Reserve Team Star
Dec 22, 2018, 5:57 PM
Team(s): Norwich City, Yaxley
Southern League Division 1 Central
Yaxley 2 Dunstable Town 0
This is a very difficult report to write, as this was a game filled with controversy and chaos both on and off the pitch. As a disclaimer, I'm not going to go into too much detail on that as it wouldn't be appropriate (especially as this report will go in the next matchday programme), but just know that it was a very unpleasant atmosphere at times today.
Not much happened for the first half an hour of the game: both teams were trying to assert themselves on proceedings without much success, though Dunstable were having the better of the chances and forced James Blake into several fine saves to keep it goalless. Just after the half hour, there was an accidental collision between Matt Sparrow and the Dunstable keeper (Sparrow was chasing the ball and happened to catch the keeper's leg just after he collected the ball), and this led to significant controversy both on and off the pitch. After an extended stoppage, the game got back underway and the Dunstable keeper was substituted. Around the 40 minute mark, we had an excellent chance from a Charley Sanders header from a corner (excellently saved by the substitute keeper, in fairness), but he was ruled to be offside. We then had another corner a few minutes later, but this time Sanders was onside and lashed a powerful header into the net to make it 1-0 going into half-time.
By the time the second half had started, thing seemed to have calmed down and the game flowed for a while, both teams playing some decent football in patches. On one such attack for Dunstable, one of their players went down in the box under minimal contact and, after the penalty appeals were understandably waved away all hell broke loose for a few minutes. A few yellow cards were given out by the referee and, once things had fully calmed down, he gave us a goal kick to get things back underway. Not long after this (in roughly the 55th minute), we went on the attack and the ball eventually fell to Phil Stebbing, whose shot from just inside the box eluded the substitute Dunstable keeper to make it 2-0. Around ten minutes later we found ourselves down to ten men as Sparrow was sent off (I can't comment further than that as I could hardly tell what had happened from my position). This saw Dunstable put massive pressure on us for the last half an hour as we attempted to hold out, with excellent defensive work from Sanders and the rest of the defence keeping Dunstable at bay, eventually seeing us hold out for the win.
MOTM: Charley Sanders
I could comment more on how "Thugstable" Town (as seems to be a much more appropriate name for them based on this game) are one of the most aggressive and unpleasant football team I've ever seen (along with a few fans who seemed to be eager for a fight), but I don't really want to stir too much controversy or dwell too much on it, so I'll leave it at that and enjoy the feeling of a fourth consecutive win (and, at long last, a clean sheet) instead.
2019/20 stats (including Pre-Season):
New Grounds: 19 (Most Recent: Marlow)
Goals Per Game (to 2 dp): 3.43
My Blog: https://thetortoisetravels.blogspot.co.uk/
(This post was edited by Atavistic on Dec 22, 2018, 6:02 PM)