Having played and lost to four out of the top six in their league, the Mens 3s welcomed fellow strugglers Stevenage 3's to the late October afternoon sunshine at Meadowcroft.
Inspired by the sight of the Mens 2s running out 2-1 winners in the preceding game, the Mens 3s started strongly and were on top during the early exchanges. The first goal came after the Stevenage keeper saved a short corner strike, when injector Rik Kaup was on hand to put away the rebound.
Then after good work from Richard Peachey, who possibly for the first time this season appeared in a dangerous poison in the D, slipped a short pass to James Godsell who precisely slapped the ball past the Stevenage goalkeeper. 2-0 to the Mens 3s.
However, Stevenage started to come back into the game as the half wore on, helped when James Fido took a firmly struck ball on the ankle and had to leave the field. As well losing the control and balance that he was providing to team, this meant there were no substitutes to roll on and off in the second half.
Shortly before the half-time whistle, Stevenage scored from a short corner, further changing the complexion of the game. From what started as a relatively comfortable romp to victory was turning into a closely fought encounter.
With the game becoming increasingly stretched into the second half, itwas Stevenage who scored the with one of their midfielders smashing the ball into the d for their centre-forward to deflect into the goal.
Both sides had further opportunities in an increasing open game, with Mens 3s in particular making ground down the right with slick passing between the marauding midfield duo of Will Alderson and Tom Walker feeding flying right winger Paul Dubenski. But unfortunately, despite the deft touches of centre-forward Luk Bric, there were to be no more goals. At the other end of the pitch, the acrobatics of goalkeeper Mark Johnson and some strong challenges from Saleem Farooqi prevented any further Stevenage goals. It was 2-2 when the final whistle went.
On reflection, a draw was a fair result, and was enough to move the Mens 3's off the bottom of the 5SW league table. The main positive to take from the game was the continued improvement in positional
discipline. Hopefully, this will provide the foundation for the team to start winning in games in the run of fixtures against some of the weaker team in the divisions in the lead up to Christmas.
Man of the match was Ed Goodwyn, who as well as being skipper, was the heartbeat of the team, demonstrating indefatigable levels of energy as he rampaged around the field for all seventy minutes of the game.
Champagne moment goes to Richard Peachey for his look of absolute horror when told that he was going to have to play in defence in the second half.