Hard earned victory in the scorching heat for the Cranmers!
BY JAMES HALLAM
It was absolutely boiling for the pre-season friendly at Orston today and after AOFC Reserves had lost 3-1 to Arnold Town Reserves, it was time for the first teams to battle it out. Ollie Stevenson, Morgan Remnant and Ben Daniels were all called up for the first team game after already putting a shift in during the reserves game. It was decided to play four 20 minutes due to the extreme heat!
The first 20 minutes saw Aslockton & Orston on top from the off, with plenty of possession and working the ball well for some decent opportunities. The hard work paid off early as the home side earned a penalty for hand ball, which was slotted home by James Hallam. It was soon 2-0 as youngster Ollie Stevenson tapped home from close range from a Ryan Bartello cross. The drinks break did the Cranmers no favours as Arnold came out with a different system and a rejuvenated energy. They worked back in to the game well and started to get hold of the ball much more. A great run from out of defence went unchallenged and led to Arnold grabbing a goal back. At the very end of the half Arnold earned a penalty for themselves which was initially saved, but the striker followed it in to make up for his miss and level the scores.
A bit of a telling off at half time from Martin Hallam spurred on the AOFC lads and they came out the same as they did in the first half. The whole half was mostly dominated by the home side, who looked a bit fitter and bit sharper and kept the ball much better. Aslockton & Orston took a deserved lead when a clever free kick between Jack Robb and Kyle Nicholson led to the latter curling a brilliant effort in to the far corner. The home side sealed there win from another Jack Robb set piece as his corner was met with a great header by Reece Sugars.
A great performance considering the heat and it being only the second game of pre-season, with plenty more chances missed by the home side. Thanks to Arnold for bringing two teams over! And a special mention to referee James Green who refereed both games and was just about dying in the heat by the end!