After a debacle involving the referee adding a name to the Esthameians team sheet after kick off, Norsemen got down to business and took the early lead. Pressure down the left side, on an obvious weakness at right back, lead to a Luc Coiffait long throw to an unmarked Andy Grant at the far post to nod home. This came not long after Larry Laniyan managed to miss a 2 yard header moments after kick off!
Laniyan's afternoon was looking as though it would be a series (and I mean a SERIES) of near misses until Thenesh Naathen pounced from deep in his own half. Having dispossessed the opposition, Naathen hared off downfield behind the defence to cross to the wide open Laniyan on the 6 yard box who scuffed home and double the Norsemen lead.
The third goal would be crucial to either team and for once this season it was the Norse who got it. Half time substitution Marco Asaro slotting past the goalkeeper after good work from second half sub Matt Rogers. Rogers was perhaps unlucky not to have a second assist when Grant rose to head an exquisite cross over the bar.
More frustration was to come for Grant when a further header was blocked on the line...this time from Laniyan's backside! (Not a good way to impress your skipper Larry)
Tom Collier by this stage was feeling left out and there was just enough time to entice a booking or two out of the opposition by winding them up, known to fellow Norsemen as Collier being Collier. He even managed to keep his record intact of not keeping a clean sheet by being suspiciously close to the play when Esthameians scored off the last kick of the day.
At times the football may not have been the prettiest, with many an opportunity spurned, but the end result is what mattered and is a testament to the continuing spirit despite the torrid season. Next week is an Ally Pally double header at home where a surprise result (or two) could well be the tonic to see the Norse remain in the division. Dare to dream?
Walk tall you blue giants.