Chopbacks’ eight goal Essex frenzy

Ramsey & Mistley II 3

South Coast Athletico 8

This weekend’s fixture away to Essex and Suffolk Border Football League Division 3 Ramsey & Mistley FC got off to an interesting start.

Due to an accident on the M25 delaying the Chopbacks journey the kick-off had to be postponed for 40 minutes leaving the team with less than ten minutes to warm up.

The long drive and lack of the usual structured warm-up showed as the host team immediately put the Chopbacks under pressure.

The opening minutes of the game were scrappy with both teams focussing on winning individual physical battles, however, Bradley Owens played a quality ball in to Connor Easton who opened his account for the day after five minutes.

The passing the team have been working hard on during pre-season was not showing and the boys put themselves under pressure time and again by playing high balls which Ramsey were often winning with their height advantage.

in the 26th minute Easton returned the early favour and played in Owens to score an impressive goal which helped the team take more of a foothold in the game.

Four minutes later and once more the link up play between Owens and Easton shone through by Owens assisting Easton to his second of the day.

Owens, Dom and Harry were working hard and battling harder in midfield winning crucial balls then playing in the forwards.

A little space opened up on the 31st minute and Owen’s class and confidence enabled him to have a go from 40 yards! It was and incredible strike that the opposition keeper couldn’t do anything about and the scoreline became 4-0 to South Coast.

Credit to Ramsey, they didn’t drop their heads and nicked one back as a speculative ball was played into Ben Tate’s box, a lack of communication in South Coasts defence and a pinch of cunning by one of Ramsey’s forwards allowed him to get in behind and win an unchallenged ball which found Tate picking the ball out of his net five minutes before half time.

At half time manager Neil Sutcliffe gave a calming team talk instructing his players to focus on passing the ball and keeping possession to allow the team to control the game.

In the second half the squad showed good periods of passing and began cutting through Ramsey’s defence.

It took only 11 minutes for Luke Darvill to latch on to a quality pass from Ryan Penny and add to his impressive preseason goal tally.

In the 59th minute, full back Connor Smith tore through midfield and played in Easton who coolly added another Hattrick to his record with a cheeky lofted chip into the top corner.

Minutes later,  a mistimed lunging tackle on Penny saw the referee award South Coast with a penalty. Selflessly, Penny gave the task of the spot kick to Owens who was on for a hattrick.

Brad stepped up and slotted home with a well placed shot to make it 7-1 to the visitors.

Ramsey was not going to give up however and kept scrapping and digging deep, their determination was rewarded when a weak shot uncharacteristically found it’s was through Tate’s hands as he set to collect a somewhat routine ball but failed to keep someone behind the goal allowing it to drift through his gloves then ankles into the net.

This gave the home team a second lease of life and moments later they came back again as the Chopbacks seemed to have taken their foot off the gas, scoring what was to be their third and final goal of the day.

The goal demanded a reaction and South Coast switched up a couple of gears to reply,  Penny who was owning the right wing latched on to a pass and played in Dom McGurk who hit the ball with a whack to round off the scoring making it 8-3 to the Chopbacks in the 88th minute.

The ref blew for full time a few moments later and the day was done.

After the match, Sutcliffe said he was pleased with each players’ performance especially physically in the one on one battles but, overall he wants the team to concentrate on passing as they do sublimely in training with mostly one and two touch drills.

A big thank you to Ramsey & Mistley for agreeing to host this fixture, South Coast was eager to have a friendly outside the Sussex area this year.

The final pre-season match kicks off next Saturday, at 5pm at Bexhill College against Peche Hill Select, then the season starts for real the following week.

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