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    Relief as first Goal finally attained!

    Goal Sports FC 1
Easington United 2
 
       
    IT’S been some time coming but the Eastenders finally got to know what victory tastes like when they overcame Scarborough League side, Goal Sports to progress in the East Riding County FA Senior Country Cup.
And they had to do it the hard way, coming from yet another early goal down to clinch victory with two second half strikes from Adam Jamieson and Nathan Verity.
On a sloping and rather unkempt pitch at Rudston, boss Andy Graham was again forced into changes, with both skipper Barnett and Ben Wilbraham absent. Retaining the 4-4-2 fielded for most of the Redcar game, Steve Jamieson returned to partner the gaffer in the middle, with Dan Warcup slotting in at left back. Kris Fitzpatrick was handed the captain’s armband and partnered Adam Jamieson in midfield, with Luke Jeffery and Brad Bowden being asked to work the flanks. Ash Snaith became Verity’s new partner up top.
As so often already this season, the locals began by stringing some nice passages of play together before conceding from their opponents’ first real attack. In a scene all-too-reminiscent of the previous week, the defence was carved open far too easily and Tom Hudson steered home from an acute angle for 1-0.
Thankfully, the locals’ response was good. Within a minute Verity fired in a powerful effort that was well held by the home keeper. On 11 minutes the Easington striker again picked out the keeper after neatly cutting inside following a decent break involving Bowden and Jamieson.
The best chances of the half fell to Luke Jeffery. Firstly, on 16 minutes good work out left by Verity, Bowden, Fitzpatrick and Warcup culminated in the latter’s cross that Jeffery met on the volley six yards out but was directed straight at the keeper.
Seven minutes later Jeffery combined with Jamieson before firing wide and on the half-hour, was again thwarted, this time by the keeper after Fitzpatrick had released him with a superb pass.
Having seen so many chances go, United were indebted to an excellent save from Joe Taylor at the other end; the keeper going full length to turn away Hudson’s shot.
Despite their own lowly league position, Goal Sports were a neat side and they finished the half on top. Indeed, both teams proceeded to play a level of football that would have graced a much better playing surface.
As it was, the Eastenders stuck to their guns after the break and they proceeded to turn the screw. Verity was denied by another excellent stop on 53 minutes. Bowden passed up a chance on 58 minutes and a minute later Jamieson skied one from Verity’s lay-off after more superb football had opened the hosts up.
Jamieson and his team-mates finally earned their reward on 63 minutes and the goal again came from some lovely approach play. Warcup provided the final ball to which the assistant-boss planted a looping header that nestled inside the near post with the keeper rooted.
With the hosts visibly rocked, Easington went for the winner. Jamieson put Jeffery in down the right but this time it was the post that kept him out.
That came on 65 minutes. Five minutes later Easington led, Jeffery this time the provider with the pass that put Verity away and the finish was assured. There was a touch of fortune about the goal as the scorer appeared offside but there was no doubting the locals’ right to lead.
A minute later it could have been three when Snaith’s shot cannoned off the bar and a combination of bar and keeper also prevented Verity increasing the lead with ten to go.
When the latter passed up perhaps his easiest chance on 81 minutes one could be forgiven for thinking the locals might pay – they’ve not had much experience of closing games out! But aside from the odd melee in and around the box, Taylor never really looked under threat and indeed Verity came closest to adding another score when glancing wide from Fitzpatrick’s cross.
There was obvious delight at the final whistle and a sense that at last these players had some reward for their efforts. Graham led by example at the back, with Jamieson and Fitzpatrick combining excellently through the middle, whilst Snaith revelled in his new role.
Warcup was a constant source of attacking threat from left-back but it was his opposite number, Jaidan Spruce who took the Man of the Match award for an almost faultless display, especially during the second half. Overall though, this was a day when everyone associated with the senior squad could savour their Saturday night – the task now is to prove this is just the start and not a one-off.
Easington: Joe Taylor, Jaidan Spruce, Dan Warcup, Kris Fitzpatrick, Steve Jamieson, Andy Graham, Luke Jeffery (Corey Douglas, 83), Nathan Verity, Ash Snaith, Brad Bowden (sub Aidan Wearmouth)
 
         
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