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Promising Start to 2012

A glorious sunny winter afternoon was the back-drop to a promising start to 2012 by Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity.  A fairly meagre scoreline belied the dominance Stroud showed throughout the game.  Defensively, nobody recollects a shot on goal from the visiting team, the only “save” from keeper Kev Sinden a clearance with his stick from outside the D.  Henry Bonham was rock solid in the heart of defence, as was Alan Edwards playing just in front of him.  Matt Watts and Dom Creech busied themselves at left and right back, providing more of an attacking presence at times.  Good work-rate from the midfield kept potential Cheltenham threats at bay and more sensible possession-keeping passes gave the home side confidence.  It did not take long for Stroud to threaten the visitors’ goal, Ben Orme and Zac Lees keen to get on the scoresheet.  The pressure gave Stroud a short corner from which the initial save was converted with a neat flick by Lees.  This was just the start required to calm the nerves and relax the team.  More hounding of Cheltenham’s midfield, gave Stroud more breaks, although they were forced back on their heels several times.  A strong work ethic snuffed out the threats.  Another short corner gave Orme his goal, a clean strike with a resounding thud on the back board.  Tim Norman’s tenacity almost led to another, but stick upon stick seemed to materialise out of nowhere.  Rohan Sopp was dangerous in the 25 and he was unlucky not to convert a chance near the left post.  Stroud continued to apply pressure without extending their lead, some good crosses narrowly failing to find a Stroud stick.  The dominance Stroud had could not be turned into more goals, however – chances were created, but the Cheltenham keeper managed to find a way of keeping the ball out.  14 year-old Tom Freer, making his debut for the 2nd XI, grew in confidence and played his part admirably.  With good support from his teammates, he slotted into midfield nicely as Stroud’s interplay improved.  Nick Hitchcroft’s control of the midfield and Derek Pittaway’s presence at back diamond gave a nice pivot point during the second half.  Edwards showed no signs of slacking and Tom Sharpe was as versatile as ever.  Despite the fact that they scored no more goals, Stroud ran out comfortable winners, but will be looking for more offensive success next week when they travel to Leominster as division leaders again, albeit by 2 points and having played one more game.

This entry was posted on 16 January 2012 at 09:25 and is filed under Mens 2XI | Match Reports. You can leave a response here.

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