By Ralph Warburton - 12th November 2012 7:08am
Yesterday, Audlem FC's opponents were Crewe Town, a good team who last time we met beat us 8-1 on our debut as a team.
So, we needed to be the best we could. A cock-up by somebody meant that the venue was changed at the last minute from the Ruskin Street pitch to Clay Lane in Haslington.
We assembled at the Duke of Gloucester pub car park in Crewe with Manager Geoff Stretch facing a mountain to climb in trying to get a team together. Injuries, commitments and some no-shows meant he had to pick a makeshift team from the very willing men who turned up.
We arrive at the pitch to be greeted by no changing room and no toilets. A very heavy clagging pitch of softish mud with grass overlay. And a definite slope to the far goal. So changing was in the tiniest muddiest car park area.
Team sorted and we all gathered in the centre circle as our referee observed the 11th of the 11th in memory of all who have died this Armistice Day.
Kick off in brilliant sunshine. Good play by James Langley up front as we set to with much endeavour. Goalie Ed Holmes good between the posts as he pulled off saves.
But 20 minutes in and they score. 1-0. Disaster then, as 5 minutes later we are two goals down.
But heads did not drop as we fought back. Players strange to each other in the scratch team but then a great run by Kev Rogers who centred to Captain Kev Mort for him to pass to James Langley who scored!
So 2-1 and we began to command the run of the game. A booking by Kev Rogers for a hard tackle by a very fair and just referee. Half time and we are good in heart at that score.
Second half and we came out and took over a lot of the advantage with good team work and control. Kev Mort a giant in the back, the centre and at the front too, his voice carrying across the whole area with much clear directions.
James Bebbington a tower of strength in defence, taking much in punishment from their big forwards. Jeff Roots comes on to replace Kev Brindley (who wasplaying even though he had a lung infestation).
Dan Morris gave a great showing at left back in what was his first full game for many a week. A good blooding also by Peter Jones in his first game.
Then a dash down the left flank by Kev Rogers to centre for Rob Lowe who planted the ball deep into their net. 2-2. Our heads were high and gaining in confidence and strength.
Dan Morris comes off as Geoff makes substitution with Dan Lowe coming on. Good hard play then as we both attack and defend as the pendulum swings back and forth. Great work by James Brookes on the right wing taking very heavy tackles.
Ball down the pitch as time begins to run down and then a determined run by Kev Mort into the area and he passes the ball in. Dan lowe drives it into the net 2-3. And only minutes left. Final whistle goes. We have won.
Superb celebrations as all feel very tall now.
Back to Audlem as fast as we can to the welcome repast of chip butties courtesy of our sponsor, Allan & Jo Brown in the Lord Combermere!
Wednesday 20th Feb
Public Hall Annexe
Meet under the Buttermarket.
Audlem Methodist Church