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M2 Edge it in 13 Goal Thriller

In an absolutely thrilling encounter, Stroud Men’s 2nd XI, sponsored by Ecotricity, narrowly came away with 3 points on Saturday.  The visitors were apprehensive as they began the match against a team relegated from the division above, knowing they were in for a battle.  Fielding two 15 year-olds and one 14 year-old, Stroud looked, on paper at least, understrength.  They need not have worried.  An end-to-end first few minutes set the scene, but Ian Gill, Ben Drury and Matt Watts looked up to the task in front of an initially nervous Craig Breddy in goal.  Tom Sharpe made the breakthrough within 10 minutes, although the lead could have gone either way.  Hamish Norman and Tom Freer shared duties in the outer reaches of midfield and belied their young ages.  Sharpe and Tim Norman then looked to work off each other, but Gloucester hit back with 2 goals in quick succession.  Ben Orme left the pitch for a short while with a cut, leaving both youngsters on the pitch for 10 minutes.  They were unfazed, but captain Rob Gleed began to look worried as the half time whistle brought a close first half to an end.

A resolute Stroud came out for the second half.  From the start a strong tackle–cum-pass from Tim Norman gave Andy Murray the ball in the centre of the pitch.  A short run and pass through to Orme gave him his second of the game and brought Stroud back on terms.  Another swift passing move saw Murray again crossing the ball from the right.  Sharpe was on hand at the left post to give the visitors the lead. No time to relax, though … Gloucester refused to keel over and put Stroud under some severe pressure.  All hands to the pump in defence, but the home side pulled a goal back from a short corner.  A dark few minutes ensued, Stroud conceding another couple of goals to go 5:3 behind.  Great work at the back and some fine stops by Breddy denied Gloucester any further goals.  Sharpe claimed another to put Stroud one behind, before smart work earned Stroud a short corner.  Gleed struck it sweetly to level the game at 5:5.  Gloucester struck back straight away, but Stroud were still not out of it yet and Orme’s quick reverse stick strike levelled it once more.  Great work throughout with youngsters Hamish Norman and Freer swapping on at left midfield and certainly not looking overawed, Stroud sensed victory and huge pressure earned them a penalty stroke which was duly converted by Sharpe.  Gloucester proceeded to equalise AGAIN, but another penalty stroke was awarded to Stroud as Gleed’s short corner strike hit a defender on the line.  Sharpe put Stroud 7:6 to the good with 2 minutes remaining.  Tim Norman earned another penalty corner and Gleed’s strike caught a slight deflection and narrowly missed the target in the dying moments of a tremendously exciting match.

As the score ebbed and flowed, the result could have gone either way, but a battling Stroud side were delighted to come away with 3 points, particularly with the side lacking their normal strength.  That aside, everybody played their part and should be proud of the result which keeps them one point from the top.
Breddy Drury and Gilly 17 Nov 2012

This entry was posted on 19 November 2012 at 11:44 and is filed under Mens 2XI | Match Reports. You can leave a response here.

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