Teaming it down with rain, a pitch that looked more suited to water polo than football and a referee that didn’t bother to look at it until he led the teams out. Who cares, with Tow Law having a further 7 home games to play by May the game just had to be played! The Willington players that turned up just on kick off after having their game called off where amazed that the game was on after declaring their pitch was far more playable, I guess we just got lucky and got a match!
The game started with Tow Law on the front foot. Lewis Teasdale pouncing on a mistake by Matty Soulsby hit a powerful effort that Mark Fish, returning in the Esh goal, stood up strong to block and divert away for a corner.
6′ Goal – Tow Law 1 (Reaks) – 0 Esh Winning
A long ball was flicked on by Teasdale to the on rushing Damon Reaks, who for all the world looked a good 3 yards offside. He approaches the Esh penalty area with the ball getting stuck in the mud, he makes it look easy and slides the ball to Fish’s left and into the back of the net for a deserved lead.
The next 20 minutes where a scrappy affair with the conditions proving much more difficult to master. A nasty incident saw the Stags Jonathan Swift slide in to win a ball by the stand, winning the ball he is unable to stop himself and smashes into the stone wall. returning to the game after a minor stoppage he eventually succumbs to his injuries and claiming a shortness of breath after 42 minutes is replaced by Sean Johnson. We all hope Swifty is absolutely fine now he’s back home in the warmth!
Esh’s first chance of the game fell to Reece Brown, who on the 26th minute made a jinking run from the left wing to find himself in the box, opting to shoot instead of pass he finds the deflection with a goal looking a real possibility.
Esh starting to gel up front with Halpin, Boakes and Brown linking up well to send Halpin racing into the box, knocking the ball past Tom Orton at the corner of his box he goes down over the outstretched hand of Orton. With all eyes on the referee he gives a goal kick with Orton looking sheepishly in the direction of Mr Watson.
The penalty shout stung Tow Law into action, decent efforts for Teasdale and Reaks where both wasted before Esh had the best chance in the dying embers of the half. After a mix up between Pattinson, Kemp and Orton, Matty Allison found the ball at his feet some 25 yards out. With Orton in no mans land all he needs to do is hit the target, however his composure left him and he slashes it wide of the right hand post a let off for the Lawyers.
HT: Tow Law 1 – 0 Esh Winning
47′ Goal – Tow Law 2 (Knowles) – 0 Esh Winning
A sucker punch that came out of the blue for the Stags, a well controlled ball by Teasdale was hit low at the Esh goal, Mark Fish pulling out a superb save dow to his left could only deflect it into the path of right back Adam Knowles who bundles the ball in to the gaping goal.
50′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 1 (Halpin) Esh Winning
What Esh needed now was a quick response, and that is what they got. A long ball forward was well controlled by Brown, he then lays it of to Boakes. In turn he plays a lovely weighted ball through to Connor Halpin who takes it to his weaker left side and rolls it past the advancing Orton and into the bottom corner.
The last real chance for Tow Law was in all honesty an absolute sitter. A mistake by Mark Fish in the Esh goal fell at the feet of Lewis Teasdale, with all the goal to aim at he picks the bottom left corner as he looks at it. From out of nowhere Sean Johsnon appears flying in from left back, managing to somehow arrive at the bottom corner just as the ball does and really helps turn the tide fully into Esh’s favour, a real game changer.
The main creative force today was Callum Boakes, he threaded a ball through to Halpin who again went to his left, this time however he beats Orton but also the opposite post sending it agonisingly wide in what would be his last action. He was replaced by Daniel Kent………
75′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 2 (Kent) Esh Winning
Having been on the pitch for 5 minutes and not seeing any of the ball, Daniel Kent used his freshness and size to excellent effect for the equaliser. Callum Boakes sending a lovely ball over the top to set in motion a foot race between Kent and keeper Orton, with both getting a foot on it at the same time it was Kent who was stronger. Winning the ball and finding himself on his left hand side on the edge of the 6 yard box he makes no mistake and sends it into the open goal for a well deserved equaliser.
81′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 3 (Soulsby Pen) Esh Winning
With only one side looking to likely to win the game it was that man again Callum Boakes who reacted well to a through ball, bursting into the box and looking to shoot. He was clipped by not one, but two Tow Law defenders in separate tackles within half a second of each other he goes down. The referee looks at his linesman who gave no indication, he then waits an agonising 5 seconds before making his mind up that it was indeed a penalty. Up steps Matty Soulsby, who minutes before was down with cramp, to make no mistake and send the ball down the middle to put the Stags ahead against his former team.
95′ Goal – Tow Law 2 – 4 (Kent) Esh Winning
With Matty Allison looking to run the ball to the corner he looks up and sees super sub Daniel Kent in acres of space on the edge of the Lawyers area. Receiving the pass he has one effort on his right foot, well saved by Orton, he makes no mistake with his Left foot and smashes the ball into the goal sealing a remarkable and well deserved victory.
There was still time for one more Tow Law effort in the 100th minute with sub Dawson smashing an effort off the bar and out to Safety.
FT: Tow Law 2 – 4 Esh Winning
A double over Tow Law is something that hasn’t been achieved for many years and as such should be celebrated. Thank you again for the hospitality and good luck for the rest of the season.
EWFC XI: Fish, Mordue (Reay 46′), Swift (Johnson 42′), Allison, Stoker (c)(y), Soulsby (p), Mann, Arnott, Halpin (g)(Kent 67′ (2)), Boakes, R. Brown
Unused Subs: G. Brown, Wilkinson
Tow Law XI: Orton, Knowles (g), Pattison, Oro (c), Caygill, Kemp, Reaks (g), Mitchell, Teasdale, Nicholls, Oldfields
Referee : D. Walton
Assistants: R. Ashton, V. Davison
Report by: Adam Wilding
All views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of the club.