2 flicks and a yellow card for the Purley keeper helped Southgate’s M2’s to their fifth consecutive win of the season in a feisty affair on a sultry Saturday afternoon in South London.
Bouyed by the return of skipper Andy Fell alongside striker and sausage maker in chief Drew Burkin the M2 squad was looking strong, Lewis Hollett and TJ Hubbard were notable absences in midfield as Veysel Demir came in once again between the Southgate sticks.
Purley started keenly with a goal within the first few minutes, their supporters duly encouraged cheered wildly but were soon silenced by Aedan McCrossan scoring nicely from open play in the 12th minute before Todd Lomas followed it up with a rebound from a broken down PC in the 32nd minute sending Gate 2-1 up at the half time whistle.
Southgate started the second half scrappily losing the ball in the middle of the pitch and allowing Purley to drive hard at the Gate goal forcing keeper Veysel Demir into a wonder double save to keep the M2s noses in front.
Yet discipline broke down for Purley and a darting lead from Harry Haynes and nice first touch helped eliminate the keeper leaving Harry staring momentarily at the open goal before he was taken down in a strong challenge which saw the Purley keeper sidelined for 10 minutes and a flick to Gate duly awarded. A solitary brave Purley defender stood fast against the Burkin threat and he duly converted it in the 52nd minute. 3-1 to the boys.
Just to keep things interesting the M2’s took themselves down to 9 men with Will Shepherdson and Aden McCrossan both on the receipt of yellow cards but that didn’t stop Todd Lomas stepping up to secure his brace with another flick in the 55th minute. 4-1 and Gate were coasting.
The Purley threat collapsed thereafter with their players down to 9 or 10 men for much of the remaining minutes as Southgate pressed hard creating multiple chances, but it took until the 67th minute for Tom Batchelor to whip a ball across the goal mouth at shoulder height for Aedan McCrossan to dive hard at the ball collaring a seen-to-be-believed deflection and cementing a comprehensive victory which takes the M2 to the top of the London Premier League with a big game to follow this weekend at home against East London.