Match Report: Moormead Cosmos vs Ashstead Colts
A crisp, bright morning greeted the fans arriving at Fortress Marble Hill for the first game following the half-term reshuffle. Rumours ran through crowd and players alike - this Ashstead Colts side had secured automatic promotion with 26 goals in 5 games... Cosmos got off to a comfortable start, pressing well and passing the ball around nicely. Potential early controversy threatened when the ref requested a replacement ball but Moormead re-found their rhythm quickly with a probing attack needing the opposition keeper off his line to clear. It was soon end to end stuff, with successive Cosmos attacks, Vinnie going close, but the rangy Ashstead keeper was extremely impressive. Each Cosmos attack was snuffed out by the big chap between their sticks, who restarted play with an unerring kick that sent the ball two thirds up the pitch, again and again. It was high tempo stuff, Moormead on the attack, Adam with a nice chip, Ashtead keeper starts the counter-attack, good save Kyle. And repeat. The home side definitely took control, with the defence starting to work out their high line needed some adjustment. Kieran was solid and broke up play well, spotting the chance for a powerful long shot, but again their no.1 saved, hoofed it and the counter threatened to leave the home defence flat. Ashstead could easily have nicked a goal against the run of play but a half chance saw their chipped shot well over the crossbar. Cosmos defence held firm, with Max breaking down play on the right and great cover from Leo on the left, overhauling their winger several times when he tried to launch a quick attack. Cosmos were playing some great football now, with a sure thing ending up marginally off side. Another attack, a beautiful through ball from Vinnie to Joe, who was now really menacing the opposition defence. But the Ashstead keeper was starting to look unbeatable. It seemed destined to be a goalless half, with Kieran teeing up Joe, just for another save. James shored up midfield and Kyle was called to action a few times, but matched his opposite number for skill, and even some frantic pinball in the Ashstead area, with shot after Moormead shot, couldn't break the deadlock. Adam had been watching his old Holland videos, with worthy display of total football seeing him move from extra defender to attacking midfielder in a flash. Freddie joined in with another Cosmos shot. Then a lovely dribble forward by Leo culminated in a decent attempt. Good play from Adam leading to a nice shot. Leo again. Their keeper having the game of his life. Until finally, 1-0 COSMOS!!! Vinny scores, Joe with the assist, mere seconds before half-time. The second half was a little more even, with an early break seeing Vinnie's attack leave Tom unlucky to not get something. An organised Moormead defence held firm, and Harry (in for Olly after a late injury) was now on with his fresh legs causing all sorts of problems for their left back. Another shot from Tom saw Gabriel come close with the follow up, Gabriel now running riot, flying in down the left and making some great runs too. A tense final 10 minutes saw a good shot from Harry, a great save from Kyle, sun in his eyes, and late drama with their keeper switching to play up front?! Cosmos threatened again, Ashstead attack, Leo heading clear from their corner, the ref regularly checking his watch now, and then finally a second goal, 2-0 Cosmos, three points in the bag, a superb goal from Tom, bursting the back of the net, a second assist for Joe, again just seconds before the full time whistle. A great victory, a clean sheet and the perfect prize for the Guv before his stint on the treatment table.