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Superior Stroud Wreak Havoc

Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, travelled to the Leominster beach looking to consolidate their victory last week and signal their intentions for a top-2 finish.  The chilly conditions did nothing to curb their enthusiasm and it was not long before they showed their worth.  The key difference between the 2 sides was Stroud’s ability and commitment to possession and passing.  Dave Cruickshank had little to do in the Stroud goal and a formidable defensive line of Rob Gleed, Henry Bonham and Matt Watts provided the perfect basis for Stroud’s attacking play.  Watts, in particular, enjoyed the space on the left and this gave the visitors extra strength in midfield.  Young Rohan Sopp earned his man-of-the-match award with a confident and hard-working performance at top diamond, aided by the steadying influence of Derek Pittaway behind him.  Ben Orme broke the deadlock with a well-taken goal as Stroud spread the ball from flank to flank.  The sandy surface should have favoured the home side, but it was Stroud who continued to pass the ball intelligently.  Nick Hitchcroft’d cool head in front of the defence steadied their hand and captain Tim Norman’s tenacity in midfield rattled Leominster.  Orme struck again as he and Tom Sharpe showed signs of ripping the home defence to shreds.  As half time loomed, Sharpe converted a penalty flick to give Stroud a 3-0 advantage.

A totally rampant Stroud ran the game in the second half.  Youngster, Tom Freer had another solid game at right mid, well-supported by his older teammates.  Norman got on the scoresheet, latching onto an inch perfect through ball from Sopp before nutmegging the keeper.  Orme and Sharpe then went on the rampage.  In truth, the entire team played brilliantly and set up the forward line who did not disappoint.  Orme put a lovely reverse flick over the keeper and Sopp provided the perfect pass for Sharpe to convert.  Stroud’s control of the midfield through Sopp, Norman, Pittaway and the advancing Watts and Gleed, became a formality  Leominster were reduced to the long ball, snuffed out early on many occasions.  Norman’s run from left mid opened the defence and Sharpe was perfectly positioned on the left post to deflect another goal.  Gleed, bolstered by his stint in the 1st XI, enjoyed his return.  Two superb team goals, involving six or seven passes rounded off a formidable performance, keeping Stroud top.  Superb finishing from Sharpe and Orme, plus a tremendous performance from the whole team – everybody had a good game – produced a result of which Stroud should be proud.

This entry was posted on 23 January 2012 at 09:50 and is filed under Mens 2XI | Match Reports. You can leave a response here.

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