Not a Happy Christmas or end of the year for us with two heavy defeats leaving us rooted bottom of the table 8 points from safety. The sorry stats say it all with just 1 win & 1 draw from 15 league games played. With half the season played we are going to have to produce something rather remarkable to extend our long 38 season unbroken run in Senior football going. Three days before Christmas we were hopeful of getting a 2nd win of the season on our 1st ever visit to Stennett's playing field home of Trimley Red Devils. The reason being at home to them we outplayed them for long periods despite losing 1-0 from a set piece. This was further enhanced after we played second fiddle for the majority of the 1st half to be given an early Christmas present & somehow a 1-0 half time lead. Trimley started the brighter & after Fulcher fouled Veitch 25 yards out, Osborne's venomous free kick thankfully went straight to Johnson in goal. Hewitt's decent delivery from a free kick wide right saw Driver head wide of the near post, before Johnson stopped us falling behind with a great double save to deny Chidlow from close range. We had our 1st chance after Hobson robbed Burton & was going through before Hollis brought him down 25 yards out. Hobson's free kick deflected off the wall to take the sting out of the shot & Hindley comfortably saved. Chidlow's half hit shot trickled just wide. We were then gift wrapped a goal on 35 minutes, when Moss inexplicably played a square ball across the edge of his own box straight to Hobson, who took one touch before slotting home past an exposed Hindley. With our luck in we had our best spell at the start of the 2nd half & had good chances to double our lead which we didn't take & boy did we regret that. Hobson got in left side of the box & his low left footed drive was tipped behind by Hindley. Cook's drive was blocked on the edge of the box & Cameron Smith fed Hobson, but his low drive went straight at Hindley. We then missed a golden chance that might have changed the outcome Hobson got clear through & as he rounded the grounded Hindley, the keeper made a crucial save at his feet. Brown then headed over a corner before 2 quick fire goals by Trimley turned the game on it's head to give Trimley the lead. On 52 minutes Tom Smith's driven cross was turned home by Chidlow in the middle 8 yards out, 4 minutes later & with our right back Seaman off with a bloody mouth, Veitch got in just inside the box left side & his well struck half volley evaded Johnson's despairing dive to go in off the far post. Hobson's cross from the left was side footed wide by Steward 20 yards out. Trimley were now well on top Chidlow cut inside from the right to bury a low drive past Johnson into the bottom corner on 70 minutes. Two minutes later & it was game over as Trimley went 4-1 up Driver pulled the ball back to Hewitt to hit a great low drive that flashed past Johnson into the far corner. By this time we completely lost our shape & desire to compete & it soon became five when Chidlow completed his hat trick from the penalty spot after Carley upended Hewitt. The final goal came 9 minutes from time when the Trimley subs combined with Sharpe's free kick being headed home by the unchallenged Lawrenson to make a final score of 6-1 our heaviest defeat of the season. The catalyst to Trimley's win was the dominance of their middle three of Osborne, Driver & ex Grundisburgh player Alfie Matthews who bossed our midfield all game. Trimley have a had a great start in Senior football & are capable of a top half finish, we would like to also thank them for their hospitality after the game. Thanks also to James on videoing the game, which I still haven't been able to watch. That man is doing a sterling job on non league football. So after all the Christmas turkey we had a home game against 4th placed Benhall & in all the 4 previous games between us there had been 1 draw & 3 wins by one goal. Not this time though as The Badgers merited a well deserved 5-1 win to win for the 2nd season running at the Playing Field. We started on the back foot & we didn't heed an early warning when Eagle's cross from the right was missed by the Grundisburgh defence & the ball fell invitingly to Sillett whose goalbound shot from 12 yards was brilliantly blocked by Cook. Eales back pass was woefully short & Sillett seized on it to go past Reid & then Johnson, who brought him down on the edge of the box. We feared the worst, but ref Biss issued a yellow card which was probably correct as there was covering defenders. Sillett's well struck free kick deflected just over the bar. We gifted Benhall the lead on 8 minutes when a cross from the left ended up at Sillett's feet at the far post & after his shot was blocked by Johnson's legs we failed to clear an easy ball & Noy nipped in to prod home. Good work by Cook on the right side of the box, saw him lose Ridgard & his dangerous cross ended with Garnham side footing wide. Cook had a raking 20 yard drive drift over the bar at the last minute. Good work by Winter saw his low cross from the left by line turned home by Noy at the far post on 17 minutes. It got worse 3 minutes later as Benhall raced into a 3-0 lead, Winter's corner on the left was missed at the near post by a Grundisburgh defender & the ball found it's way to Wright at the far post to bundled the ball home inches inside the post. Hobson's excellent 1st time cross from the right just evaded Smith's lunge in the 6 yard box. Noy's dangerous pull back saw Seaman deny Miller 8 yards out with an excellent tackle. On 39 minutes Hobson was fouled 25 yards out & his well struck free kick saw Warner make a fine save at full stretch his parry went to Cook who fired high into the net from a tight angle. We now started to grow in confidence & we finished the half strongly. Laughlin burst into the box saw his shot blocked by Bailey, the ball fell to Eales whose shot was well saved by Warner. With the last kick of the half we came inches from making it 2-3. Smith's great play saw him dribble past Benhall defenders before slotting a great ball through to Cook 12 yards out with just Warner to beat, who he lifted his shot over & the bar by inches. Into the 2nd half & we started brightly good work by Garnham put Hobson in near the left by line & his driven cross was beaten out by Warner. On 50 minutes Benhall's class shone to put the game out of reach, Miller's fine ball released Winter down the right & his pin point cross was slotted home in the middle 8 yards out by Sillett. A great one-two between Smith & Hobson saw Smith's shot blocked by Bailey with loud Grundisburgh appeals for handball & a penalty turned aside. The ball went straight up the other end & Johnson denied Noy his hat trick with a fine save with his legs, which then denied Eagle, who shot through a crowd of people. Benhall went nap on 68 minutes after Gissing's long free kick wasn't attacked by Grundisburgh & the ball bounced up for Wright to head over Johnson & the ball went in off the bar. Laughlin won the ball 22 yards out & Hobson's low drive whistled just wide. We then took our frustrations out on the referee Biss, who to be fair didn't have the best of games, but in no way was he down to our 5-1 defeat & the dissent he got on & off the pitch was out of order. This led to too many cheap bookings for dissent & was capped off when leading scorer Hobson was given two yellows within seconds of one another after mouthing to the lino & ref. Complete stupidity & he will now miss this weeks hard game at Capel. Smith got our man of the match with some lovely skill & forceful runs & Cookie also had a good game just a shame he couldn't score that second goal. Benhall's motm was the imposing & dominant Will Ridgard at the back, whilst Winter & Sillett gave experience & quality edge up front with 2 goal Noy dangerous also. Chris Wright rolled back the years with a robust game in the centre of the park & notched an unusual 2 goals & Seb Mi

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Posted: Saturday, January 5 2019 by Micky Squirrell

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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