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M1 Defeat League Leaders

Stroud, sponsored by Ecotricity, produced a valiant and disciplined display away to top-of-the-table Cardiff and UWIC B.  With 7 players out and travelling down with a bare 11, Stroud had to dig deep from the first minute as a skillful, well-drilled Cardiff team moved the ball swiftly, dominating the early possession. Stroud began to establish a foothold in the game, defending their D and then hitting the opponents on the break with some good work from Rohan Sopp and Matt Pearce.  Steve Shipp forced an excellent save after a quick turn and shot.  The half chances began to come for Stroud as Cardiff struggled to work a way through Stroud’s tight defence.  A direct run from Richard Fynn yielded the first short corner and as the ball was fired in on goal, Calum Norman was first to react to a rebound, only to see his flick strike an opponent on the line, leaving the umpire no option but to award a penalty flick. Richard Fynn slotted the penalty to give Stroud the lead and Stroud ended the half on top as Cardiff’s frustrations boiled over into some reckless challenges resulting in a 5 minute sin binning of one player.
The second half began with the students upping their game as Stroud struggled to get hold of the ball.  The equaliser came after a smart deflection from a powerful cross.  Instead of buckling under the increasing pressure, Stroud continued to defend resolutely and looked dangerous on the break.  An archetypal mazy run from Danny Clifford eliminated 3 defenders and his through-ballwas controlled by Steve Shipp, showing great determination to reach the ball first.  His pass found Matt Pearce who finished coolly past a diving defender.  With 20 minutes of the match left, Stroud were organised and disciplined as Andy Murray, Matt Waite and Rob Fynn marshalled the team, limiting Cardiff to speculative balls into the D.  Keeper Dave Cruickshank was assured throughout and he ensured Stroud left with all three points by making a strong block from a penalty corner strike in the last minute of the game.
Everyone deserves a mention for a superb display: Dave Cruickshank, Rob Fynn, Matt Waite, Danny Clifford, Rohan Sopp, Andy Murray, Matt Pearce, Calum Norman, Zac Lees, Steve Shipp, Rich Fynn.

This entry was posted on 02 December 2012 at 21:10 and is filed under Mens 1XI | Match Reports. You can leave a response here.

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