14 September 2013
[title size=”2″]Cheam 3 v 4 SA Stainash[/title]
The second game of the season saw Stainash travel to play Cheam in a league fixture on an excellent pitch that promised a good football match. Perhaps a little surprised to be playing on such a nice surface Stainash looked a little rusty early on with several errors all across the pitch, but still played with enough determination and discipline to mean that chances were few for both teams, although Cheam were enjoying the majority of possession.
However mid-way through the first half a sustained period of good play by Stainash moving the ball around the pitch looking for space resulted in a calm move across the midfield and to a deep cross into the opposition area which found it’s way to the feet of Phil Biddle. Cheam, perhaps alarmed to find such an imposing figure that close to their goal with the ball at his feet, brought him down and conceded the penalty. A confident Jaffa then stepped up and stroked the ball home, sending the keeper the wrong way.
It wasn’t long before Cheam stepped up their game and increased the pressure on the Stainash defence, which looked to be holding fast until a long shot looped it’s way over Grant in goal and snuck under the bar for the equaliser. Then followed a further period of sustained pressure from Cheam but Stainash looked like holding out until half-time when with the last kick of the half a miss-hit shot from a Cheam player cruelly found the bottom corner to make it 2-1 to Cheam.
Feeling a little hard done by at half-time to be behind Stainash came out and started the second half brightly, looking more relaxed and playing good passing football but were unable to quite put it together in the final third. It looked encouraging though as the team pushed on for an equaliser, but then a hopeful ball forward from Cheam was only partially cleared which their striker gratefully converted, with some luck, to score a cruel goal to enable Cheam to make it 3-1.
With around 25 minutes left the game looked pretty much to be over, but Stainash showed real character and raised their play up a couple of levels and really took the game back to Cheam with some gritty defending giving the opposition no time on the ball and some debating flowing football of their own – and it resulted in a match to remember for the team. Despite the setback of falling two goals behind Stainash played with real confidence and started to move the ball around playing quick one and two touch football from the whole team.
One good passing move ended with Jaffa playing it into Sunil with room to run at the defence. Still with three players to beat a determined run saw Sunil move through them all and then calmly pass the ball under the on-rushing goalkeeper and into the net for an excellent goal. 3-2.
With spirits up and the quality play continuing Stainash quickly went on to level the scores when Anthony picked out a pass even Beckham would have proud of to play in Jaffa, clearly back to his predatory best, to score his second of the game with a great finish into the bottom corner. 3-3. What a turn around!
Stainash weren’t done yet. With confidence high the team continued to flow forward against a clearly shaken Cheam team and apply even further pressure, with a decisive break when player-manager Anthony found himself with space in the corner of the area and coolly slotted home a fourth goal for Stainash. 3-4. The turn around was complete.
With a little over five minutes left to play and the game turned on it’s head Cheam rallied to try and recover from the shock of the second half blitz, but the usual heroics were supplied by the team in defence and Grant in goal with several good stops from the keeper and tackles from the players to keep Cheam at bay for the closing minutes to claim a truly memorable win.