A fortnight’s a long time in football.
After the funk of that horrendous run of 1 win in 22 matches, the past two weeks couldn’t have been any different. Progress in the FA Vase via two wins, progress in the league’s First Division Cup and the first league win of the season.
This particular victory wasn’t Cheadle Town at their recent best if truth be told but it was sufficient to comfortably dispose of a struggling East Hull and put us in the velvet bag for the First Round draw.
We dominated this one from start to finish and our first effort in anger came on the 9th minute when Paul Sunderland had a long-range effort tipped around the post.
Ben Brooks was then denied by a last-ditch tackle as he was about to pull the trigger before Pat Davin gave us the lead on the 18th minute; he was put through on goal down the left after great work by Andrew Lunt and, having seen his initial effort saved, managed to quickly re-adjust his feet and round the keeper before slotting home into an unguarded net.
On the half-hour we increased our lead with Pat Davin being instrumental once again.
He managed to work his way into the box with his close-range effort being pushed away to the feet of Ashley Woodhead; surrounded by bodies Ashley still had a lot of work to do but kept his calm by controlling the ball and then prodding home with the outside of his right boot.
Just five minutes later a reverse pass from Ashley Woodhead set his namesake Curran on his way down the right but his shot hit the side netting.
Just three minutes later our lead was extended even further. With the ball on the left side, Paul Sunderland cut inside and hit one towards the near post hoping to catch the keeper out; it looked as though he hadn’t succeeded but the keeper made a hash of his save and allowed the ball to squirm over the line.
The opening of the second half saw us put more pressure on the East Hull net.
Pat Davin fizzed a cross in from the left that nobody could get a leg to, Ashley Woodhead had an effort superbly blocked by the keeper at the near post and then clipped an effort inches over the bar and Ben Brooks was put through but just couldn’t lift the ball over the advancing keeper.
A mad five or ten minutes which saw a volley of substitutions, a yellow card for Ben Brooks and a red for Hamzat was broken by a penalty for us; Pat Davin duly stepping up to blast home our fourth of the afternoon.
And that was pretty much that in terms of chances bar Callum Knight’s effort on 75 minutes that was blocked by the keeper.
The draw for the First Round is made today [Monday 16th] and will be released at 1.00pm. The tie will be played on Saturday 12th October.
The turnaround in the players’ confidence over those past two weeks has been remarkable and Steve Piggott deserves the plaudits he is getting. The squad will fancy anybody in the draw now!
TEAM: Whiting, Machado Le Gal, Hamzat, Lunt (Naughton), Gaskin, Hatfield-Banton, Curran (Knight), Sunderland, Davin, Brooks (Johnson), Woodhead. SUBS: Johnson, Piggott (gk), Naughton, Knight.