CRC clinched a hard fought victory over Haverhill Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division at the weekend in a game full of goal mouth action.
Traditionally wet and windy and the pitch much like many at this time of the season made it difficult to play the easiest on the eye football but this good old fashioned football tie was nonetheless entertaining.
haverhill took control of the early stages as CrC struggled with the low blinding sun in their eyes and the onslaught of crosses and long throws were well defended by the back four. CRC struggled in this period to make anything of the ball and were on the back foot but looked strong and resolute and always a threat with Lentell and Akintunde high up the pitch.
Lentell had three opportunities to break away from the Rovers back line but was unable to find a telling pass on all those occasions. However as the half time whistle drew nearer and with Rovers stretched by CRC's pace and fast passing, Akintunde found Matt Lowe who smashed the ball home with his left foot on a half volley. The visitors saw the half out well and went in ahead.
The second half began similarly to the first as Rovers continued to launch attacks and sustain pressure at every opportunity. CRC were putting bodies on the line and defending the goal resolutely with the referee correctly waving away two handball penalty appeals.
Josh Banthorpe made an incredible save after 17 minutes of the half, tipping the rasping shot onto the crossbar from 25yards as it look destined for the top corner. Just moments later though, Rovers volleyed home a cross from the left hand side to level things.
Both teams saw opportunities go begging in the final 20 minutes, Rovers heading wide from 4 yards and their defenders blocking well twice on the goal line to prevent the visitors.
CRC did manage to get the winner though in the 75th minute, Akintunde tapping home the rebound from a saved Liam Hurst strike. This is how it stayed to give CRC a good victory.
Mark Bonner said, "that was a really tough game and we had to show real spirit and resilience to win it. I was pleased win how we managed the game after our goals but we could have relieved the pressure on us with some better defending in the middle third and around the box. We also lost the ball in transition too quickly and on the counter attack which put us under pressure too often. That said we defended the box brilliantly and when needed our goal keeper made two outstanding saves.
We were always a threat and in a tough competitive game came out on top for the first time this season. We've come close so close in tight games and could be so many points better off but that's where we are. We need to back up this with more performances like that on days when it is hard to play and dominate possession."
Team: Banthorpe, North, Heath, Hancock, Burns, Horne (Pring 70), Hurst, Lowe, Coy, Lentell (Doyle 86), Akintunde (Cook 90) Not Used: Joynes, Hogan