LTHC Men’s 3rd XI 4 at Nottingham Men’s 1st XI 2

MRHA T2 – East Midlands 1

Saturday 30th March 2019

On the back of a win and a draw Town were looking end their season on a high. After navigational issues the Town side arrived with a depleted squad at a Goosedale pitch, with Tommy Ross and Joe Oram retaining their place in the 2nd XI, and Charlie Reynolds otherwise engaged.

In spite of their hardships Town had a stunning start, scoring three goals in under 5 minutes, though the first unfortunately being disallowed. Undeterred, a quality youth division of Oli Jephcott, Jono Griffiths and MoM George Gutteridge quickly secured another, bringing the scoreline to 1-0. Another goal quickly followed as Hayes secured a short corner, with a clinical and proven short corner routine leading to Gutteridge’s second goal of the day.

A tactical error by Nathan Byrne subbing off allowed the soon to be (albeit unwarranted) DoD Mike Reina to enter the fray, shortly after which Nottingham scored two completely unrelated goals and equalised going into halftime.

Going into halftime at 2-2, captain Peter Hayes felt the pressure as he knew he had to deliver another inspirational team talk to the disgruntled Town side. A stern team talk revitalised the team before going into the second half eager for a win to finish the season.

Despite the sensational halftime team talk, a short stalemate followed pushback. Solid work in midfield from Nathan Hunt and Lawrie Bayne helped Town to probe Nottingham’s defenses, while a stalwart defense led by top quality centre backs Rory Cook and Mark Dalby, along with some fantastic saves by Guy Haywood ensured the Nottingham score remained at two.

With 20 minutes remaining things were tense. An excellent use of Cook’s telescopic arm made a last ditch save stopping an aerial from getting to the attacker that had inexplicably escaped from him.

A third goal came Town’s way when some excellent link up play between Griffiths and Gutteridge gave him his hat-trick.   The fourth and final goal came when a dainty run by Bayne made multiple players from the opposing side look silly, ending with a cracking pass for Gutteridge to convert to bring his games tally to 4.

Town were put under pressure in the last 5 minutes with Heywood making some key saves to keep the scoreline intact at 4-2. The win was most welcomed by Town, in what has been a challenging season, so taking 7 out of 9 points in the last 3 games was a great way to end the season on a high.

Categories: Match Reports