There was a slight wind blowing towards the bowling green, but other than that conditions were perfect for football as Norsemen got the game underway. Right from the first whistle the home side attacked EBOGs with purpose, getting the ball wide to Newby and Warburton whenever possible. It was Newby who had the first clear-cut chance after he beat the EBOGs offside trap and latched on to Murray’s through ball, only to fire over at the near post. If this was a warning to EBOGs they didn’t heed it, and on the half hour Newby made no mistake with a delightful lofted finish after a great pass by the evergreen Ayers, who was revelling on his return to the starting 11. If the home side had the better of the first half an hour, it isn’t to say that the visitors didn’t have chances, and they looked dangerous on the break with the two quick wingers giving plenty of support to the nippy number 10, their best outfield player on the day. The forward got through a lot of hard work and selfless running, and was very direct when he had the ball, and started to cause the home defence a few problems. Just as EBOGs were starting to get on top the referee brought the first half to and end.
HT Norsemen 1-0 EBOGs
The start of the second half continued as the first half had ended, with the visitors having the better of possession. 5 minutes in and the number 10 showed his first half performance was no fluke as he drew the sides level with a great strike. Possibly allowed too much room on the edge of the box, he turned and fired a 25 yarder past Kalli and into the top corner. 1-1.
However, this served as a wake-up call to Norsemen, and they responded well to the setback. The next 30 minutes were probably the best that the home side have played this season, as they defended strongly, passed the ball well and created chance after chance – unfortunately for the Blue Giants they came up against an inspired goalkeeping display. The visitor’s keeper pulled off 3 fantastic saves from Marshalleck, and further saves from an Ayers header, a Warburton free kick and a Branch one on one, all of which would have gone in on another day. As it was, Norsemen had to wait until 5 minutes before the end for the winner, when a great cross from Ibrahim was headed across goal by Branch for Ayers to force the ball home. 2-1 and no more than Norsemen deserved. There was just enough time for the Blue Giants to give Owen and Snatch kittens on the sideline by giving away 3 free-kicks in dangerous positions before the referee brought a great game to a close.
A great performance and result against tough opposition.
MOM could have been one of many – we looked solid in defence, Kalli had his usual stormer, the midfield protect the back 4 well and attacked with relish, and Reg worked hard up top and showed some great touches. For me, Khamali Hamilton stood out and continued his great run of form with a complete performance. He’s getting stronger with every game and will be a big player for Norsemen over the rest of the season.
Walk tall you Blue Giants.