Exiles vs CFC Shalford

Braintree & North Essex Sunday League Division 1

Today was the first game of an important season for CFC Shalford, having had a reasonable pre season, today's game required a good start to clear some cob webs out of the cupboard for good as last season still played a large part in the mind set of the players, a positive start would be clear indication that last season was firmly in the past.

The first game was now here and we were visitors to Exiles, a Witham based team. The pitch was much to be desired but thankfully the rain was no where to be seen.

The game started a little shaky for the CFC with too many slow starters and a few too many mistakes being made the, Exiles took control of the game early and with a set piece with 5 minutes gone Exiles took the lead with an unmarked header to the far post.

This thankfully kicked the butt of CFC who finally started using the natural width that the 3-5-2 formation encourages, both Simon and Meady exploited the wings to good effect.

The pressure was now firmly placed on the hosts and with just few more minutes on the clock Marvis Cudjoe exposed a mistake by the rival’s defenders and slotted neatly past the keeper.

Bensley, Johnson and Dan Newlove playing really well in the centre offering good support to the front two.
Through out the remainder of the first half CFC dominated but failed to make any impact in front of goal, with chance after chance being squandered by Pitt.  Bensley hit a sweet free kick leaving the keeper rooted to the floor and watching it fly wide of his post.  Meady came close with a long range shot across goal just wide of the far post.

Half Time: Exiles 1 CFC Shalford 1

The second half started similar to the first, complacency had spread through the team who were eventually shocked into playing again when Andy Smith pulled off some sound saves from simple but effective football from our hosts. CFC seemed to have lost there flow and stopped using the only positive part of their game, the wing backs, the game seemed to become very narrow which seemed to bypass the 5 strong midfield.

Again far too many chances squandered in front of goal by Pitt and Cudjoe who couldn't find that bit of quality in front of goal to take off the pressure from the ever strong Chandler brothers and Livermore.

The pressure built too much for CFC and as the hosts striker made a run into the box, was clumsily brought down.............penalty conceded

Smith made a great save from the penalty but the ball deflected back to the taker who had a second bite of the cherry and smashed it passed the recovering keeper.

This had a devastating impact on CFC who seemed to just role over at this stage.

Injuries to 3 of the main players today made the last 15 minutes very difficult and were hard to come back from what should have been a good start to the season.

Full Time: Exiles 2 CFC Shalford 1