25th March 2017, Potten End, Away (League)
A last gasp Danny Hunter goal completed an impressive fight back for Global at highflying Potten End on Saturday.
Arriving in the back of beyond after a ridiculous two week break, albeit with four points and a bit of confidence restored from their double header with Glenn Sports, Global dusted off their red kit for its bi-annual outing ahead of the match. The dressing room was missing several regulars though, including Wardy and Tom, and the hope that Gregor would arrive to take revenge on his former colleagues were dampened by a non-appearing washing machine.
One boost for Gaffer Gaines was the return of James Felmingham to the squad, having returned from his winter hibernation. He hadn’t been since being abandoned in London Colney before Christmas, and he was quick to quash rumours he’d been turned into a sex slave round the back of the big Sainsbury’s.
Potten End’s backward skipper won the toss, and elected to play downhill in the first half, much to Global’s delight. And within moments of kick off, the home side were quick to launch operation long ball at the Global defence. Rob Smith and Simon Lucas were attempting to deal with the peppering, although one early chance fell to the feet of Dale from a shank up field, but he missed the target by some distance.
Following some pre-match espionage from Gaffer Gaines, the visitors quickly established that Potten End were playing with a fashionable three at the back system and started to press with a high attacking line. This quickly paid dividends as the wing backs held back to mark Rory MacDonald and Jimmy Hounslow, allowing the lively Chris Palmer to dart between the channels and make a nuisance of himself to the laboured centre halves.
Palmer’s movement nearly saw Global steal an early goal as he drifted out to the left hand side as the visitors broke. He delivered a great cross, but Ali Challans was unable to connect at full stretch and Potten End cleared.
The game was being played at pace, albeit fairly clean until the Potten End special needs captain got involved. He launched at Smith with his studs showing from several yards away, with the Global man smart enough to get himself out of the way to avoid a clattering. The ref rightly produced a yellow card, despite the thicko’s best attempts to talk his way out of trouble.
The hosts’ main goal threat was coming from long diagonal free kicks into the Global box, which their team of giants were looking menacing from. Dave Green tipped one effort over, and another was headed wide as Potten End looked to nick the lead before the interval.
At the other end, Palmer was causing no end of problems for the home side’s defence, and went closest of all to opening the scoring. After making space for himself, he drove a low effort towards goal, which the Potten End ‘keeper brilliantly got fingertips to and turned onto the post.
As the interval arrived, Global were playing the better football and looking the more likely to score. They now needed to keep this up for another half to have a chance of claiming another welcome win.
Half-time: Potten End 0 – 0 Global FC
Having got forty five minutes of playing up the slope and into the wind out of the way, Global felt now was the chance to take the game to Potten End. Gaffer Gaines also used this as the opportunity to shuffle his pack, introducing Felmingham for Challans, and moving himself into the middle of the park.
Clearly, Potten End hadn’t read the script though as they started the second half in the ascendancy. Global were struggling to play in the manner in which they’d finished the first half, and the home side were looking more likely to score. Once again, Dale swung an effort high and wide from about a mile out, which was again applauded like he’d scored, and a very decent cross from the right hand side wasn’t met by anyone in a striped shirt as Potten turned the screw.
Global’s cause wasn’t helped when captain Lucas’s race was run with twenty minutes left. He landed in a heap after winning a header holding his calf, and having got back to his feet was then promptly elbowed in the face by one of his own teammates whilst defending a Potten End corner moments later. He limped off with claret dripping from his nose, leading to another reshuffle as Gaines dropped in alongside Smith at the heart of the defence.
What was to follow next was something rarer than rocking horse shit…a Greeny error. Felmingham marshalled a loose ball back to Greeny, who went to scoop it up and launch Global forward. Unfortunately he forgot to take the ball with him, allowing special needs captain in to slot home into an empty net, and indulge himself in a goal celebration and a lot of shout befitting a man of his mental capacity. A calamitous goal to concede, but no one could have a pop at Greeny for it considering how many times he’s got us out of the soup over the years. 1-0.
The goal seemed to galvanise Global, who up until then had been pretty poor for most of the second half, and a few minutes later they were level. Carl Fazekas played a great ball down the right to release Palmer, who had once again made a meal of Potten End’s disastrous defensive plan. He beat a couple of men inside the box and drew the last defender to him before cutting the ball back to the unmarked John Sheehan to lift the ball into the roof of the net for his 100th Global goal. 1-1.
With time fast elapsing, Global were feeling hopeful of nicking a late winner as Potten End started to implode in a sea of moaning, mainly at one another. Hounslow saw a shot blocked, while Palmer also suffered a similar fate. It looked like this one was going to end in another stalemate.
That was until the Goalkeepers union stepped in and offered Greeny an exit from the personal torment he was now suffering. With just a minute left on the watch, the Potten End ‘keeper received a back pass at an awkward height, and soon he was under pressure from the ever lively Hunter. The stopper seemed to initially control the ball from outside the box with his hand, before lumping it against the Global man. Not content with doing it once, he promptly kicked the ball at Danny again…only this time it bounced away from him and into space for Hunter, who nipped onto it and calmly rolled it into the open goal. Turnaround completed. 1-2.
Global celebrated en masse as Potten End wondered how they’d let this one slip away, especially after apparently having eleven or twelve good chances(!). The final whistle then brought the match to a close and the visitors could enjoy a great smash and grab win, with Greeny a very relieved man!
So a great victory for Global, which continued their improving form. Some notable performances across the park, including the ever versatile Gaines and the tenacious Hunter, but man of the match went to the excellent Chris Palmer, solely on the basis he passed the ball more than three times in a match for the first time ever.
Full-time: Potten End 1 – 2 Global FC
Man-of-the-match: Chris Palmer
Team: GK: Dave Green, RB: Carl Fazekas, LB: Ben Gaines, CB: Simon Lucas (capt), CB: Rob Smith, CM: Ali Challans, CM: John Sheehan, CM: Danny Hunter, LM: Rory MacDonald, RM: James Hounslow, CF: Chris Palmer, SUB: James Felmingham