Alternative Match Report – AFC Telford

As I sit here writing this on a Sunday morning hanging out my arse, I’m still mystified as to how I should feel after watching Spartans convincingly win at home, as it just isn’t normal. Usually, I’m going into the clubhouse feeling a bit dejected or just out right sad (especially when conceding a last-minute goal) so this Saturday was a weird but very pleasing anomaly.

New signing Will McGowan was straight into the starting XI in the centre of midfield after arriving on loan from South Shields. Curtis Round had signed his deal on the Thursday and looked all set to go pending league/FA approval. Thankfully that came through on Saturday morning and he was ready to go.

JJ of course was missing after the injury he picked up on Tuesday, as was Jordan Hickey. If there has been an injury update on Jord I’ve obviously missed it, but I didn’t see him knocking about on Saturday. Thankfully though Alex Nicholson was back and in what looked like a holding midfield role, that lad really can play anywhere. The biggest surprise seemed to be Matty Cornish up top in what I gathered was going to be a false nine role, although him and Cedric Main seemed to switch positions often enough.

So far this season Spartans have been more of a second half team, but not on this occasion! They were flying out the traps early doors with some neat passing and had Telford chasing shadows. In the opening moments Dev’s had an effort fizz wide of the goal but in the next phase of play what looked like an overhit cross from Main found Curtis Round on the edge of the box who fired a shot across that goal that only just missed the target.

The biggest shock of the day (so far) would be seeing Rhys Evans win a header! Mind… he was unchallenged but still, well done Baldilocks.

Spartans would grab the goal their early dominance warranted as Curtis Round darted down the left hand side and smashed a cross low and hard across the box that was turned in by one of the Telford defenders (it’s going down as a Cornish goal on the official report apparently) to the delight of the Broadway end.

This would fire Telford up though, albeit not for very long as they broke down Spartans left flank with striker Nathan Blissett about to take a strike at goal before Curtis Round charged into a the box with a superb tackle to rob the ball away from him.

Then, somehow… Rhys managed to win yet another header. This time out jumping 6ft 2 Blissett! Honestly I’m still processing that I actually witnessed that. Admittedly the Telford forward didn’t exactly go out of his way to go for the ball but we won’t let that spoil Rhys’ moment.

McGowan left his mark on one of the Telford players with one of those fouls that probably sounded much worse than it was. Being completely honest I didn’t pay attention to if he got a card or not as I was to busy laughing at something, probably Sellar.

Soon after Blyth had Telford all over the place as once again, Round burst down the wing and got a cross across to Richardson who was denied by the post and neither he or Cedric could pick up the loose ball as the Telford keeper finally gathered it up.

Round (or The Redcar Jesus if you will) was again tracking back to make an incredible interception to help out the defence as Telford surged forward a few times, with Daniels whipping a cross into the box that somehow was missed by everyone. Thankfully though most of the Telford forwards had a green and white shirt covering them should they have got anywhere near the ball.

By now we we’re about 40 min’s in and I was crying out for a bottle of Tiger. Apparently Dev’s cleared one of the line from a Telford corner but that was about it for the first half.

The talk of the clubhouse at half time was essentially “I can’t believe how fucking good we’ve” in a nut shell. With Round and McGowan being heavily praised. Naturally the drinks lasted into the very start of the second half, so we missed the opening few moments where apparently Rhys smashed a shot well over the ball.

Admittedly Telford started the half better than Spartans creating a number of chances, pinning us in for the first 10 min’s or so but once again Toby Lee’s and Maldini were at hand to clear away the ensuing corners and press the Telford forwards into awkward positions when trying to finish.

Thankfully though, Spartans doubled the lead when the game opened up again as Matty Cornish smashed the ball of one of the Telford defenders (99% it was the same bloke who scored the first half OG) who deflected it into his own net.

After that goal the game seemed to get a bit sloppy as both teams were scrapping about for the ball in the centre of the park with the Shropshire side failing to create any real chances. But of course by now Spartans had a very comfortable lead and 10 min’s later Matty Cornish wrapped it up when Cedirc Main fed him in and he coolly slotted home to make it 3-0 Spartans.

Green Army MOTM – Curtis Round

PS* Sorry for nicking your photos Bill. Normally I steal Paul’s but im off on the piss this afternoon and don’t have time to wait for him to upload them.