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2nd April vs Sale United
2nd April vs Sale United
Spartak So Close
Spartak were looking to build on last week’s goal scoring extravaganza as they took on Sale United at Crossford Bridge Sports Ground. Sale were Spartak’s opponents in the opening day 8-0 defeat at Lees Field and Spartak were keen to show the improvements they have made throughout the season.
Spartak started with Dylan, Jack and Charlie defending in front of Theo in goal, and Alice and Sam in midfield looking to support Joe up front. After a slow start from both teams Sale started to show more controlled passing and strong tackling. This seemed to knock the Spartak players out of their normal game and Sale made several good attacking moves with decent goal scoring opportunities which they failed to capitalise on. Charlie played on the left hand side of defence in this period and played particularly well with several trademark runs down both the left and right flanks. A combination of good work from Theo in goal and some last ditch tackling saw the first period end all square at 0-0.
The second period went much the same way as the first with Theo making several flying saves and Sale having the better of the play but failing to make the most of their superior passing and possession. Spartak were beginning to grow in confidence, with Sam and Phoenix winning tackles in midfield and finding team mates with passes. With both Joseph and Charlie making strong runs and creating opportunities it was disappointing that a missed pass and tackle saw Sale with three players up and fire past Theo to take the lead. Spartak continued to keep their head up and work hard. Good distribution from Theo out of his hands and at goal kicks helped ease the pressure on the Spartak defence.
Going into the final period only 1-0 down encouraged Spartak and Theo playing as striker inspired his team mates with superb running on the wing and tackling to put pressure on the Sale defence. Spartak continued to build good attacking moves but just could not find space in and around the Sale box or the final pass to create a good scoring opportunity. The match was played end-to-end in this period and Sale increased their lead following a missed tackle which again saw them with more forwards than Spartak defenders. To Spartak’s credit they never gave up and Charlie made a couple of excellent saves before Theo scored. After Theo’s first shot hit the keeper several Sale players stopped expecting the referee to blow his whistle but Theo reacted quickest, picked up the rebound and fired into the empty net. A great example of playing to the whistle. Despite their best efforts Spartak could not find a goal to take a point from the game and it ended 2-1.
This was an exciting match to watch with end-to-end football played in a competitive spirit. Spartak could have grabbed a draw today with several chances in the final period but Sale United were probably worthy winners in a close game where they had several good goal-scoring opportunities in the first two periods which they failed to capitalise on.
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