17-09-05 Att.78

Playing only our 3rd league game of the season, we knew that we needed to pick up points to enable us to start moving away from the bottom.
On a bumpy surface and in bright sunshine, Harwood attacked the school end and it took them just 12 minutes to open the scoring with a fabulous goal from the irrepressible John Eastham. As a Cheadle defender tried to shield a loose ball out for a throw in mid-way inside his own half, Eastie robbed him, advanced towards the box and unleashed an unstoppable left foot drive from 25 yards which flew into the far top corner via the post. The first half was a little scrappy with nothing to choose between the sides but Cheadle wasted two golden opportunities the best of which saw a home forward burst clear of the static defence and deliberately curl a left foot shot wide of Bobby Harris’ right hand…and also the post.
Six minutes into the 2nd half, more slack marking at the back allowed Cheadle to equalise putting the game in the balance.
Half chances came and went at both ends but with Rogers an the left, Pope on the right and Eastham in the middle, Harwood always looked capable of re-taking the lead and so it proved after 69 minutes when the centre forward was pushed over in the box as he attempted to get on the end of a right wing cross. Darren Rogers stepped up to slam the ball low to the keeper’s left. Soon afterwards, Cheadle missed a great chance to draw level. More poor defending let a home forward in for a free shot from ten yards. Harris produced a fabulous save but the ball fell at the feet of another forward just a couple of yards from goal. But with the Harwood number one still on the ground, the forward amazingly hit the crossbar. Relieved at their let off, the Robins attacked with renewed vigour and five minutes after taking the lead, a third goal looked to have secured the points. Rogers cut in from the right and hammered the ball into the top corner form a tight angle for his third goal of the season. Harwood went in search of more goals, sensible tactics taking into account the frailness of the defence which was breached again 7 minutes from time thanks to more bad marking. Despite that, Harwood never looked in danger of losing the lead as the players knocked the ball about with confidence to see out the remaining time.

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