High Fives and Three Points
By Mark Farmer-Wright
High Fives and Three Points
The men’s first welcomed an in form Sudbury team to Cromer on another fine sunny day. The skipper, Miles, began preparations early after the men’s first loss the week before. Highlighting to the men that current training commitment “was taking the…Michael” and on game day demanded the men to stick it to Sudbury in order to send a clear cut and firm message to the league that the week prior was merely a blip in what has been a professional start to the season.
A bright and fast paced start so both teams distributing the ball well, but it was only ever North Norfolk in the ascendancy. Pressurising high up the field North Norfolk gladly welcomed Sayer back who controlled the press barking orders and spoon feeding positional sense to his surrounding team mates. Miles, Whitby and Sadler-Barker as ever busily hurried Sudbury players on the ball forcing errors and winning the ball back through strong challenges in the middle of the park. Bartram was left without much to do but organise his back line of Farrow, Whitwood and Sands who were towering stalwarts as always.
Short corners were awarded to North Norfolk, you know the drill by now, Miles sent the ball to Barker. Jimmy’s Balls were swatted, slugged and beat at by the opposition in their sheer shock and panic, however Sudbury foolishly gifted the ball back to Barker who was never going to miss when given the second opportunity.
A confident North Norfolk distributed the ball well, with a patient Sands, Whitwood and Farrow waiting for the gaps to appear as they put the Sudbury legs to the test. Sadler-Barker and Whitby provided some drive, whilst Sayer busily made space free for Gibson and Barker dragging defenders with him left, right and centre. While Miles’s trickery and skill drew more room, and Miles was able to feed a through ball onto Barker who tip toed around the back line and was able to slash to ball home with venom and fury.
Fresh legs of Green and Ewart made things even more difficult for Sudbury with Green proving evasive and Ewart’s rise to North Norfolk prominence becoming even more clear with pacey and darting runs. Ewart was able to split the defence as he exploded into gear like an atom out of the Hadron Collider, and smartly drew the keeper to assist Farmer-Wright who gleefully tapped home. Ewart’s menace was never dwindling, and with a through ball played onto him was left with a one-on-one with the Sudbury keeper on the left. However, the Sudbury keeper looked to take a leaf out of Bartram’s very own “Goalkeeping for Dummies” and proved unbeatable after a patient and perfect slide out to prevent Ewart from progressing and getting his first 1st team goal.
3-0 up at half time and with a few errors left to iron out and with a little more patience in the build up, there was more for North Norfolk to take from this game but with a priority of keeping a cleansheet. Sudbury did well to prevent any goals from short corners, blocking off every avenue to fend off Jimmy’s Balls and nip Hendo’s Nose in the bud. However, in all their concentration they forgot about one outlet. The rarely used Sadler-Barker, quietly going about his injection duties and he was able to finish to claim his first goal of the season.
The game continued in North Norfolk’s favor, the game for the most part was friendly minus a Whitby standing face to face as though preparing for a boxing bout, well either that or he simply thought the player’s eyes were just the most perfect shade of brown, kind of like chocolate buttons. (I think that’s what he said about it after the game, he gets gooey after a win) Chances arose for Gibson but went a miss (he’ll get one soon), and Farmer-Wright made sure the Sudbury goalkeeper got the value of his pads back as he persistently passed the ball right at him. There was time for one more goal however, with Green making a fantastic run whilst ignoring screams of “far post” picked out Sayer at the near post who was able to find Farmer-Wright on the far post who tapped home for his 9th goal in 7 games (conversion rate not to be disclosed).
A truly solid performance against an energetic travelling Sudbury team, a result which was just what the skipper ordered, 5 goals and high fives all round with a clean sheet to boot. North Norfolk travel to a trickey IES fixture this weekend hoping to keep their 2nd place spot in the league.
Best wishes go to Kevin Hart who sustained a foot injury and will sadly be sidelined for sometime, apparently that’s what you get when you play FootSquash! Get well soon Kev you will be missed!