East Sussex Football League
South Coast Athletico 7-0 Magham Down
Saturday 26th January 2019
Chopbacks start slow but finish with a flourish
South Coast Athletico were called back into league action this weekend, hosting a recently strengthened Magham Down side.
The two sides met last in October ending in a 12-0 win for the Chopbacks.
Coast manager Neil Sutcliffe kept the team grounded in his pre-match notes making it clear this game would be very different, and so it proved to be, a classic game of two halves.
Magham played very well from the start, closing down Athletico at every opportunity, snuffing out the opportunity to create the flowing football Coast thrive on.
Athletico were not having it their way at all, with what few half chances they forged, just not falling kindly early on.
Maghams Keeper was called into action a few times making some excellent saves through the latter period of the half.
The Chopbacks defence held tight giving Magham Down little opportunity to trouble Ben Tate in the South Coast goal.
The first half ended in a goal-less stale mate.
At half time Coasts management team consisting of Neil Sutcliffe and stand in Tony Cook gave words of encouragement, technical advice and a change of personnel sparking a fire into the hearts of the lads.
From the moment the referee indicated the start of the second half, Coast looked like a completely different team, the passing and intricate touches and flick on’s now flowing.
Coast Captain Dayle McGurk picked up the ball in the oppositions box and picked a pass to midfield maestro Harry Jackson positioned a couple of yards out from the visitors box.
He took the ball and steered delightfully around his marker, glanced up and hit a stunning shot up over and across the Magham goal beating the diving outstretched keeper.
Magham were visibly taken aback after looking so solid up until that moment.
This proved to be a crucial goal as the Chopbacks began to smell blood and the entire squad kicked up to another gear.
7 minutes later (55 minutes in), Connor Easton who was having a somewhat frustrating day, attacked the ball driving at Magham defence, spotted Luke Darvill open approaching the away teams six yard box, played him through and Darvill smashed the ball into the back of the net giving the hosts a 2 goal lead.
It was all coast from this point, on the 58th minute, super Brad Owens delivered another perfect corner picking out an unmarked Dayle McGurk who headed his team decisively (into the correct net this week), securing a 3 goal advantage.
60 seconds later and it was 4-0, once again the hosts Captain Dayle McGurk instrumental heading a ball through the Magham defence to a well positioned goal hero Connor Easton who tapped home, very befitting after being presented with his very own 50 goal club Jersey before kick off.
Magham made a change at this point, which seamed to unsettle their team, frustrations were boiling over and they seemed to loose heart.
There was a moment of heated tempers as Connor Easton out muscled his Magham Down marker near the edge of their box, Maghams midfielder saw red and shoved at Easton who was having none of it.
Referee Nick Ticehurst nipped it in the bud, the game continued in good temper with Easton nearly scoring from the resulting free kick.
Coast now in the zone pressed on regardless minute 68 seeing Easton score his second assisted by ever grafting Luke Darvill increasing the score to 5-0.
Magham had one chance shortly after calling “The Cat” Ben Tate into action diving across the South Coast goal putting a shot out for a corner.
Several more chances for the Chopbacks presented themselves, Luke Darvill smashing the crossbar, Brad Owens blistering shot was just wide & right back “Smithy” Connor Smith looked certain to score with a thunderous shot in Magham box, which was denied by the biggest butt cheeks in grass roots football belonging to team mate Connor Easton.
Easton made amends for his shot blocking in the 87th minute laying off Mike Hawley who true to form unleashed a cannon of a shot giving Magham keeper no chance.
60 seconds later, Mike picked up the ball driving at the opposition defence, selflessly played through to unmarked Brad Owens to tap into an open net home goal number 7.
Shortly after the final whistle blew and Coast recorded their 12th win and 9th clean sheet in this seasons competitions.
Man of the match this week was awarded to the midfield heat seeking missile that is “The Predator” Byron Nichol, who terminated virtually every attacking opportunity through the centre of midfield, playing like an absolute warrior encouraging his team mates by his example.
The game was controlled excellently by referee Nick Ticehurst, who presented an excellent example of grass roots refereeing.
As it stands, South Coast Athletico have a week off, returning to their South Coast College Bexhill Ground to host Victoria Baptists February 9th.
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