Following on from a superb away win at the weekend, Esh came into the first home game of the season against pre-season promotion favourites Blyth AFC. A perfect Deerness evening greeted the players, a marked improvement on 24 hours earlier when a few of us made the trip to Chester-le-Street v Willington in the pouring rain.
Blyth came into the game off a 5-3 win against Thornaby and as previously mentioned a massively fancied team in the division. Esh missing several players through injury and work commitments making seven changes to the starting XI!
The game kicked off at a lively pace with Esh on the front foot, however a clearance got flicked on by Blyth forward Robinson, on to Bullford who found himself one on one with debutant Hannant in the Esh goal, slotting the ball into the bottom corner he looks around to see the raised flag from the assistant signalling an offside and no complaints from any of the Blyth bench inline with the decision.
On the 4th minute, a long ball forward into the Blyth box saw Daniel Kent clean through running from the left hand edge of the area, he takes his time sizing up Chris Bannan in the Blyth goal. Bannan stands tall and manages to snuff out the danger.
13′ Goal EWFC 1 (Marley) – 0 Blyth AFC
Nick Marley is brought down some 40 yards out from goal, just to the right of centre. Callum Boakes sends a dangerous ball into the Blyth area where it is met by Marley out jumping all around him before a perfect header lofts Bannan and nestles into the bottom of the net. A well deserved goal by Esh, which bore a remarkable similarity to Marley’s first goal on Saturday.
After a fairly quiet 10minutes the game burst into life again on the 23rd minute as a well worked ball found Boakes 25 yards out, a deft flick through found Kent again one and one with Bannan, this time the Striker has the beating of him and strokes the ball past, unfortunately hitting the inside of the post, the rebound seeing Marley challenging in with the defender and forcing the ball goal bound, leaped on by the grateful Bannan only inches from his goal line, a real let of for Blyth.
Even more pressure from Esh see’s Bailey Hunter force a corner, Boakes sweeping it in, Marley again winning the header. This time the ball narrowly going over the Blyth goal.
Blyth finally began gaining a foothold, after a bit of pinball on the edge of the Esh box, the ball found it’s way to Michael Tait, who blasted a shot, Joe Wilkinson putting his body on the line throwing himself in front of the shot and wearing one in the midriff. The ball rolling to the dangerous Robinson who narrowly shot over from 18 yards.
With Blyth gaining confidence, but still being forced into long distance shots by a solid rearguard action by Gav Brown, Joe Wilkinson, Sean Johnson and Alex Hird in the Esh back line, a speculative 35 yard effort from Ben Richardson crashed into the Esh bar, bouncing to safety.
42′ Goal EWFC 1 – 1 Blyth AFC (McGorrigan)
A long ball forward from the Blyth left back catches out Alex Hird and into the feet of Robert Taylor, Taylor wastes no time in whipping the ball across to McGorrigan in spae 12 yard out to the right hand side of the edge box, he lashes an exquisite powerful effort into the roof of Hannants goal, a superb finish.
HT: EWFC 1 – 1 Blyth AFC
Esh saw the best of the first ten minutes of the half, most notably after good free flowing football involving, Wilkinson, Brown, Johnson, Hunter, Stoker and Boakes, the latter playing a lovely ball to Alex Hird flying down the right wing who puts in a dangerous cross, Bannan just nipping in front of Daniel Kent who would have been a certainty to score otherwise.
54′ Goal EWFC 1 – 2 Blyth AFC (Robinson)
Against the run of play and out of nowhere, a superb through ball caught out the Esh defence finding Robinson alone in the box, he comfortably slides the ball past Hannant and into the Esh net.
60′ Goal EWFC 1 – 3 Blyth AFC (Mcgorrigan)
After the second goal, Blyth really started flexing their muscles and showing those in attendance why they are tipped for promotion. I have to make an apology at this point, I have no idea how this goal was scored as I was knee deep in thistles retrieving a ball that had been put over the fence….. I’m sure the tabloid journalists don’t have this issue. Anyway back to the goal, I am reliably informed by a Blyth spectator that it was a solid 18yard drive from McGorrigan scoring his second of the night.
The next 15 minutes are dominated by Blyth, who despite being in control never created any clean cut opportunities.
75′ Goal EWFC 1 – 4 Blyth AFC (Robinson)
Esh making a rare foray into the Blyth half get caught out, a long ball forward to the Blyth winger who plays a ball into Robinson some 18 yards out, he drops a shoulder and beats Gav Brown, finding himself with just Hannant to beat, he buries the ball into the Esh goal with no problems.
For the rest of the game Blyth eased off, with Esh coming back into the game creating several half chances, Dagan Taylor on the pitch as a substitute working hard to win two corners.
88′ Goal EWFC 2 (Taylor) – 4 Blyth AFC
From one of the corners that Taylor won, a dangerous ball is put in, Joe Wilkinson up from the back gets a head to the ball resulting in chaos in the Blyth box, before the epitome of a poacher Dagan Taylor pops up 2 yards out to poke the ball home, his first for the club and a deserved consolation to a decent Esh performance.
There was just enough time for another Esh substitute Luke Allison to hit a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out, straight at a grateful Bannan, a yard either side and it flies in.
FT: EWFC 2 – 4 Blyth Town
A decent game of football on a beautiful night, no shame at all in being beaten by a Blyth side who will go well this year. Another tough game on Saturday see’s Heaton Stan making the journey to West Terrace, come and join us!
EWFC: Hannant, Hird, S. Johnson, Stoker (C), Brown, Wilkinson, Kent (Stephenson 56′), M. Allison, Marley (g), Boakes (Taylor (g) 81′), Hunter (L. Allison 61′)
Unused Subs: Swift, Gill
Blyth: Bannan, Tumilty, Oliver, Richardson, Little, Errington, McGorrigan (2), Tait, Bullford, Robinson (2), Taylor
Subs: J. Day, Walker, G. Day, Gillesphie, McRoberts
Ref: P. Burt
Assistants: I. Frostwick, K. Barron
MOTM Poll here: https://twitter.com/EWFC1913/status/895400349997117446
Post Match Reaction: https://twitter.com/EWFC1913/status/895400342850088960
Report by: Adam Wilding
Please note the views above are my own and in no way represent those of the club.