Before we get into the trivial matter of the matter of the match report, prior to the game both teams shared a minutes silence to respect and honour a young referee, Kieran Oliver, who was taken from us in tragic circumstances last week. All our thoughts at Esh are with his family and friends at this time, a sentiment I have no doubt is echoed throughout the footballing community in the North East.
This is the first time since starting the new website with the more in depth match reports that it has felt like a chore to write them. We have certainly lost games since these started, however none with such a disappointing scoreline and, definitely, none with such a shambolic performance. However, the show must go on and we will look to right the wrongs of todays performance away against Hebburn Town on Wednesday evening.
The match was played in strong winds heading out towards the sea in the picturesque, yet exposed, Welfare Park. With The Stags kicking with the wind in the first half.
14′ Easington 1 (Pounder pen) – 0 Esh Winning
The first five minutes started brightly for Esh with a flurry of corners awarded early on, unfortunately this was rudely interrupted when a defensive mix up between Gav Brown and Mark Fish saw David Paul, nick the ball in between the two of them, gaining a clear run on the Esh goal, Fish making a genuine attempt at the ball could do nothing but bring Paul down in what quite possibly is the most blatant penalty you will see all season, Fish receiving a yellow card for the privilege. With Paul needing a long period of treatment it left time for Jack Pounder to ponder his spot. Eventually sending Fish the wrong way as he slotted it calmly to Fish’s left.
This saw the start of the domination of Easington, with good chances from a quick free kick to Pounder, who found himself with just the goal keeper to beat, before good work from Bailey Hunter covering across from Left Back got the decisive block to stop a certain goal. The next chance saw David Paul leaving two Esh defenders on the floor as he easily danced through them before shooting just wide.
28′ Easington 2 (Paul) – Esh Winning 0
David Paul, having proven the ability to leave defenders in his wake, was at it again, running at an exposed Gav Brown, who slips on his heals allowing Paul a clear run through on Fish and slotting it in to the net easily.
Esh started to gain a small foothold in the game, using the wind to their advantage and forcing a corner after good work from Matthew Allison and Scott Arnott in the middle of the pitch. Bailey Hunter whipping a dangerous ball into the box sees Esh Captain Max Stoker flashing a header just past the post from 6 yards out.
32′ Easington 2 – 1 (Kent) Esh Winning
From the resulting goal kick Kyle Donaldson struggles to get the distance against the strong wind, Scott Arnott winning the arial battle and knocking the ball to Bailey Hunter, on the half way line on the left hand touchline, he sends an exquisite 35 yard crossfield ball, bouncing on the 18 yard line with both Donaldson and Daniel Kent closing on the trajectory, Kent getting there half a second before the keeper and glancing the ball into the empty net for his first for the club in a competitive game.
Despite being an undeserved goal it was certainly a shot in the arm for Esh, who within a minute of the restart had a golden opportunity to steal an equaliser, the ball finding Jonathan Swift 40 yards out who sends a similar ball through to Kent coming in from the right hand side, he does superbly to chest the ball and out muscle the defender, before the keeper comes flying out and making up for his mistimed attempt earlier, making himself a big target, Kent hitting the ball only to see it strike Donaldsons left hand and bounce to safety.
That was the last attack of the half for Esh, the next chance fell to Easington captain Hailes, after a corner from Redman beat everyone in the box, finding the big defender alone 6 yards out, only to totally fluff his lines and roll the ball into the grateful arms of Mark Fish, it was much easier to score.
41′ Easington 3 (Pounder) – 1 Esh Winning
With a third goal looking likely, so it proved after David Paul picks the ball up in the middle of the park, slightly to the right of entre, he beats two more Esh defenders both looking decidedly flat footed, before getting to the byline before pulling the ball back to a grateful Jack Pounder who taps the ball into the waiting net.
Things could have been worse for Esh if it wasn’t for Fish who made two decent saves before the end of the first half, one with his feet and the best of them a good save down low to his left from a powerful effort from Redman.
HT: Easington 3 – 1 Esh Winning
The half time change saw Kieran Day come on at centre half for Gav Brown, however it was business as usual within 60 seconds, after a long range shot from Easingtons Chris Freeman was straight down Fish’s throat allowing an easy save, from a dangerous situation.
49′ Easington 4 (Vincent) – 1 Esh Winning
The goal of the game, and possibly one of the best I have seen this early in the season, saw a superb piece of team play with over 20 passes in a beautiful free flowing move negating the strong wind saw the ball eventually fall to David Vincent, who leathered a ball from 18 yards out, off the underside of the crossbar and into the Esh net, ending any slim possibility of an Esh comeback.
The two best chances of the half for Esh, other than the goal, fell within the next 5 minutes, another Hunter corner causing trouble, the ball eventually finding Kieran Day who hits a strong shot straight into his teammate Swift 3 yards out, if it passes him it would have been a certain goal.
A throw in was won by Reece Brown, on his debut, on for Swift. The resulting Stoker long throw fell to Nicky Marley 18 yards out who sends the ball over the top of the Easington goal.
65′ Easington 5 (Paul) – Esh Winning 1
With the Esh defence in chaos and seemingly unable to read the strong wind the long ball from Donaldson and flick down from Pounder, inevitably found its way to David Paul who finds himself clean through and slots the ball past a helpless Fish in the Esh goal.
This was the chosen moment to give subsititute goal keeper Craig Hannant some match time before a scheduled start on Wednesday, replacing Fish.
Another long ball from Donaldson found its way through to Paul who looked like he may have blown his chance of a hattrick after miss cueing a lofted attempt when clean through.
77′ Easington 6 (Paul Hattrick) – 1 Esh Winning
Not to be denied David Paul, clinched his hattrick after yet another defensive mix up saw him gifted the ball, gratefully sliding the ball past Hannant and being mobbed by his teammates.
80′ Easington 6 – 2 (Stoker) Esh Winning
The last goal of the game surprisingly came for Esh, Max Stoker, not giving up the cause worked hard to create a defensive mistake by Easington, nipping in to cut out a back pass, he rounds Donaldson before sliding the ball into the net after looking to have taken it a bit wide.
FT: Easington 6 – 2 Esh Winning
Esh: Fish (y) (Hannant), Mordue, Hunter, Stoker (c) (g), G. Brown (Day), Summerson, Kent (g), Arnott, Marley, Allison, Swift (R. Brown)
Unused Subs: Gill, Hird
Easington: Donaldson, Freeman, Metcalfe, O’Brien, Hailes (c), Ball, Vincent (g), Redman, Paul (3), Pounder (2), Adamson
Subs: Cooke, Graham, Thompson, Powell, Bulmer
Referee: C. Scott
Assistants: L. Lacey, J. Harkness
Committee MOTM: Scott Arnott
Reporter: Adam Wilding
All views above are my own and do not represent those of the club in any way.