Defensive Lapses Sees Unbeaten Home Record Go
By Keith Inkster
The Yellows entertained Washington NSG at Norham in a reversed fixture after the opposition pitch was deemed unplayable earlier in the week. This was the fourth league game in the Premiership and the step up in class is proving to be a real challenge.
The playing conditions were perfect and all was set for a game that the Yellows felt they could get something from and that was evident in the first 20 minutes as the boys were the more dominant side without really creating too many chances. Playing in their change kit of light / dark blue, James and Owen looked lively up front and were a constant threat to the away sides defence, but on occasions when in possession the right pass or shot was not took and the breakthrough never came. On a couple of occasions Owen beat the offside trap but was flagged, however both occasions looked close and on one of them Owen fired past the keeper but it was chalked off. That 'goal' if given could have been so different to the outcome as immediately after that Washington scored. Harry and Nathan were looking calm and composed and dealing with everything at the back but a long ball was missed by Harry and the away sides centre forward strode through unchallenged to blast past Zack. Despite going behind the feeling was that the boys were still in the game and with only 5 minutes til half time it would be good to regroup. But disaster struck as the away side put the game to bed with two goals before the interval due to some really poor defending. The first was a marvellous strike from the edge of the box, albeit given too much time to turn and set himself up and the third was poor marking to allow a shot to go in off the post from the left side of the box. United are getting into a poor habit of conceding goals at this level in quick succession, it happened in the previous game at Montague too and any mistake is punished whereas in previous league you could get away with that - not any more. The second half was all about salvaging some pride and the boys kept plugging away to try and get back into the game but that was leaving gaps at the back and on a few occasions Washington could and should have added to their tally. It was only poor finishing and some good goalkeeping meant the score stayed as is. Owen did nearly score the goal of the game when he went for an angled chip from outside the box, which just went past the post with the keeper beaten. As the game entered the latter stages the away side grabbed a fourth when once again a challenge was not put in and the centre forward had all the time in the world to place past Zack. Just before the referees whistle Astin (pictured) managed to grab a consolation goal when he persevered on a through ball to eventually get the better of the keeper and slide home, his first goal of 2019 and fingers crossed a few more to follow for last seasons top scorer. Elliot was awarded the man of the match award for another tireless display, especially in the second period. Another tough day for the Yellows but another game when the players and coaches can learn from and make the necessary changes required to gather enough points to survive.