Storm Brian greeted us today and with the pitch taking an absolute battering over the previous 24 hours the 109 people in attendance was a very positive figure.
With the first 10 minutes passing in the middle third of the pitch, both sides trying to come to terms with the wind and rain, with a few probing balls from Durham City being swept up by Carl Robinson in the Esh goal. One moment of contention being a long ball dropped on quickly by Robinson right on the edge of the box, as I was 60 yards away I am unable to comment, however the Durham City supporters claim he was out of his box when he first took the ball. The referee disagreeing and playing on.
13′ Goal Esh Winning 1 (Marley) – 0 Durham City
A long ball from Durham City is easily dealt with by the Esh defence, and worked out to Joe Wilkinson at right back, he curves a ball from just inside his own half looking for the run of Nick Marley, with Dean Caris looking favourite to get there first Marley nips just in front of the stopper, rounding him and having the easy task of rolling the ball into the gaping net.
The goal spurred The Citizens into life, with the next 5 minutes being their only period of control in the entire game. The dangerous looking Callum Smith was brought down by Esh Captain Stoker on the edge of the box, earning a deserved yellow card early on in the match. The resulting corner was whipped in dangerously by Smith, beating everyone including the post in the process.
Straight from the goal kick good work from Joshua Thompson saw a low cross put dangerously into the box, Mykel Summerson getting an interception just as Craig Hennis looked like he was going to stroke the ball into the net. The first of many important interceptions, clearances and tackles by Summerson was arguably the most vital.
Esh got back on the front front after good defensive work from left back Jonathan Swift, intercepting a through ball saw the rangy defender with 60 yards of open space in front of him, charging past multiple Durham defenders he gets to the edge of the area before hitting a tame effort that is touched out for a corner.
The resulting corner is put in by Callum Boakes, finding Max Stoker on the edge of the 6 yard area his volley is deflected wide for another Boakes corner, this one again is aimed at Stoker who powers a header just over the bar with Caris static.
The latest strike force at Esh Winning saw Connor Halpin link up with Nick Marley, and early signs are promising with a beautifully delicate pass from Halpin finds Marley 6 yards out, striking it sweetly it looks destined for the net, Caris making an exceptional point blank save to his left has other ideas diverting the ball away for a corner.
Durham’s best chance fell to Smith, after good work from Steele in the middle of the pitch he finds Smith bursting free into the the left hand side of the Esh box, one on one with Robinson his tamely his effort was straight at the keeper, when he really should have scored.
The final two chances of the half saw Esh unfortunate not to extend their lead, Connor Halpin getting on to a long ball, rounding Caris but finding himself on the touchline, cutting back he lets a shot go only to be blocked by Potts on the line. The last chance after a superbly hit Free Kick from Boakes finds Nicky Marley up to meet the ball, his header kisses the top of the crossbar before going to safety.
HT: Esh Winning 1 – 0 Durham City
The second half was a story of dominance from an Esh side that has been threatening to do this to a few teams recently.
49′ Goal Esh Winning 2 (Halpin) – 0 Durham City
A goal kick from Caris was met with a strong header back from Jonathan Swift, the ball met by Connor Halpin who had gambled on the header, profiting from a mistake by Caris he rounds him and strokes the ball into the goal, a real poachers effort.
A mixed afternoon for Caris saw him make another very good save, after nice work from Allison releasing Halpin one on one in the area, he strokes it to the keepers right who stands up strong and saves the blushes of the Durham defence for the time being.
58′ Goal Esh Winning 3 (Halpin) – 0 Durham City
As mentioned before the strike partnership of Halpin and Marley, was showing signs of being a good one. None more demonstrated by a lovely lofted pass from Marley was met by a sweet touch from Connor Halpin who takes it to his favoured right foot, before powering an effort towards goal, a defender tries to block the effort but only succeeds in putting it in the other corner of his goal. A real nerve settler for the Stags.
The next 20 minutes or so passed without any real action, Esh sitting back absorbing an ineffective passing game from The Citizens, one that prompted a Durham fan to claim they where passing Esh off the park, the comment was greeted by laughter from his fellow supporters and was backed up by a wayward Durham pass that landed right at his feet.
81′ Goal Esh Winning 4 (Taylor) – 0 Durham City
With The Stags management smelling blood, they made two attacking changes, along with taking ever present Max Stoker off for a rest, replaced by Alex Hird. The two attacking changes of Charlie Wigley and Dagan Taylor provided new impetus to the Stags, after good work again from Callum Boakes he tees up Wigley, who’s shot was tipped onto the post by Caris, falling at the feet of the poacher Dagan Taylor, who shifts his weight quickly to prod the ball into the net for a deserved 4th for Esh
84′ Esh Winning 5 (Marley) – 0 Durham City
The last action of the match was also the fifth goal, superb work by Charlie Wigley on the left wing, a lovely left footed cross finds Nick Marley wide open in the box some 10 yards out, stroking the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the net he completes the rout.
FT: Esh Winning 5 – 0 Durham City
Esh Winning XI: Robinson, Wilkinson, Swift, Stoker (c)(y) (Hird 61′), G. Brown, Summerson, R. Brown (y)(Wigley ’75), Allison, Marley (2), Boakes, Halpin (2)(Taylor ’63 (g))
Unused Subs: Johnson, Fish
Durham City: Caris, Robinson, Thompson, Potts, Crawthorne, McWaters, Rodgers, Hennis, Steele, Smith
Referee: D. Mahmoodshahi
Assistants: R. Bird, M. Crowe
All views expressed in this report are my own and do not represent those of the club or anyone else.