Stowupland Falcons

Stowupland Falcons

After an extremely stressful week we finally made it to the impressive Sidegate Lane facilities to face Ransomes. We had narrowly lost out to Ransomes just before Christmas but with a bare looking squad to honest we were fearing the worst on the day. Ransomes are a good footballing side, always looking to play from the back which is the philosophy drummed into them under the guidance of Allen and Deacon. We started the match with our game plan firmly in mind. As expected the early possession was all Ransomes, building patiently from the back with Haynes often starting the play before moving into Horner and Buckle at the base of Ransomes midfield. Falcons were patient, constantly shuffling from side to side to cut off any spaces, thwart any attack and try to keep the dangerous Deacon out of the game. Ransomes created the first opening when pass of the game from Haynes split the between the full back and centre half allowing Sparrow in at the far post but a great recovery from Dubzzzz blocked the cross which resulted in a corner. Ransomes had several corners in the opening stages but each time Falcons held firm, Graham in goal gathering a couple to relieve the pressure. The breakthrough came when Titlow and Burch broke down the right but only managed to win a throw in, in what was Falcons first possession in the final third. Titlow received the throw in, holding off his defender before setting the ball back to Bobby who delivered first time towards the far post where centre half Nibloe, up from the back nodded past Deacon in the home goal for Falcons to take a shock lead.
With Ransomes already having the best of the possession, the goal was probably not going to change the game that much. Ransomes have enough experience not to panic at a goal down with so much of the game ahead of them so we knew that they would still remain patient in their play. Every now and then they would still spring a long straight ball over the top, but Heath and Nibloe were defending resolutely. Just before half time Deacon did race clear of the back line only for Heath to put in a last ditch tackle and Graham managed to save the deflected shot. Calls for a penalty from the Ransomes bench, but nothing was given from the referee. Our linesman even said at half time that the initial tackle from Heath was outside of the area so perhaps we would have been hard done by if a penalty was given. I’ve certainly seen them given but in our biased opinion Heath made more than enough contact on the ball for us not to penalised. So in to the Half time break at 1-0 up. We knew that the second half would be a long one, with tiring legs and little option to change things up. Burch and Church, not 100% fit after the flu were working tirelessly up front, which in reality meant the half way line and were given little to no service from the men behind them. Ransomes introduced top scorer Morris from the bench at half time and were looking for him at every opportunity. Still despite all of Ransomes possession and build up play it was actually the longer, straighter ball that was causing us the most issues. Bobby got caught on the ball by Deacon who raced through but at a wide angle only had the chance to cross the ball rather than get a shot away, but fortunately his cross that was stood up at the back post had no one at the end of it. Ransomes introduced young Ablitt who looked very sharp and lively, and with Falcons tiring legs he managed to win Ransomes several free kicks which were a good opportunity to load the box and put us under pressure. Time and time again Falcons dealt with the pressure but Ransomes were still knocking on the door. In all honesty it was only a matter of time before something came off for Ransomes. They did have the ball in the net when Morris lifted the ball over Graham, however he was deemed offside and the goal did not stand. However as we headed into the last few minutes feeling like a cat with 9 lives still to be 1-0 up, Ransomes were awarded a dubious penalty for a handball on Nibloe. Up stepped Buckle to equalise with only a matter of minutes remaining. After the penalty there was time for just one more chance which fell to Deacon, and 9/10 in that situation he would have scored and secured all 3 points but Graham pulled off a great save to tip the ball over the bar which we then saw clear before the final whistle blew. Was it a blow to concede so late in the game and from a penalty at that, yes of course it was. Can we feel too disappointed with a draw, no I don’t think we can. To be completely honest, if Ransomes hadn’t got something from the game it would have been daylight robbery. Higher possession doesn’t give you the right to necessarily win the game but in this instance it wasn’t just possession and yes they deserved something from the game. So from that point of view we are happier with our point than Ransomes are with theirs. But some credit must go to ourselves for being so resilient, resolute, putting in a real team effort and doing exactly what we needed to do to get anything from that game with the tools available to us. A point doesn’t really do anything for us in terms of league position, especially with some fantastic wins for Wickham, Barham and Kesgrave around us. But Saturday was more than that for us, in difficult circumstances we proved that we have character and a real togetherness in the squad. Saturday was more a fact that we didn’t lose a game rather than we didn’t win one which is important for us especially after last week’s defeat. With 7 games remaining there’s still a great deal to play for, starting next week with a trip to Saxmundham.

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Posted: Monday, March 4 2019 by Kevin Sturgeon

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

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