Royals must have been pinching themselves as they warmed up for this
league match against Meole Brace Colts. Were they actually playing
football again, or was it a dream. After a lay off of nearly 2
months the weather and pitch were both in excellent shape and
conducive to playing football at the highest level.
Sickness to goalkeeper Keugler meant that Baker took his place
between the sticks for the first time this season, with Leech being
available to strengthen the heart of defence.
The first half saw the Royals take control of the game and they
enjoyed large amounts of possession in their opponents half. The
enforced break seemed to have done them good and although their
fitness was perhaps not as high as normal, they were able to pass
the ball about with ease.
There was also a marked improvement in the team's hunger for the
ball. It made good watching, seeing the players' determination in
fighting for any loose ball.
Royals' first goal came midway through the first half after they
were awarded a corner. Hearle sent over the cross which went
straight through the mix of defenders and attackers. Green was ready
to run in at the far post and he was able to volley home from close
range to make the score 1-0.
Five minutes later Hearle got on the scoresheet after a well worked
move from wide on the left. Smith found himself near the corner flag
under pressure. He managed to squeeze the ball between 2 defenders
to Moffat also out wide. Moffat then sent over a cross which Hearle
met and was able to fire home to make the score 2-0.
Shortly after that Meole Brace had their best chance of the first
half. After breaking away, their winger sent over a cross that went
over keeper Baker. The ball was headed goalwards, but first Green
and then Agnew came to the rescue and Royals managed to clear the
The second half saw Miles take over in goal for the Royals. It also
saw an increase in pressure from their opposition. Whereas in the
first half the Royals were enjoying more of the possession, in the
second half Meole Brace did.
On several occasions Royals found themselves in trouble in their own
penalty area, but they managed to prevent a goal until 12 minutes
into the half. Several long balls were sent through for the pacy
forwards to run on to and eventually they were able to latch on to
one of them and shoot home past the outstretched Miles.
They now believed that they could get back into he game and 7
minutes later they got their equaliser which was almost a carbon
copy of the first goal. In a one on one with Miles, their striker
kept his cool and shot home into the corner of the goal.
Royals looked ragged and they would have to dig deep if they were
win this game.
Then with 12 minutes remaining Smith found the ball at his feet and
passed out wide to Fielding on the edge of the area. The Meole Brace
keeper came out towards Royals' winger who coolly chipped the ball
over the keepers head and it just had enough pace on it to cross the
With 5 minutes left, Royals earned a penalty after Smith was brought
down on the edge of the area. Green stepped up to take the spot kick
but the keeper pulled off a great save to deny him.
Final score 3-2 and whilst Royals will be be pleased to win the
points, they will need to find some consistency in the second half
in order to match their first half performances.
Team: Baker (Miles (35), Agnew, Green, Leech, Al-Houbani,
Hearle, Weynberg, Moffat, Lewis, Fielding, Smith