Hadleigh United 2 Godmanchester Rovers 3
MoM: James Hall (Goddy Rovers)
Goals: James Hall 2, Tom Spark
Match Report by Maty Haniver
As former champions Hadleigh always ask you questions with the ability they have in attacking areas. We knew we would have to be on our mettle to take anything from the game.
Haniver replaced the suspended Watson in midfield, Shinn who has been carrying a knock was rested for Yeomens. Other than these 2 enforced changes we gave the boys who were indifferent against Mildenhall a chance to correct things.
We started the game superbly. After the initial 5 minutes of back and forth, we pressed and moved the ball superbly. Yeomens and Hyem both had early efforts off target as we won the ball in advanced areas with the intensity of our pressing and slick countering.
The goal on 8 minutes was as good as you will see at this level in terms of team play. We moved the ball quickly, linking well, Taylor Parr exchanging with Spark well on the right wing. The former delivered a great cross to the far post where Yeomens did brilliantly to nod down for HALL to stab home for the perfect start on 8.
It got even better as Hall was upended after we had again pressed well high up to turn the ball over. HALL picked himself up and curled the perfect free kick into the very top corner of the home sides goal. It was wonderful quality from a top top player. No goalkeeper in any league would have saved it. It was pacy and accurate to an inch.
A Haniver goal line headed clearance aside, Niall was untroubled and Yeomens, Hyem and Hall all could have stretched our lead going into half time. 2-0 was the least we deserved as we were near our best in possession and industrious out of possession.
At half time we talked about the need to give the home team no momentum to get back into the game. However the referee hadn’t read the script. A straightforward offside decision was rightfully flagged offside on 47 minutes. The lad had made an initial attempt to play the ball which clearly effected our back 4. For what ever reason the ref deemed him not interfering, and caught out of shape the home side took the lifeline given to them by the official.
It was a lesson that we had to deal with and although confirmed by the linesman that it should be given offside the ref wasn’t strong enough to do the right thing.
With a sense of disappointment and added drive, we regained our composure and swept up the other end releasing Hall who skinned his man , driving into the box before squaring for the lively SPARK who made no mistake from close range on 50 minutes.
Hadleigh replied by thumping the post from the edge of the box and were unfortunate not to trouble Niall more with efforts that were blocked by brave Goddy defending.
On the counter Hall again caused havoc and had a shot inches wide from 40 yards with Nower in the home goal scrambling. Diaper was inches from converting another sweeping counter after more good work from MOM Hall.
Shinn came on and won best dying swan impression in the Hadleigh box whilst another excellent Groves block stopped Niall being pressed into action.
The one blot on the copy book was the injury time goal we conceded. We lost the ball in the middle third and had lost a little shape against the counter. The lively Thrower crossed and despite 2 excellent Conroy blocks, the ball fell kindly to a Hadleigh player who made no mistake , finishing low into the bottom corner. With no scares in the final minute we claimed 3 more points.
It was pleasing to meet opposition who try to play the game in a good way by playing through the thirds, and we know that as always coming to Hadleigh and winning is a very difficult task.
Having a performance and result was very pleasing and nothing short of what we deserved. Individually we were back to the levels we know the boys can produce and collectively the desire to take care of the ugly details such as pressing with intent, competing for seconds and ensuring cover and balance was maintained all over the pitch was clearly evident.
We have a league cup tie at Braintree Reserves on Tuesday night, this presents us with another opportunity to evolve and improve.
We hope to have your continued, valued support.
See you at the far post