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Match Report: Woolverstone Utd 1 - 1 Saxmundham Sports 16/09/2023

It was fourth v third in the early season table as the First Team travelled to Woolverstone Utd. We had an eventful start to the day as a mix up meant that the team arrived without a kit. A quick call to the Chairman, who had just left, resulted in an about turn to the clubhouse to collect the kit and ensure it was at the ground in time for kick off.

We started the match on the front foot and had most of the early possession, but after only 6 minutes a long cross field ball found their left winger who crossed for the forward to tap in.

The pattern of the first half became set as our opponents sat back, soaked up pressure and tried to catch us on the break with long balls. We had the majority of possession and controlled the game, even when down to 10 men after a sin bin, but it took until the 17th minute before we created our first real effort on goal, as a good move found Joe Murphy (sponsored by Pita Greek Street Food) whose cross was turned towards goal by Joe Miller, but saved at the near post.

We continued to press and on 22 minutes Joe Moore (sponsored by Xtra Time Sports Development) turned smartly from a pass by Kyle Horner but his shot was saved. Two minutes later Kyle Messenger (sponsored by Niki Jarvis) was unfortunate to hit the side netting after a pass by Dale Pearse (sponsored by JM Soccer Stars).

Woolverstone continued to be a threat on the break and, on the half hour, they hit the top of the bar after we lost the ball cheaply in our own half. Three minutes later a last ditch block by Isaac Page (sponsored by C Page Motors) prevented the striker from scoring their second.

On 36 minutes we had the best chance of the half when a long range effort by Kyle Horner was parried by the keeper and Joe Miller put the follow up over the bar. Half time 1-0 to Woolverstone.

We came out of the blocks quickly second half, and were immediately awarded a penalty as Stuart Boldertson drove forward with his first touches of the ball having come on at half time, to be taken down right on the edge of the area. Joe Moore stepped up and, despite the keeper getting a good hand to his penalty kick, the ball squirmed into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.

The game became quite scrappy as we didn't quite find the same fluency we had in the first half, and Woolverstone created a couple of good chances, one saved by Joe Keeley and the other headed over the bar from close range.

We then took control of the game again and on 83 minutes a great move down the left saw Isaac Page find Joe Miller, whose cross was just too far ahead of the outstretched leg of Ryan Noy (sponsored by A Pearse Builders) with the goal at his mercy (bringing back memories of Gazza in the 1996 Euros!!).

Our opponents had one last push at the end of the match resulting in Joe Keeley doing well to hold onto a low free kick, and making a smart save in injury time.

So the match ended 1-1 and, because we had the majority of the possession and created some good chances, it felt a little like two points dropped. However, this is a measure of how far we have come as, in reality, it was a well earned point away from home against a side who have also started the season well. Due to Somersham not playing, this result pushes up into second place in the table behind Thurston (a familiar position from last season!).

The Reserves hosted Wenhaston Utd Reserves and a tight game saw us finish on the wrong side of a 1-0 scoreline. The encouraging thing is that both teams fielded full squads, with the Reserves including several young players, which bodes well for the future.

Next week the First Team host Achilles, whilst the Reserves travel to Stowupland Falcons A.


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