Drew 2- 2
Scorers: James Curtis – Ollie Curtis
A really hard fought game against opposition we sought to at least even out the drubbing we had at the beginning of the season. A similar looking side turned up to Polo but there was a greater sense of belief and hope. Without the luxury or loads of subs we resolved to defend well and look to frustrate a younger and fitter looking side than us.
Very early on it looked like this would work and a smashed in cross was deflected onto the keepers’ pads by the skipper, but the loose ricochet was coolly put in by Ollie waiting at the back post (his first goal for the Senior Club and very well taken). 1 – 0 seemed to settle us and for the majority of the first half we looked assured and maintained possession well. The strong defence of James, Graeme and James was enhanced by the calm and effective contribution of Robin. Jimmy, James and Rich were managing mid-field well and despite the oppositions effort to rush our defence we managed to keep them out. However a late arrival for Cliftonville made a huge difference to the game and latter part of the first half and with that Cliftonville scored two goals in quick succession. One, a flick from a short corner that was so precise it left David in goal no chance at all.
Max continues to impress with his running and willingness to cover much of the pitch whilst seeking to attack and covering back when the pressure is on. He was unlucky not to get his reward in the second half. Likewise Merv harried and chased back to help the midfield – indeed this effort resulted in a handful of short corners and it was here that during the resultant breakdown from the initial strike that James calmly converted on the reverse stick; making the Curtis household a happy place to be at the end of the game! The father son combinations of Richard / Max – James / Ollie – James / Robin are now well established and crucial parts of the Squires make up……..hopefully with us to the end of the season and with it a continued better vein of form.
With the scores level towards the end Cliftonville continued to press hard but resolute defence and a determined effort by all 12 of the team kept the scoreline level – we felt more positive than they with the draw but they have been racing away with the league so were bitterly disappointed to only take a point and with it drop a place to 2nd in the league.
Onto the show pitch next week and with it another encounter against a 2nd XI side who are riding high in the league.