Long Crendon produced an awesome display of second half finishing to blow away Chalvey Sports Reserves 6-0 and record their third consecutive six goal haul in the league.
Crendon were without key attacking players James Hawkes and Archie Pettingell, which meant Tom Sykes returned in central midfield and Billy Lane came in for his first team debut.
The first half was a nip and tuck affair with no sign of the goal fest to come, indeed Chalvey should have opened the scoring but as the Crendon backline appealed in vain for offside, the Chalvey forward shot wastefully over. Nevertheless, Crendon had more than just a foothold in the game and Oli Lethbridge was proving a real handful for the Chalvey defence. On 24 minutes it was he who got the opening goal. Nathan Brownsword powered forward from defence and fed Lethbridge, who slipped his marker with a deft turn inside and produced a controlled right footed effort into the corner that gave the keeper no chance.
Both sides probed at the start of the second half and Chalvey could have levelled when a header went over. At this point the game was very much in the balance as the sides searched for the crucial next goal that would swing the game. As it was, it was a sublime moment when it came. Chalvey half cleared a corner but it fell to Crendon skipper Alex Farley and he struck a sublime half volley from 25 yards that arrowed through the crowd of players and into the corner of the net.
It felt like the killer blow and Crendon took control of the rest of the game. On 75 minutes Billy Lane latched on to a loose header and produced a dipping volley to make it 3-0, just reward for a fine first game. Harry Pettingell, who had been his usual non stop self, then created the fourth by forcing an error from the Chalvey keeper and unselfishly squaring for Eliot Farley. By this stage, the Chalvey defence were sick of the sight of the hard working Crendon forward line and Oli Lethbridge should have doubled his tally but allowed the keeper to somehow recover. He didn’t have to wait long, though, getting in behind again and cheekily lifting the ball over the keeper before tapping in. The icing was put on the cake when substitute Will Hawthorne surged forward down the right and unleashed a screamer that was never heading anywhere but the top corner.
A complete Crendon performance then, but if you’d have only seen one of the halves, the scoreline would have come as a shock!
Manager Ryan Davis said: “Even before the goals I felt it was our best performance of the season. There was a real focus about the side and determination to get the job done. All 13 players contributed, it was a complete team effort and one that left the changing room buzzing afterwards. A special word for Oli – I know he feels he is playing catch up after starting the season injured but he has really hit form now, not just with goals but the overall way he leads the line which is so crucial to the team. To be honest, though, it was one of those games where you changed your mind who was man of the match every few minutes!”.
This week Crendon host Old Bradwell Utd in another important league game.
Team: Collingwood, B Sykes, Bonwick, T Lethbridge, A Farley (c), Brownsword, E Farley, H Pettingell, Lane (Hardy), T Sykes (Hawthorne), O Lethbridge.