On Monday 1st October, Stretton Handley started their league campaign in a home match against Tupton. After a thorough warm up led by captain LR the team were ready and it showed, as Stretton took early control in the game, with LH, LR and MH dominating possession in Tupton’s half. However, Tupton defended well and Stretton couldn’t find the goal they deserved. After 14 minutes, a brilliant long throw by LH put MH one-on-one with the keeper and he made no mistake. slotting the ball into the bottom corner, 1-0 Stretton.
The goal filled the Stretton team with confidence and 2 minutes later, after a good tackle by KH, LR got the ball and passed to LH. who then passed to MH, who again skillfully wrong footed the keeper and smashed the ball into the net. 2-0. A brilliant first half performance!
The second half started and Tupton started to pile on the pressure. Stretton were deep in their own half and defending well. RJ made a crucial header and TH made 2 brilliant saves in the goal. From a Tupton corner, GT calmly cleared the ball down the line which MH chased and with excellent skill dribbled down the wing, cut into the box and was fouled in order to win a penalty! Chance for his hat trick maybe? Not! Captain LR decided to step up for the penalty and dilled low and hard only for the keeper to make a good save.
Tupton then started to dominate possession and a mistake in defence led to a one-on-one, but up stepped goalkeeper, TH, to make a fantastic low save. However, from the resulting corner, Tupton managed to create a shooting chance from outside the box and it curled right into the top corner 2-1. Tupton grew in confidence now and again had 2 good chances with GT clearing one of the line and KH making a strong tackle to deny another.
However with 4 minutes left TH made a good safe and the ball fell to LR who mistakenly hand balled it to give Tupton a penalty and chance to equalise. The Tupton striker smashed the ball home to make it 2-2.
In the final 2 minutes LH had a brilliant shot cleared off the line and MH, with fantastic skill, smashed the ball like a rocket, which somehow the Tupton keeper managed to save. 2-2 the game finished and a point each to the two teams.
Star player of the match was voted by the Tupton manager and was given to LH with MH a very close second. Also a stand out league debut for KH.
An excellent game played well by both teams!
Next game at home vs Grassmoor on Thursday 11th October 2018.