A great start to the new season for our new look reserves who thoroughly deserved the three points in a compelling game between two young sides. Both teams tried to play possession football from the off and this created a good spectacle.
Pre-season preparation has been difficult with players unavailable limiting us to two friendlies but the new look side showed plenty of desire throughout this fixture that gives us great optimism for the season ahead. The early exchanges were even but defensively we looked very solid although keeper Andrejenko was forced into an early smart save. We gradually gained the upper hand with Connor Spear holding the ball up well forced St Stephens keeper into two fine saves before Brad Robins reacted well in the box to fire on goal, his shot was again saved but as it rebounded Robins was on hand to finish.
Soon after St Stephens had the ball in our net from a fine header but the referee spotted a push by the St Stephens forward. It was a correct decision but we won’t get away with that too often. Just before half-time, good work from Anderson put Spear in front of the defender who brought him down. Lee Hocking coolly slotted home the penalty to give us a 2-0 half-time lead.
With instructions to keep the shape and keep the intensity high, the lads went out second half and put in a solid display of controlled football. St Stephens were unable to breach what was a solid defensive display, marshalled superbly by the impressive Blaine Loughran. At the other end, Sam Clifton, Will Cross and Alex Cairo had strikes that troubled the St Stephens keeper.
This was a very positive start and all 14 players contributed to what was an excellent team performance. With so many young and ambitious lads, the team should only get better as the season progresses.
Next Saturday sees Pensilva visit Langsford Park in our first home game of the season.