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MATCH REPORT - FIRST TEAM v COPLESTONIANS RESERVES 02/05/2023



Another bumper crowd took the opportunity to watch the First team play Coplestonians Reserves at Carlton Park this evening due to our opponents agreeing to travel to Saxmundham as their own pitch was not available.


We entered the match with the knowledge that one point would secure promotion, and everyone was expecting it to be a relatively easy night, however Coplestonians obviously had not read the script.


We started the match slowly and it took 15 minutes before our first real chance when Jermaine Haynes had a header cleared off the line. Coplestonians then went down the other end and won a penalty which was dispatched and we found ourselves 1-0 down.


We pressed for an equaliser but still struggled to find any rhythm, and on the half hour mark our opponents doubled their lead through a shot from outside the box.


Two minutes later we were fortunate not to be 3-0 down when a header went narrowly wide after a mix up at the back.


Towards the end of the half we began to get a foothold in the match. Kyle Messenger (sponsored by Ensors Accountants LLP) shot wide after running through on goal, and just before half time we managed to pull one back through Jermaine Haynes heading in a free kick by Joe Moore (sponsored by Xtra Time Sports Development).


Half time 1-2.


We started the second half on the front foot looking for the equaliser. Three minutes in Jermaine had a header straight at the keeper and Isaac Page (sponsored by C Page Motors) had a shot headered off the line. We then had a penalty shout when Isaac was brought down when through on goal but it was not given.


Just as we were building up momentum a mistake at the back allowed Coplestonians to increase their lead to 3-1.


The players now had it all to do, and after 65 minutes we pulled one back with a cool finish by Kyle Messenger from a Joe Moore cut back.


Two minutes later we were awarded a penalty for a push from a corner and, after a long wait due to treatment for a clash of heads, Joe Moore smashed the penalty into the top of the net to make it 3-3.


We had control of the match and went in search of the winner. Having now relaxed and playing the type of passing football we have been accustomed to all season we created several chances and, with two minutes of normal time remaining, a long pass by Taylor Gissing allowed Kyle Messenger to run through and slot the ball past the keeper to make it 4-3.


With lots of injury time remaining the match was not yet won, and Coplestonians did create one final chance but headed wide.


The final whistle was a massive relief as the players, coaches and supporters celebrated securing promotion to Division 1 with one match to spare.


Credit to Coplestonians for a fine performance but, despite being way below our best, we showed real character, commitment and determination to dig out a result.


Our attention turns now to the final match of the season on Saturday as we travel to Rattlesden to face Stonham Aspal, followed by promotion celebrations back in the Clubhouse after the match.









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