M2 bring the drama with toe-to-toe encounter with London Edwardians

Win 2-1 vs London Edwardians M1s

Report by Alastair Whatley

Southagte M2’s ensured they remain well in contention for the much sought promotion to the national league with a hard won performance to see off the threat from a strong Edwardians team.

London Eds arrived following a good win against West Hampstead 24 hours earlier to face the fresh legs of Chris Pearce’s Southgate squad. Played under the fading January twilight with the mercury dropping this felt to the plucky assembled throng on the balcony a must win game for both sides looking to clear a path to promotion come April.

The game got off to a intense start with Southgate players immediately putting Eds onto the back foot with a PC award within 90 seconds. It was just minutes later that Aedan McCrossan sent the Eds keeper the wrong way as he clinically converted a flick to give Southgate an early lead.

Charles Hamilton working his way back from injury showed off his pace to great effect with a darting run down the left wing which saw him bypass half the opposition in the blinking of an eye before landing the ball on an Edwardian foot winning the corner that was duly converted by a Rob Shearer drag flick from top D. Southgate looking far the stronger side moving into the half time break.

Eds rallied in the second half and managed to up the intensity of their press in turn putting the Southgate players into some hasty rear guard action. Balls flayed across the goal mouth wit some stout defending on display from centre back pairing Gibson and Liebenschutz-Jones and the iron grit of captain Andy Fell to keep the 2 goal cushion.

Savvas in goal enjoyed his strongest performance of the year drawing gasps from the crowd with a reaction save up there with the very best as a strike from top D from the visitors charged through a congested D, took a deflection whereupon un-sighted until the last moment, the Cypriot International struck out a glove to send the ball over the fence and into the car-park. A remarkable piece of keeping.

Yet the dam finally burst with a Eds converting a penalty stroke leaving Southgate with just the one goal margin. The Eds keeper not to be undone proceeded to save a Drew Burkin flick before a succession of strong Gate counter attacks including one in which Bird and Wright tore up the length of the pitch before just missing the final clinical finish to produce what would have been one of the goals of the season.

The drama went until the final moments when Eds won two PC’s in the final minute which fortunately went uncovered giving the boys in red a well deserved and hard fought win to get the second half of their season to a flyer.

This weekend sees a trip over to Lea Valley to take on bottom of the table East London in a banana skin fixture which coach Chris Pearce will want to see his team continue in their winning ways demonstrating their work rate off the ball as well as their confidence in front of goal.