(Lewis 2, Smith, Miles, Hearle, Moffat, OG)
Royals did enough to win the points in this game, without really
playing with the skill and confidence that they had played with in
the past 2 games. Whether it was the heat or the change in
formation, they found it difficult to play football as they have
done for the past 2 games.
With Green, Fielding and Leech all missing, starts were given to
Riley, Agnew and Weynberg, with Miles taking the captain's armband
for the day.
The first half saw both teams starting cautiously and whilst much of
the play was in their opponents half of the pitch, they found it
difficult to capitalise and create many scoring chances. Several
shots went wide and crosses went agonisingly just in front of the
feet of strikers Smith and Lewis.
The breakthrough came after 12 minutes when a corner was not cleared
by Meresiders defence. The ball bobbled around in the area until
Miles steered a header into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Meresiders equalised 8 minutes later after a fine breakaway saw
their winger cut in and neatly place the ball past the outstretched
Keugler in the Royals' goal.
Five minutes before half time Hearle gave the Royals the lead when
the ball fell at his feet half way into the Meresiders' half. He ran
at the defence and with only the keeper to beat scored a
characteristic goal, putting the ball beyond the reach of the
Just before half time Royals had the chance to go 3-1 up when Smith
saw his shot rebound off the post and out for a goal kick.
The second half saw Lock replace Weynberg in the heart of midfield.
As the second half went on Royals started to play with more
confidence and passed the ball around simply and effectively.
On the odd occasion that the home side were put under pressure, the
excellent Al-Houbani swept everything up using his pace and strength
at the back.
As the half went on tiredness seem to affect Meresiders and Royals
were able to take advantage of this. Some excellent passing and wing
play from Hearle and Baker gave a plentiful supply of crosses and
through balls, for Smith and Lewis to run on to. Moffat added
strength to the cause and gave the opposition's defence plenty to
Lewis grabbed two second half goals and could have at a hat tick
when he shot from 12 yards on the turn and saw his shot ricochet off
the cross bar. Moffat added to this with his first goal for the club
whilst an own goal gave the Royals their sixth. Smith made it seven,
5 minutes from time.
Royals win the points and although not at their best, they did
enough to keep their league campaign on track.
Team: Keugler, Riley, Al-Houbani, Agnew, Weynberg
(Lock 35), Hearle, Moffat, Miles, Baker, Lewis, Smith