After a couple of recent heavy defeats against mid-table teams, Shinfield really needed to pull out all the stops against a table-topping Spencers Wood. And that’s exactly what they did. Reverting back to a four line defence they looked much stronger from the outset giving Casey
and Aidan more freedom to run up the lines. Shinfield attacked hard for the first 10 minutes and the pressure paid off as Max breaks down
the left to the touchline and whips the ball back across the goal to Ellis who was perfectly placed to sidefoot to ball home. 1-0
A good start for Shinfield, but Spencers Wood look strong and pile on pressure in Shinfields area. Our defence is on their guard though and keep things tight, while at the other end opportunities go begging as Max grabs an Aidan cross and lobs it over the bar.
Shinfields persistence pays off again as another thwarted attack sees the ball rolling out of the area, Aidan runs in and hits a long low shot first time into the bottom left corner leaving the keeper standing. A lovely goal. 2-0
More good defensive work at the back with Lewis, Vinay, Jack and Ajay keeping a strong back line and covering each other well when Spencers Wood continue to try and pull a goal back. But Shinfield remain resolute and find Aidan yet again in the action as he break down the left, cuts in and launches a lovely shot into the top corner. 3-0
Shinfield aren’t having it all their own way though – Spencers Wood coming close a number of times. Luckily Luis is on form and snuffs out danger on more than one occassion.
Half time arrives and Shinfield need to remain strong against a determined and competent-looking Spencers Wood.
The second half starts well for Shinfield, they remain composed across the park, passing well and thinking hard. With the pressure mounting on Spencers Wood, the opposition start to push hard. Long shots start to fly in which luckily go wide. Luis now having to work harder as Spencers Wood get deeper into our box.
Then, a disastrous 15 minute spell for Shinfield as Spencers Wood score a goal, followed quickly by a second. Possession and passion now with the home team forcing Shinfield onto the defensive. Spurred on by their two goals, Spencers Wood look hungry for the equaliser and push hard on every attack with Shinfield having to defend more than attack. Spencers Wood break through a number of times and luckily for us their shots come to nothing. Until finally they break through and equalise to make the score 3-3.
The final 10 minutes is both nerve-racking and exciting. Shinfield are shocked into action after throwing away a three goal lead, respond and push hard up front. Max breaks through the defence and has only the goalkeeper to beat but is brought down in the area. Appeals for a penalty are ignored by the referee who maintains that the attacker went for the ball.
This only spurs on Shinfield even more, and their frustration results in a more determined attempt to regain the lead. But time is not on their side and Spencers Wood look dangerous as they too are determined to take the spoils. With action at both ends and with less than a minute on the clock, Max gets a break on the right, runs at the keeper and slams the ball low into the net. Excitement, relief, jubilation for Shinfield as they see out the last few seconds to take all three points in a hard-fought game against a determined, spirited and competent Spencers Wood.
A fabulous game to watch and an example of how we can hold things together when we really try.
Goals: Ellis, Aidan (2), Max
Trophies: Aidan, Max