Youngsters shine as 3rd XI win intra-club duel
Re-shuffled side too strong for the 4ths
The run-up to this match was difficult for both captains as a combination of unavailability higher up the club, injuries and illness meant a significant amount of fluidity in team selection was required.
The 4th team were very motivated for the match and started with a high amount of intensity. The young 3rd XI team were not daunted by this and were happy to use their superior speed and skills to outmanoeuvre their club rivals.
The 3rds were able to force a number of short corners in the early stages. The ball was switched to Ben York and his powerful shot forced a good save from Brendan Read in the 4th team goal. Shortly afterwards, after good composure by Jacob Tattersall and Tom Storey, captain Neil Manley was on hand to sweep home another short corner and open the scoring.
Midway through the first half, Paul Brooker demonstrated some of his legendary stick skills and weaved through several players, rounded Read but then fired his shot past the wrong side of the post. The 4ths were continuing to press forward and when a bouncing ball reached Simon Davey in the circle, his first-time shot was too good for keeper Ray Norwood.
The 3rd team were not downhearted by this minor setback and looked to retake the lead. Wallace Cairns and Dan Carter lead the attack well and their tenacity was rewarded with a short corner. This time, York's shot evaded Read and the 3rds went into the half-time interval one goal to the good.
The 3rds knew that the next goal would be crucial and were determined that it would be them who scored it. Cairns and Carter continued to press up-front while in defence, Adam Mills showed his growing confidence and maturity with an assured display.
That man York had another chance to score, this time from open play. However, the busy Read was able to stretch a foot out to deflect his shot around the post.
Finally, the 3rd team made the breakthrough. Another short was awarded and this time the ball was switched to Storey on the right of the circle. His shot was too powerful for Read whose deflection only helped the ball into the corner of the net.
Towards the end of the match, the higher fitness level of the 3rds came to the fore and they were able to dictate the tempo of the match. Tattersall pulled the strings in centre midfield while Don Coleman and Tom Ward (despite carrying an injury) marshalled the defence. A couple of chances fell to Cairns but he couldn't quite get the goal his overall display merited.
Next week, Kettering travel to Ely City 3rds to mark the halfway stage in the league.
This is a week late but worth a read. It's Nomads match report of the 1-1 draw last week. Nomads v Kettering