Moor Mead Athletic 2 - Hersham Youth Hawks 3
Moor Mead were blown off course in disappointing fashion in a hard-fought encounter in a squalling wind at Marble Hill.
A rousing second half fight back looked as though the Parakeets would atone for possibly their worse 35 minutes of the season, but they got caught by a sucker punch, and couldn’t find a way back for a second time.
Hersham were a decent side, but Moor Mead made heavy weather of difficult conditions, a howling wind whipping the fallen leaves across the pitch, and threatening to send Tim Gibson’s chair into orbit. Zac fired wide early on but for all their huff and puff the home side rarely threatened.
It was Hersham who took the lead. Moor Mead failed to defend a free kick, leaving Alec exposed, and although he was able to parry a shot from point blank range, there was nothing he could do to stop the follow up being smashed home (0-1). The home side were lucky not to concede again, a Hersham striker blasting over after a goal line scramble.
Dilly’s entrance added a much-needed stability to midfield, and Moor Mead began to press for the first time, with Jake and Will S stretching the defence down the right flank, but the merciless wind and determined defending seemed to snuff out momentum before they could carve out any clear cut chances. At the other end, Alec came off his line to block a break.
Just when it looked as though the Parakeets were getting a foothold they conceded in the most unlucky circumstances: Daniel’s back pass bobbled off the uneven pitch, and away from Alec’s despairing dive (0-2).
Huge credit to the boys then, that they came out so positively in the second half. Miles picked out ZAC, who burst away from two defenders and clipped a beautiful finish past the on-rushing keeper and inside the far post (1-2)
As the Gibson roar cut through the gale, Moor Mead upped their game. Zac raced down the left to force a corner from which Jake’s shot was well-saved, and moments later Zac danced down the wing again, stretching the Hersham defence to the limit. Then Jake made a break down the right, and although Miles’ cross shot was saved, DANIEL provided the killer touch from six inches (2-2).
It looked as though there could only be one winner, but a lobbed punt into the box caused confusion in the home defence, and the hesitation allowed a Hersham striker to nip in for another soft goal (2-3).
Moor Mead ramped up the pressure in the dying moments, displaying an intensity that had been missing earlier on, and Miles forced an excellent save from the keeper low down at his near post.
But Alec was also called into action twice, as Hersham threatened on the break.
In truth, it felt that Moor Mead should have got something from the game, but at the final whistle they were left whistling in the wind.