First Game of the Season: Goostrey 2 – 4 Myprotein
On a warm, thrilling morning in Cheshire the Myprotein team were made to scramble for the win of the opening Concorde Trophies Division One match, Myprotein’s first competitive fixture since their impressive winning streak at the end of a frustrating first season. A cagey first 20 minutes from both teams provided no shots on goal but a clear dominance in possession from Myprotein. The 22nd minute delivered the game’s first goal with debutant Andy Bott, ‘Bottlenose Dolphin’, connecting his head with a Beckhamesque free kick delivery from Rich Dodd. Andy Bott’s back post headed goal flicked into the corner, celebrated by taking his top off to uncover a large love rug of a chest and slightly embarrassing tattoo.
After 36 minutes Goostrey equalised Andy Bott’s first-half goal, whereby it was the home side that looked the dominant force, with Myprotein’s team of technicians beginning to flake. Nathan Southern, ‘Southern-Charms’s’, second goal ensured Myprotein pressed on to take control of the game, but it was the strong defensive performance in central midfield that showed the true signs of drive and leadership, where Marc Grocott and Tom Killeen pressed, causing Goostrey to fade in the second half.
Goostrey’s equalizer came from a corner that was delivered deep towards the back post and headed back across the box into a goalmouth scramble in the 6yard area. As a result Goostrey stabbed the ball home much to the attempted scoop off the line from Ash Wilson and the referee made the dubious decision to award the goal.
“I knew it would be difficult,” Bott said, fielding a flurry of questions about his troublesome hamstring. “We scored but Goostrey reacted well. A lot of players have to integrate themselves.”
Goostrey were resolute, with a compact 4-5-1 formation. Just before the stroke of half time, full of confidence Goostrey kept the ball well in the Myprotein half, forcing a hurried block from center midfield Tom Killeen, slicing the ball into his own net in the bottom corner. Great finish… sadly the wrong net. No half time flapjack for Tom Killeen.
History suggests being a champion of the Concorde Trophies Division One can be a taxing task however Myprotein look stronger than ever with the inclusion of infectious new boy Andy Bott ,‘Bottfly’, the great all-rounder Dan Myatt and Dick ‘Dastardly’ Dodd – looking delightfully fluid down the wing back area.
For their part Goostrey will take great heart from their performance here in a league that is always, realistically, going to be a battle to finish second behind Myprotein. “At 1-1 I genuinely believed we could win the game,” the Goostrey manager said.
If there was hope for Goostrey it was rooted in the signs of Myprotein inability to hit the target at the start of the second half, expected with the physical deterioration from Myprotien players over the debilitating effects of the summer.
Duckworth made 5 changes here to the XI that finished the previous season, the most significant was the presence at center-back Sam Glynn, who was clear man of the match in a strong back four consisting of Duckworth, Glynn, Knappy and Dodd.
The early moments were an exercise in keep-ball for Myprotein as that high-grade front line of Nathan Southern-Comfort, Andy Bottleneck and Marc Grocott began to settle into its unorthodox rhythms behind Tom Killeen.
Their first real chance came two minutes into the second half, Grocott’s fine forward burst ending with a pass to Southern, turning inside and then outside before shooting across the keeper and just wide of the far post. Still Myprotein continued to explore those fragile wide areas and it was Goostrey’s right flank that crumbled on 59 minutes. As Wilson’s long ball down field was flicked on by Bott into Southern’s path, coolly slotting past a helpless Goostrey keeper who had been struggling to show his presence. Not long after Goostrey kicked off, Nathan Southern ran through on goal like a young Michael Owen in his prime and slotted home for Myprotein’s third to put the team in white back into the lead.
With 15minutes to go, Myprotein had equalized, Bott making amends for his miss with a simple goal made by his late run into the space between the Goostrey defence, Dodd floated in another cross from the left and Bott’s diving downward header bounced past the Goostrey goalkeeper, into the far corner.
Goostrey tracked diligently however Myatt several times had the beating of the Goostrey right-back. But Myprotein’s dominance of possession and weight of attacking players continued to compress the opposition midfield back towards their own goal. If the supports had settled into a sense of aristocratic calm by half-time, it was after the break that the game changed completely as Goostrey faded and Myprotein began to tackle and press with purpose.
Another 5 minutes passed and Andy Bott made it 4-2 from a precise through ball down the line from Myatt, crossed into the box by Southern and calmly finished by Bott with his head, despite being on the field with a hamstring injury for most of the match he still managed to net twice. No celebration this time around.
Andy Bott was later subbed for Matt Moulding who moved to left back, leaving Andy Duckworth to move into the gap upfront from his right back post. Within 2 minutes of being upfront Andy was gifted with a key opportunity to make it 5, but just missed the target sending the ball over the upright.
Myprotein controlled the game until the final whistle providing a confident, well rounded and encouraging performance to go top of the league after match 1.
Post-match interviews revealed comparisons between Myprotein’s strike force and that of Manchester United during their treble winning season of ‘99. With signs of Southern replicating Yorke’s scoring record, along with previous link up play with Chris Lunn (Solskjaer) who loves a world class finish demonstrating his greed for goal. With Andy Bott/Cole dominating his first game with some deft heading and great link up with Yorke today. Still with Paul Sherringham to shake off all injuries and excuses to use his arrogance and weight around the box dominating with hard blows to the keepers left. Great signs early on.