Shrimps 3-0 Forest Green Rovers

Globe Arena, Saturday 09 March 2019, League 2, 3pm

Shrimps – Halstead Mills Sutton Old Conlan Kenyon c Wildig Oates Mingoia Collins Bennett subs used Ellison for Bennett 69, McKay for Wildig 74, Mandeville for Oates 88.

FGR- Ward Mills Gunning Digby Malife Winchester James Grubb McCoulsky Doidge Williams subs used Mondal for Grubb, Brown for James both 57, Shephard for McCoulsky 70.

Ref – Carl Boyeson, had a quiet and unobtrusive game, mainly thanks to FGR not diving, cheating and time wasting like many other visitors this season, credit to them.

Att- 1528 with 141 from FGR.

Weather – very windy AGAIN, but both sides kept it mostly on the floor, pitch was cutting up though.

What a difference a week makes? Following our strangely dominant defeat at Yeovil, where 4-0 at half time wouldn’t have flattered us, this week we decided to take our chances and look what happens? I suppose an early goal always helps, and 6 minutes in Collins out paced Gunning in the D, his shot was parried by Ward in goal but Oates was alive to gleefully tap home and open the scoring.

Rovers struck back, Williams cutting back for McCoulsky to  hit past Halstead but Sutton had dropped onto the line to clear away on 9. Doidge then tested the home custodian into a reflex save low to his left on 15 as Rovers pressed for parity. Aaron Collins was lively and shortly after he cut inside Gunning again and his low shot was well saved by Ward, the rebound was also on target from Oates but was bundled away for a corner. A weak header from Conlan looped it the air on the edge of the box and McCoulsky again forced Halstead to intervene with another smart stop.  FGR were using a patient build up which suited the home side as they quickly regrouped into two banks of four, with Mingoia and Oates being very effective in closing the spaces down. The decisive second goal went to Collins, who doubled the advantage when he received the ball in the D and almost fell over it before turning and sideways on clipping it past the stranded ward. So at HT, Rovers had all the possession but the Shrimps had scored all the goals.

The second period was strangely subdued, with Rovers seemingly not willing or able to get balls in the box without having made 25 passes before it, and the Shrimps happy to sit deep and hit them on the counter. The only real chance for the visitors when Winchester was released and fired in a vicious shot which Halstead did well to turn round for a corner. FGR had 6 corners, the Shrimps had three, none were any danger as the wind proved very hard to read, swirling and eddying all afternoon.

The game was over essentially on 71 minutes when Rhys Oates, seemingly chasing down a lost cause which Digby was seeing out for goal kick, robbed him, having the presence of mind to pull the ball back for the advancing Kenyon (Of all people!!) to slip home with the outside of his left foot, his first goal for three years!!

Oates received a standing ovation for his efforts and was our MOM, with Collins not far behind him with a goal and an assist each,  however Bennett was a constant threat and a nuisance who never gives up and he too deserves a mention. Wildig too returned to good effect, we have missed his precise forward passing.

So we head on to MK Dons and another tough game, but with this line up starting to gel, who knows what they are capable of?

Freezings

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