Great Eccleston FC have had a fantastic start to the season after winning seven and drawing five of their opening twelve matches. That unbeaten start had left them joint top of Division 2A level on points with West Coast Tackle Postal who currently have a far superior goal difference. Gledhill interest ended in Round 2 when after a 1st Round bye they were well beaten 5-0 by Division 1 side FC Matrix. The side are still homeless and whilst the Council meets shortly to discuss the provision of new changing facilities the team are currently playing their home matches out of Boundary Park.
In contrast today’s opponents Claremont Cons FC were rock bottom of the table this morning with only four points having lost eight of their opening ten matches. One of those defeats came against Great Eccleston back in October when they lost 5-2 at home. They too went out in Round 2 of this season’s Gledhill Cup after losing 6-2 to Layton Institute in a replay after the first game finished at 4-4.
Due to the frost the game on the adjoining pitch between Old England and FC Talbot didn’t go ahead but although this pitch was a little crunchy at the start by kick off time of 11:15 referee Colin Reidy ruled it fit to play. Initial relief for Great Eccleston FC who last kicked a ball in anger on November 1st. Claremont in the yellow kicked off in very cold but bright and calm conditions. The form book suggsted that Claremont Cons FC were 8/1 to win the match prior to kick off.
Claremont Cons FC 2009/10
Great Eccleston FC 2009/10
A nightmare start for Claremont as keeper Newall Barrett came charging out for a ball that never looked to be his. The forward beat him to it and scored into the empty net. The writing looked to be on the wall for strugglers Claremont.
Great Eccleston FC go 1-0 up
BFC drummer Oggie trying to motivate his own team this morning
Referee Colin Reidy
The Great Eccleston FC contingent watch on
Very close to a clash of heads
Facing up to the free kick
First Barratt watches it over the bar
Before gathering it down at his near post – Great Eccleston piling on the pressure
Claremont go close at the other end. The Yellows played some decent stuff in the opening period and were well in the game at half time
Half time score : Claremont Cons FC 0 – 1 Great Eccleston FC
A loyal but freezing cold Claremont WAG
Claremont keeper Newall Barratt
A coming together in the area but play on.
The Claremont player had a tantrum throwing the ball away when the throw didn’t go his way. Yellow card for dissent.
Great Eccleston FC unhappy with the feisty Claremont liner
Time to calm things down
Another good chance for Great Eccleston to seal things but the ball flashed across the box and away to safety.
Barratt saves bravely amongst the flying studs
EQUALISER ! Claremont played a long ball upfield. The keeper rushed out to the edge of his box and gave a shout but the defender headed it backwards over his head. Whilst the keeper is left stranded Roo nipped in to convert the easiest of chances. 1-1
Two minutes later and Great Eccleston had a corner. The ball was cleared. Two quick passes anfd the Claremont winger was sent clear one on one against the keeper. He made no mistake with a clinical drive into the net. 2-1
The joy and despair of Sunday football. As Claremont celebrate the Great Eccleston goalkeeper is far from happy with conceding a goal on the break. Claremont now had twelve minutes to hang on.
Great Eccleston FC clear a shot off the line
As Great Eccleston pushed for an equaliser another corner was cleared upfield. Once again the ball was played behind the defenders. In the above picture great tenacity by the no.11 led to him dispossesing the keeper and laying it back for the chap on the left who hit a first time curling shot over everyone and into the net.
Claremont in dreamland. 3-1
The final whistle goes and Claremont have pulled it off.
Final score : Claremont Cons FC 3 – 1 Great Eccleston FC
Few if any would have given Claremont Cons FC a prayer this morning and even their manager was non too confident prior to kick off. Things looked bleak when they conceded a poor goal early doors but they showed some good resilience to steady the ship and at half time they were still in the game thanks to a little good fortune and some poor Great Eccleston finishing. In the second period they kept plugging away and despite Great Eccleston bringing top scorer Ball off the bench they firstly got the equaliser before scoring the all important second on the break and another goal in the dying seconds in a similar manner. Hopefully, this result can increase confidence for the second half of the season.
Great Eccleston FC may have been a little rusty after the long weather related absence but in the end they can have few complaints. Their opponents worked very hard and ultimately deserved the victory. They missed too many chances and the defending for the three goals was frankly shambolic. On the plus side they’re still unbeaten in the league and have every chance of winning it.
Good luck to Claremont in Round 2 where they’ll face Mythop Leisure FC at home