Men's 1s secure late victory
By Nicholas Heyward
2 late goals give JPC the win in a scrappy game.
After three early wins followed by two disappointing defeats, today’s game against Redcar (a side without a point this season) was seen as a great opportunity to return to winning ways, and shift some momentum in our favour once again. Despite great stress being put on getting the basics right in the team talk before push back, JPC started sloppily, struggling to string more than five accurate passes together. Redcar weren’t much better, resulting in a drab opening, with very little action for either keeper. As the game seemed to lull into a stalemate, Redcar suddenly hit JPC on the counter – a huge crash ball from a Redcar centre back found their right winger, who hit the ball to the top D, finding a Redcar attacker, who passed it round the defender to a teammate who slotted home despite the despairing dives of both Greenshields and Baker. It was a cheap goal to concede, but it rather summed up our first half performance.
After a half time team talk, again stressing basics, JPC started more brightly, enjoying a good spell of possession halfway up the pitch, transferring the ball round the back four and midfield nicely. A few minutes later, JPC got their reward, after Euan Stenhouse
sprinted from JPC’s D after a cleared ball, reaching the ball before the defender and driving into space towards Redcar’s D. The ball was fed to Aiman Zelan
, who crossed the ball to Stephen Robertson
, who had sprinted forward to keep up with the counter attack, for the simplest of tap ins to make it 1-1. However, minutes later, JPC shot themselves in the foot again, losing the ball in midfield, for Redcar to drive into the D and swipe the ball into the bottom corner of the goal. The game then became scrappy again, as fatigue and frustration threatened to influence the game. As the game reached the final ten minutes, JPC were desperately trying to find a goal, focusing on attack and gradually penning Redcar back towards their own goal. Eventually, JPC won a short corner, and after two Redcar defenders were sent to the halfway line for running early, JPC piled men forward, with only Mullen, Moore and Darling staying back. Craig Duffy
injected the ball to Stephen Robertson
, whose hit was blocked by a defender. The ball then fell kindly for Baker, who pushed the ball towards the goal. With Baker in dreamland over a potential first ever goal for JPC, his dreams were shattered by captain Nick Heyward, who smashed the ball over the line for the equaliser. Despite this, it was delight all round, as there was still time left to score a winner, and the momentum of the match had swung in our favour.
JPC continued pushing forward, with good work on the wings creating problems for a tiring Redcar. With minutes left, JPC won another short; Duffy again injected to Robertson, who’s slightly miscued hit caused havoc inside the D. The ball fell for Heyward, who slapped the ball towards the goal, hitting the ground in the process. With the ball rolling in, Tom Fowler
made sure the ball crossed the line, getting the final touch to score the winner, and giving Nick a taste of his own medicine.
Overall, we didn’t play amazingly, but we showed spirit and character to win ugly. We all will have learned something from the experience, and will train harder this week to improve, and be ready for the next match against top of the table Morpeth.