Thursday, 28 August 2014

Robertsbridge United 1 v 5 Crowhurst

Thursday 28th August 2014
Pre-season Friendly
The Clappers, Robertsbridge
Admission and Programme: N/A
Attendance: 11 (head count)
Match Rating: 3

This was very much a bonus match for me. In itself, there was little attractive about the game, between two clubs in the East Sussex League and at a ground I’ve visited previously, most recently in May this year. However, it proved a convenient game to take in on my way home from work – and actually turned out to be an entertaining game of football.

This game would be between Robertsbridge United, who finished in third place in the nine team Premier Division of the East Sussex League, against Crowhurst, who finished in eighth place in the 11 team Division Two.

Therefore, according to league statuses, this should be a comfortable home win, and indeed, Robertsbridge had the first chance of the game, when a shot from distance was saved low down to the keeper’s left. That proved to be a false dawn, as Crowhurst went on to completely dominate the first half, showing excellent creativity and energy, whilst Robertsbridge struggled to get any rhythm going. The visitors took the lead on five minutes, when a low ball forward was taken in his stride by Karl Senni, who outmuscled a defender before slotting the ball past the keeper. They doubled their lead on 12 minutes as a result of some terrible defending. A fairly gentle ball was played towards the penalty area, a defender missed his header and another couldn’t get his foot on the ball, allowing Gary Croft an easy tap in past the keeper.  Crowhurst made it three just before half time with a great goal, curled in from the outer edge of the penalty area by Sean Hankinson, although perhaps the keeper could have done better.

So a surprising, but completely deserved convincing half time lead for the underdogs. It was hard to see what Robertsbridge could take from their first half performance, so bad did they play, but they did improve after the break, and on 49 minutes almost scored a spectacular goal. A lofted shot from well outside of the area sailed over the keeper but came back off the top right corner of the goal frame. On 61 minutes, a pull back from the byline resulted in a shot that was screwed low just wide of the far post. However, a minute later and Crowhurst scored their fourth. The ball was curled towards the penalty spot from the wing half way into the Robertsbridge half, and was glanced over the keeper and into the net by Hankinson. On 84 minutes, Crowhurst made it 0-5 with another very avoidable goal. The ball was brought in from just inside the half, and Carl Longbottom muscled past the defender, just about winning the race to the penalty area, before sidestepping the goalkeeper and dribbling the ball into the unguarded net. In very dark conditions, Robertsbridge were awarded a penalty a surge into the penalty area was ended by a foul. The penalty kick was converted low into the bottom left corner of the net for a consolation goal which they just about deserved for an improved second half. However, Crowhurst claimed the emphatic victory which was equally deserved for an inventive style of play which always looked likely to cause Robertsbridge players problems.

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