Crane Sports

Crane Sports

After last week’s fine 5-0 win at Bildeston it was back to Greshams and on arrival chairman Lyndon Barnett and I were delighted to see that the pitch had been mowed and rolled and was in perfect condition for a game of football. Well done and many thanks to groundsman extraordinaire Dean Mountain for a great job.
Kenny Kennedy and his Claydon squad were the visitors on a fine afternoon in front of a healthy crowd of 87, which included old mates Micky Banthorpe, Tommy Woodward and Lucky Singh. Three great characters and good to see them at Greshams supporting the boys.
We started with Matty Oxbrow back in midfield in place of Mikey Sneddon and Ash Smith continued at left back in place of the injured and unavailable Jon Ince.
On 5 minutes we took the lead with a fine goal. Skipper Roper pinged a superb 30 yard diagonal pass into the stride of The Ox and he advanced at pace and half volleyed an inch perfect cross for the onrushing Mo Fike who buried it in the corner past a hapless Glyn Dixon in the Claydon goal. A cracking opening goal. Claydon then came into the game and forced Jack Foster into two excellent saves and from the resulting corner they hit the post from a header which bounced back to Jack. He quickly fed Nathan Woollard and the Cranes midfielder sprinted forward and passed to Matty Oxbrow who delivered a superb through ball for Teon Leggett who had timed his run perfectly and he galloped forward and slid the ball past the advancing Dixon to put us two up with the classic counter attack goal.
Again Claydon pressed and hit the bar with a long range effort but with 5 minutes to go before the break we scored again when the normally reliable Dixon made a complete hash of an attempted punched clearance and Nathan Woollard headed home from three yards out. Half time 3-0.
A brief chat with Kenny Kennedy before the second period resumed and he told me quite correctly that he could not really fault his boys commitment during the first half, but they had just succumbed to two very well taken goals and a rare error by the evergreen Dixon. A very fair and accurate precis of the first 45 minutes.
The second half was not such great entertainment and pretty much a midfield battle where both teams seemed to cancel each other out. It was to a degree spoiled by lots of substitutions and the new roll on roll off system for me is not great and tends to interrupt the flow of the game too much. Both sides had chances and hit the woodwork but there were no further goals and we ran out in my opinion worthy winners as we had that extra bit of class which won us the game in the first half.
Claydon are a decent team. They have a big back four lead by skipper Crane who is a fine player and Liam Woodhouse in their midfield is good on the ball and always in the thick of the action. With a bit of luck they could have had a couple of goals and probably deserved that for all their efforts, but as we know it’s actually scoring that makes all the difference and on the day we took our chances well.
Liam Jennings had another fine game in midfield and Blades and Fike worked hard up top defending from the front. Ash Smith also had another solid game at left back and never lets us down when called upon. New signings Ben Prime, Perry Soanes and Cameron Jay Smith all got some game time too and they are three very talented players who will be pushing hard for a regular starting place if the standard slips or we encounter injuries, so the squad looks to have some good depth this season which we all know is crucial.
For me the MOTM was a close run thing between Matty Oxbrow and Nathan Woollard who both worked extremely hard all game and were instrumental in all of the goals. As Nay bagged a goal he just shaded it but they were both superb in the midfield all afternoon.
Next week a trip to Bramford who have had a mixed start to the season but recorded a fine win away at Westerfield United on Saturday. There are no easy games in this division and complacency is always likely to be our toughest opponent. Beware.
Crane Sports Reserves recorded a fine 4-2 win away at Bildeston Rangers on Saturday with goals coming from Jack Butcher, Jacob Kite, Tristan Orton and Alfie Prior. MOTM was Harry Lockwood…that is two wins from two to start the season and things look very promising for our newly formed team of youngsters. Keep up the good work boys.

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Posted: Tuesday, September 10 2019 by Andy Pearce

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

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