August 11, 2018 at 8:34 pm #16282
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Ilfracombe 1 Stoke Gabriel 1
Stoke started their league season with their longest trip on a wet and miserable Saturday for a game that never really lived up to expectations.
The hosts kicked off and very nearly took an early lead as within the first couple of minutes struck a post from distance with Dom Aplin well beaten.
The visitors then had their opportunity for an early lead when a ball through from Stevens found Tom Kelly and there was a strong appeal for a penalty as he went to ground. The referee waved it away but even many of the Bluebirds supporters felt a penalty would have been the right award.
The game was very scrappy and neither side managed to gain a hold or trouble either keeper. Liam Moseley tried to change that when one on one with Jamie Matthews in the hosts goal. Moseley opted to try and round the keeper rather that strike for goal and the keeper smothered the effort.
Stoke finally managed to take the lead on thirty two minutes. A free kick on the right was played in high and long by Shaun Bowden, it found Liam Moseley at the back post who fired it home hard and low. Unfortunately for Stoke this did not give them the spell of domination they would have hoped for and the break came with no further score.
Would the second half be any better? Unfortunately for the sizeable crowd it proved not, apart from the fact that the light rain actually stopped for a while.
On the hour Stoke ventured down the left and the ball broke out to Mark Newbould about twenty five yards out and he hit it first time on the full. It was tipped round expertly by Matthews in the hosts goal.
Just five minutes later and the hosts thought they had equalised as Sam Box slid the ball under Dom Aplin only to find the flag raised for offside.
The visitors made the first change with fifteen minutes remaining bringing on Nathan Hebbes for Tom Kelly and instantly he won a free kick in a dangerous position but the effort proved fruitless.
The game seemed to be drifting to its conclusion when with just three minutes left Stoke failed to clear their lines and Sam Box popped up to poke in from close range for one one.
I am sure that Stoke can play a lot better and also will probably play better and lose but to quote the Ilfracombe Secretary at the end “how did we get away with that”, which sort of sums up the game well.
My last visit to Ilfracombe was as an official in their Western League days many years ago and it was a pleasure to make the return visit despite the weather.
- This topic was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by Phil Mobile.
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