fixtures, for very different reasons.
Preparation for this months match-day was issue free, with entire squad that was originally selected a week ago fit to congregate at Nene Valley Community Centre.
Strollers 0, Wisbech Town 0
First up for Strollers was a match up with last years PDFL champions, Wisbech Town, equal with Strollers on points and goal difference going into the game, a true six pointer! As the score line suggests, this was a tight affair and for much of the first half the two sides pretty much cancelled one another out. In the second period Strollers started to assert themselves and played some slick passing moves, creating several more chances than their opponents. As the half progressed Strollers had three excellent chances well saved by the Wisbech keeper. One of these saves was seemingly miraculous when he appeared to sprout a third hand, to turn a shot that seemed destined for the bottom corner of the net around the post for a corner. In the end, in what was a highly competitive game, Strollers could and maybe should have found a way to win.
Strollers 4 South Lincs Steelers 1
The second game of the day promised to be an easier affair, against bottom of the table, South Lincs Steelers. The notion of an easy matchup was called into question given that they had pushed Norwich City A close in the previous match day in March, losing by just a single goal. They followed up this good performance today, when in their first fixture, they came away with a 2-1 victory over Boston Blues. So, going into this game there was no certainty about which Steelers side Strollers would come up against, the one that had started the season with 10 consecutive defeats or the one that had shown much greater potential over the past two match days.
During the early exchanges of the first half it became evident that Steelers had brought a good deal of the confidence they must have gained by defeating the Blues into this game too. The first quarter of the game was pretty close, with both sides playing some attractive football with some fluid passing moves. As the half moved on, Strollers started to assert themselves, moving the Steelers players around with some quick movement and crisp passing. This led to a couple of goals, one from Iain Ross and the other from Nigel Reeve who was playing in his PDFL debut. Unfortunately Nigel suffered a calf injury towards the end of the half and could take no further part in the game. We wish Nigel a speedy recovery. In the second half Strollers were determined to keep the ball, in an attempt to control what was left of the match. Unfortunately, an uncommonly misplaced pass fell straight at the feet of the Steelers striker who shot low into the corner of the Strollers net to make it 2-1. This halving of the deficit clearly gave South Lincs a confidence boost and they started pressing for what they hoped might be an equaliser, and maybe more. However, as Steelers pushed forward, Strollers were able to capitalise on the space that they left behind them and a brace of goals from Colin B-T brought the final score to 4-1, perhaps an accurate reflection of the overall game.
Four points from the day took Strollers back up to third in the table. With two more match days ahead of us, twelve points up for grabs, the thought of the title may seem a bit of a tall order. But, if the past few months at PDFL have taught us anything it is that anyone can beat anyone on their day in this impressive and highly competitive league. Strollers have to go out looking to win all four of their remaining matches, and see how the cards fall in other games.
Excellent football played by all of the squad today, and some very pleasing results.
Squad for this match day…
Paul Newiss (GK) Chas Walker Iain Ross Nigel Reeve Paul Kirby Lee Tillen Colin B-T