ANVILS SHARE THE SPOILS
Overall a fast entertaining encounter in which both sides, though still struggling to find consistency this season, found each others defensive capabilities just a bit to much to handle.
The Anvils took up the early running with Nick Sullivan and Festus Lori combining to open up the Magpies defence with an early sortie, come 7 minutes a Dan Sullivan cross found Sam Cane in space whose acrobatic overhead kick struck the woodwork and away, midfield dynamo Michael Belli then took a knock but was soon able to resume, fullback Russell Malton on a characteristic charge down the right flank, then crossed for keeper Sam Smith to double take, come 15 a Belli cross then found the towering Sam Packham but his header was just to high.
For the 'Pies' after this early storm then settled down to look dangerous on the counter, with a free kick from Olli Moore being hacked clear, whilst the nippy looking Harry Bachelor was causing problems with his pace down the left flank, with one cross being taken by Anvil keeper Seb Bos, but he was not to be denied, and come 32 he struck the first blow, when cutting inside he found enough space to curl the ball home for the Pies opener. 1-0 Loxwood.
Another scare for the Anvils came with a Dean Wright shot being pushed out by Bos only as far as Moore, who in turn could only find the side netting with his follow up shot.
Now it was Anvil turn to exert pressure, Lori took the cue first with a rasping shot that disappeared over the bar and into the woodland beyond, but salvation was close at hand, with another Cane effort taken by Smith, but the icing was soon to be put on the cake, when with the clock ticking for HT, the speedy Lori broke through to crash his shot against the Pies wall, rebounding only as far as the waiting Malton who thundered it into the top right corner of the Loxwood net to restore parity as the whistle blew. HT 1-1.
For the second half the Anvils took the field and quickly laid down the 'ground rules' with Dan Sullivan finding brother Nick who fired wide, on 52 Nick who as usual was being marked tightly by 2/3 defenders and being forced to move to the flanks thus opening up gaps up front. On the hour Cane took advantage of a slip to fire at Smith who in turn pushed out the shot only as far as Malton who in turn with another rasping shot caused Smith to have to make a double save.
The Magpies then came more into the game with another Bachelor corner being headed off the line, plus ex Anvil Byron Napper having two more corners headed clear by central defenders Marc Pelling and Packham.
Further Anvil pressure from Dan Sullivan found Pelling in space but his header did not elude Smith, on 65 it was Oli Leslie on for Lori in a further attempt to claim the points, on 75 a Peauroux free kick found both Cane and keeper Smith jostling for the ball with Cane hitting the upright and Smith injuring his shoulder in the process.
Final huff and puff from both sides resulted in more chances created but not put away as the game finally ended all square, a fair result. FT 1-1.
Team: Seb Bos: Russell Malton, Josh Martin (Blair Cooney), Williams Peauroux, Marc Pelling, Sam Packham, Dan Sullivan, Michael Belli (James Day), Sam Cane, Nick Sullivan, Festus Lori (Oli Leslie)
MOM: Russell Malton Attn: 64
Author: Mike May