Mens 3rds 4 v 1 Northampton Saints (Dav) 4th

Scorers: Antony Hobbs(2), Ben Oldham, Kevin Guest
Man of the Match: Joel Bickley for an outstanding effort in midfield
Donkey of the Day: Riccardo for a no-arms rugby tackle which earnt him a green card
The third team kicked off the 2019/20 season with a bang with a good overall display against a spirited Northampton side. Hobbs, Oldham and Guest found themselves on the scoresheet in a 4-1 win, fighting back from 1-0 down. Daventry arrived with 10 men for the first whistle, however early on the Adders could not quite find the final pass to take advantage of the situation. In fact it was the away team who struck first, sneaking a shot past Steve in goal to take a 1-0 lead, decidedly against the run of play. Despite spending Wednesday night almost exclusively on shooting, the Atherstone forwards just couldn’t find the back of the net, and short corner after short corner went begging. Oldham missed a couple of chances following in on the keeper, whilst Ant’s shots thudded into the keeper’s pads every time. Somebody needed to step up and step up they did. A Daventry defender deliberately fouled in the D and after a few hours deliberation, a flick was awarded. Atherstone looked for their star forward to take it but thankfully Ant was on hand instead. For a change though, he calmly slotted it past the Daventry keeper to level the scores. The second Adders goal was much different. Just before halftime, fantastic play by the Atherstone midfield set Ant free again behind the Daventry defence and from an acute angle, he found the backboard. Hobbs two, Daventry one, and we looked set for a thrilling second half.
Daventry started the second half strongly, testing the Atherstone defensive pairing of Jonners and Riccardo who, for the most part, stood firm. The Cat was called into actions occasionally but did an excellent job dealing with anything that came near him. Atherstone’s midfield then started to find their form with youngsters Ellis Brown, Harry Barlow and Joel Bickley running the Daventry players ragged. The game became much more open with both sides pressuring the opposite goal, but Atherstone were, eventually, more clinical in finishing their chances. Ben Oldham got on the end of a brilliant attacking move to bag his first of the season and Atherstone’s third. Kevin Guest then finished off Joel Bickley’s cross to make it four. Atherstone worked tirelessly from start to finish and unfortunately tired legs often lead to mistakes. That’s the only excuse I can think of for Riccardo’s rugby tackle on a Daventry player, which earnt him a green card (that should’ve been yellow) and Dick of the Day. Nevertheless the scoreline remained the same, with Oldham, Guest and Hobbs all missing great chances in the second half else it could’ve been five or six. Ant avoided the jug firing one wide right at the end, but the damage had already been done and Daventry by this point were well out of it. A good attacking performance was, in the end, enough to seal all three points for the Adders.
Joel Bickley deservedly picked up the Man of the Match award, with a good spread of votes reflecting how well everyone played. The thirds will now hope to build on their good start against Northampton 5ths next week.