Longmead came back strong and were always quick to break in numbers, often outnumbering our defenders with our midfield being a little slow to get back to support. Our defense worked hard to keep them out, with George D coming on to carry on Oliver R’s great work, but eventually Longmead drew level and then took the lead, the half finishing with Longmead 2-1 to the good.
Freddie G came out of goal with George W taking his place between the sticks for the 2nd half. The half time talk was about the team working harder to get back and defend when not in possession and it worked a treat.
Rejuvenated by their half time Jaffa Cakes and oranges (thank you Linda), the Stingrays came out strong with Ollie W, Jasiu C, Christian J and new boy Spencer S all working hard to win the ball back when not in possession and carry forward with purpose when in possession.
However, the game changer was Freddie G, initially leading the line, but then being moving to centre midfield. Regardless of positon, Freddie G was making superb challenges all over the pitch - I don’t think the opposition knew what had hit them!
Finally the Stingrays play was rewarded with an equaliser, with a powerful shot from Ollie W which the goalkeeper could only push out and Christian J following up to deal superbly with an awkward bouncing ball and finish with ease. This was soon followed by the Stingrays taking the lead with a fine through ball to Ryan E who finished with a fantastic flick off the outside of his boot into the corner when one on one with the goalkeeper.
The Stingrays confirmed a fine victory with Freddie G winning yet another tough tackle on the left hand side, moving the ball over to the right for Jasiu C to carry the ball into the box and calmly slot the ball low and in the corner - the keeper got a hand to it but the shot was too good to keep out.
In between, Longmead had their chances but unfortunately for them George W’s ‘thou shall not pass’ attitude was backed up by some incredible saves, with one in particular from close range that he had no right to stop. Therefore, it finished 4-2 to the Stingrays and yet another great performance.
It has been a strong start to the season for our boys, playing great football, getting stuck in when required and playing with a real team spirit. MoTM was Freddie G - a very popular choice - and it was great to see the goals shared throughout the team - three games in and 5 players have scored the goals.
Thanks to Kevin Ellis for another fine refereeing performance and to those who helped set up / put away the goals. Well played all.
Next week we are away to South Woodham Ferrers United Tiger - details TBC.