South Coast Athletico – 3
St Leonards Social II – 1
After opposition dropped out at short notice, The Chopbacks hosted St Leonard’s Social second team at Bexhill College at the weekend.
The Chopbacks started off on the back foot as St Leonard’s quickly got a passing game together, short accurate passing saw Social making early inroads in behind South Coast but with little to show for their work.
The Chopbacks tried to utilise a direct passing game but the final ball was rarely accurate enough to worry the opposition as the two teams traded attacks.
Twenty minutes in and South Coast finally settled into the game, keeping the ball on the floor the Chopbacks managed to string together passes and began to push St Leonard’s towards their own goal.
With neither side willing to budge for the other the midfield became a battlefield as tackles began to fly in.
Late in the first half the Chopbacks won themselves a corner, the centre halves ventured forward and there was a push on Georgie McDonagh that drew a penalty from the St Leonard’s defence.
Hattrick hero from last week, Luke Darvill, stepped up and placed the ball into the top corner sending South Coast ahead just before halftime.
The second half started and it wasn’t long before Darvill had himself a second, his fifth in two games for the Chopbacks after a defensive mix up by St Leonards Social.
South Coast took the game by the scruff of the neck and began to control the attacking play and just before the 70 minute mark another penalty was won. This time Ryan Wright stepped up this time to score a third for the Chopbacks and another preseason win looked in the bag.
Unfortunately the game began to turn sour as St Leonard’s social had a player sent off by the referee for pushing centre half Dayle McGurk and later on another St Leonard’s player had to leave the pitch for putting his hand in the face of the same player.
The ref seemed to be struggling for control as tackles became more aggressive. The Chopbacks felt they could have had another penalty as Connor Easton was chopped down before the ref waved play on, only for the ball to go down the other end and St Leonard’s themselves won a penalty.
McGurk was then ordered off by the referee after retaliating when he was shoved away from the ball by an opposition player.
St Leonard’s converted the penalty but it wasn’t going to be enough. The Chopbacks had won their third preseason fixture in four games and looked good doing it.
Team manager Neil Sutcliffe says he’s been eft pinching himself even the strength of his side’s performances in their pre-season warm up matches and he’s relishing the challenge of Ramsey Mill in essex next weekend.