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Match Report: Saxmundham Sports 4 - 3 Grundisburgh 09/09/2023

In the sweltering heat the First Team welcomed Grundisburgh to the carpet at Carlton Park. In front of a large crowd, which included a few former players of both teams, we started well and in the first 10 minutes created three good chances with shots by Kyle Messenger (sponsored by Niki Jarvis), Charlie Felton (sponsored by L.A.F. Construction) and Joe Moore (sponsored by Xtra Time Sports Development), the latter forcing a good save by the keeper.

The match then settled in the heat, as we made the ball do the work with some good patient, passing football. On 30 minutes Will Stebbings (sponsored by Whin Joinery) ran onto a ball from Jack Gissing but the keeper came out and smothered his shot. We continued to press and two minutes later Charlie Felton latched onto a loose ball and was brought down in the are for a penalty. Joe Moore stepped up and calmly slotted the penalty home to make it 1-0.

This seemed to sting Grundisburgh into action and on 35 minutes a free header from a corner was fortunately headed straight to Joe Keeley in goal. However on 39 minutes we lost the ball in our opponents half, and one long ball split our defence and their striker ran through and scored, 1-1.

Straight from the kick-off we created a great chance as Joe Murphy headed wide from a cross from Charlie. On 44 minutes Grundisburgh won a free kick in a dangerous area but the shot was well held onto by Joe Keeley in goal. Right on the half time whistle Will Stebbings ran through and rounded the keeper, but his low shot was superbly stopped on the line by their defender. Half time 1-1.

Grundisburgh came out of the blocks fast in the second half and immediately put us under pressure. This lead to two quick goals and within 10 minutes we found ourselves 1-3 down.

The game appeared to be drifting as we struggled to make any headway in the heat and it appeared to many watching that we would not be able to find a way back into the match. However, we kept plugging away and on 77 minutes Ryan Noy (sponsored by A Pearse Builders) was unfortunate to hit the bar from a long shot, and the keeper did well to save the follow up shot by Joe Moore.

This chance seemed to give us a spark and only a minute later a looping header by Charlie Felton hit the inside of the post and rolled across the goal into the inside netting on the other side. It was now 2-3 and game on.

We were now on top and looking for the equaliser, as our opponents appeared to be tiring. On 90 minutes a shot by Stu Bolderston was well saved by the keeper, but the ball ran loose and Dale Pearse (sponsored by JM Soccer Stars) followed up to boot the ball into the net from close range.

At this point we would have settled for the draw but with a drinks break, injuries and several substitutions there was still quite some time to be added on. We continued to press and their keeper made a save at the far post from Michael Pearse (sponsored by Dave Roberts).

What must have been near the 100th minute a great move down the right saw Joe Moore outpacing his man and sliding the ball across the 6 yard area for Kyle Messenger to slot home, and the comeback was complete much to the delight of the crowd.

A minute later the ref brought the match to an end, and both sets of players should be congratulated for putting on such an entertaining match in extremely difficult conditions.

It is difficult to summarise the match, but I shall try! We were excellent in the first half, dictating the play, controlling the game and creating several chances. However, we found ourselves level at half time when we could have been a few goals ahead. Credit to Grundisburgh who were excellent for a 20 minutes spell in the second half and they must have thought they had done enough to win the match. However, goals change games, and our second goal inspired us and seemed to drain our opponents, and from then on it was simply a case of whether we had time to get back on level terms. At 3-3 we could have settled for the point, but we kept pressing and got the winner. All 16 players played their part in this victory, and yet again it shows the importance of having a strong and committed squad.

An excellent start to the season, three wins from four matches, which puts us into third place in the table at this early stage.

The Reserves made the trip to Kesgrave Kestrals A with a full squad made up of several teenagers with a few older heads. A fantastic performance saw us run out 5-2 winners with all five goals being scored by Ryan Everington. This should give the boys a real boost of confidence to take into the season.

Next week the First Team travel to Woolverstone, whilst the Reserves host Wenhaston Reserves.


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