STCFC 3 – 0 Saltdean
Town returned to league action on Tuesday with a strangely played “home” game “away” at Saltdean!!
In what was to be the two Paul’s last game without manager, Gerry Murphy, they were forced into 6 changes from Saturday’s FA Cup defeat to Ramsgate, with Jamie Weston, Lee Squibb and Mike Spence all coming into the squad with the latter going in between the sticks!!
Town got off to the dream start when on 3 minutes, great pressing from Andrade forced the Tigers defence to dally on the ball and allowed him to smash past the helpless keeper.
1-0 to the “home” team!!
Our hosts were rocked and Town started to dominate the ball but it was the ever-lively Laing to test the new Town keeper more with a couple of rasping shots that in fairness were easily dealt with by old “safe hands” in goal.
As the half was coming to a close, Town strung a couple of neat passes together to play Andrade into the left channel and what can only be described as a “double Cruyff” turn which allowed him to enter the box only to be upended by the Saltdean defender. After a brief discussion between the players and a shout from the dugout, up stepped Faber to calmly place the ball on the spot. A masterstroke of a strike followed when “Scotty” managed to allow the Tigers keeper to dive under the ball and push it high into the net.
The second half started as the first finished with Town on top but Saltdean having only one option tried to get back into the game but fell foul of the new sin-bin rule and lost the slightly miffed #10 for the allotted 10 minutes.
Unfortunately, Town couldn’t make the extra man pay and time soon run out and it was 11 vs 11 again.
With Saltdean getting more frustrated and pushing forward more, a strong ball-winning challenge from Faber in the middle of the park allowed him to play in Andrade who spotted Radmore on the move and slid a delicious defense-splitting pass through for Grant to slot home and surely the 3 points were ummm…..coming home!!
A couple of red cards followed for the Tigers but Town couldn’t add to the scoreline and the game ended with all three substitutes getting on to the field.
A great squad performance with special mention to Spence for his debut clean sheet!!
All in all, 6 points out of 9 with the gaffer away isn’t a bad return for the “stand in” management.
Town are in action Saturday with a tough trip to Peacehaven in the FA Vase
Squad: Spence, Clark, Maher, Timms, Gathern, Pazaro, Faber, Bull, Weston, Andrade, Radmore
Subs: Hands, Benson, Squibb