Match report by Izaak Darvill
Winning games seems to be the only way Long Road know how to play currently. Beating St Ives in a high scoring 6-1 home win. However, as common as winning is becoming for the college, having to do it the hard way seems to be a theme weekly.
With St Ives taking the kick off, Long Road gained possession quickly by winning a throw a couple of minutes into their half. Keeping possession didn’t seem a problem for Long Road once they settled into the game, regularly playing some good passing football on a pitch that may not suit the intricate passing style overly. With the confidence of possession Long Road pressed early and took the lead through Captain Josh Lewis who smartly tucked the ball away across goal after a neat pass from striker Sam Karr.Going 1-0 up in a game where both teams were thought to be evenly matched boosted the confidence of the Long Road team. Only for them to take a step back when St Ives equalised 10 minutes later when the ref awarded a soft foul, allowing St Ives to step up and score a well taken free kick from 25 yards, with the ball dipping over the goalkeeper, Tom Plowman, outstretched palms. Reaching the midway point of the first half it was clear what St Ives intended to do, in the fact that a long ball over the top for their forwards to run onto was the most likely pass to be made in any phase of the game. This, however, was an issue for Long Road due to difference in pace between he forwards and the Long Road back four. However, with good communication and positioning, the defensive line held strong along with the excellent work rate from midfielders Harry Fowler, who broke up play well, and Japheth Oduro who shielded the defence with maturity and discipline.
However, rounding off the half with a 2-1 lead was a bonus for Long Road who did have to, yet again, dig in at times. They secured this lead through central midfielder Ben Tait. Picking the ball up on the edge of the 18 yard box, after receiving a pass from Karr for his second assist of the game, Tait took the ball around two players and struck sweetly into the right side of the goal.
The early stages of the second half were vital for both teams, considering the next goal would draw St Ives level or give Long breathing space. With the first 5 minutes starting at, what looked like 100mph, Long Road witnessed a wake-up call through St Ives walking through the whole team and scoring only for the scorer to have been offside by centimetres. This lead to Long trying to slow the game down to try and get a foothold back into the match. This foothold was secured after they scored again to go 3-1 up, with Josh Lewis earning his brace with a calmly taken tap in at the near post, once again Tait was there to provide Lewis with the pass, claiming his second assist of the day.
To stretch their lead to 4-1 didn’t take long as within 10 minutes of the previous goal, provider Tait turned finisher with a strike from the centre of the pitch, 20 yards out. Assisted by Karr.
The theme of providing then going onto getting a goal for yourself was caught by Karr who within minutes of the restart pushed the gap to 4 goals with a strike on the edge of the area to the left of the goal. Karr certainly made an impression after coming back on after picking up a knock in the first half.
However, taking manager Sam Plants thinking into the game of, “if we score 3 or 4 we push for 5 or 6”, the team scored a 6th through captain Josh Lewis securing his hatrick late on. Controlling the ball down after a pin point pass from midfield, Lewis calmly slotted the ball past the keeper when one on one.
The game was then seen comfortably seen through by Long Road who still remain unbeaten in the College League. 6-1 the final score.
Scorers: Josh Lewis – 3
Ben Tait – 2
Sam Karr – 1