AFC Hoxne

AFC Hoxne

A couple of weeks to catch up with due to the greenun taking a holiday.

The Reserves were in action 2 weeks ago against East Bergholt Res and it was a big game. Sadly it didn't go our way and we lost our unbeaten league record. By all accounts it was a poor display from ourselves and we got absolutely nothing from the game which is what we deserved. Bergholt were the better team and deserved the 3 points on the day. It was a blow in the title race not a knockout blow but the cushion we had before is slowly going. No need to panic though a week off to get things together and Wilby's men will be back on the title trail again.

Two weeks ago the First Team hosted Wickham Market. The visitors had started the season very well but dropped off in recent weeks which has coincided with a number of their top players not being involved. Sadly for us they turned up with the usual suspects including Sam Taylor who made his first appearance in 9 weeks. So we knuckled down and got on with it. We started quite well but nothing dropped our way. We took the lead when we were awarded a penalty for a challenge on Bobby Varela. It was by no means a penalty as Bob kicked the ground and although Bob told the official that the penalty was given and Jon Abbott tucked it away for 1-0. Second half Wickham came into it and drew level with a good header. We had hit the bar twice and seen a couple of efforts flash wide but we scored the winner with 15 minutes to go when substitute James Harrison delivered a cross for Alex Blakely to volley home for 2-1. We saw out the game and took the crucial 3 points.

This week we made the trip to Benhall St Mary who were unbeaten in 17 matches. Jon Abbott and Ryan Perry were both unavailable and were joined on the day by Craig Kidby and Kiefer Bultitude not being available which meant a last minute re-shuffle seeing Lee Tricker playing injured and Joe Rumsey moving to the bench. We arrived at Benhall in a minor snow blizzard which was expected to last for a few minutes but actually lasted for 3 hours. So I'm the freezing cold with a snow blizzard and a few call offs what we needed was a quick start............ 6 minutes later we were 2-0 down. The first came when James Harrison was left to mark Chrissy Wright and he powered home a header for 1-0. Almost straight from kick off a ball was sent forward which we didn't clear well and it broke after some sloppy defending for Trotter who squeezed home from a tight angle for 2-0. We could have crumbled, most have who go behind against Benhall this season but we showed some character and dug in. Alex Blakely saw an effort palmed away by the keeper and Liam Smith saw a shot blocked by a defender. On 35 minutes we got back in the game when a good move down the left saw Sam Bobby cut the ball back for Liam Smith who guided an effort into the top corner for 2-1 at the break. We felt we had played well in the first half other than the 6 minute spell and we're confident that if we could tighten up at the back we would score again. It was a scrappy half but we had a great chance when Bobby Varela drove into the box and his cross found James Harrison at the back post but he couldn't connect. Robert Peake then had a chance to get a shot away which looked goal bound but a brilliant block from the defender kept it out. With 15 minutes to go we drew level when a corner bounced around in the box and dropped for Alex Blakely to smash into the bottom corner to complete the comeback and make it 2-2. The game was end to end and wide open now with both sides going for the win. The home side almost got it when a cross was headed towards goal from 6 yards but Jake Hayhoe made a sensational save to keep the scores level and earn a point.

On the balance of play I think a draw was a fair result. Benhall had some good chances in this game and could have netted a couple more but the 2 they did score were gifted and we had the possession and created chances of our own. A lack of character is often something we are accused of and although I don't agree because I've seen how hard the players work it has happened in the past when things go against us early so it was pleasing to see some fight from the lads. I'm still waiting for us to click into top gear and with plenty of unavailability it's a crucial 2 weeks coming up for the first team.

Next weeks fixtures:
Old Newton Reserves Vs Reserves
First Team Vs Old Newton

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Posted: Friday, February 17 2017 by Jamie Scales

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

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