Mattishall confident despite defeat
Bungay Town 2, Matishall 1MATTISHALL travelled to Bungay looking to maintain their Anglian Combination Division One promotion challenge following the previous week's emphatic 6-0 home victory over Sole Bay (Craig Clarke 3, Chris Hall 2, Gary Starling).
Bungay Town 2, Matishall 1
MATTISHALL travelled to Bungay looking to maintain their Anglian Combination Division One promotion challenge following the previous week's emphatic 6-0 home victory over Sole Bay (Craig Clarke 3, Chris Hall 2, Gary Starling).
They welcomed back Rob Connelly who was made skipper for the day in place of the unavailable Hewett.
The visitors started very brightly and should have taken an early lead when a Clarke corner found the head of the inrushing Starling, but his header went over the top.
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Next it was the turn of both Clarke and Hall who, having beaten the offside trap, burst through and should have given the visitors the lead. But the former hit it straight at the keeper and Hall missed the target.
Mattishall continued to create chances and after 15 minutes the game should have been over as a contest, but failings in front of goal seemed to lift the home side, who had started very slowly.
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But after keeper Pledger had made two fine saves he was given no chance when McFarlane burst in from the right and sent an unstoppable drive into the top-left corner to give Bungay the lead and show Mattishall how to take an opportunity.
The game then became very untidy and the difficult surface made the first touch that more important. Neither side could afford to let the ball bounce, and when they did this was causing problems.
Mattishall continued to create openings, but when in a good position they continued to either fail to hit the target or get a clean strike on the ball and force the keeper into a serious save.
Mattishall won a number of corners and Clarke's excellent deliveries were met by some solid defending from the home centre-backs.
Bungay were always dangerous on the break but keeper Pledger was not seriously troubled as the half ended with the visitors clearly not believing they were trailing 1-0.
The second half started with the Black Dogs playing with more belief and knocking the ball around and having much the better of the possession as Mattishall struggled to get themselves back into the game.
The situation was made even worse when on the hour. Bungay made it 2-0 when the dangerous Amis timed his run and burst through the back four, who had pushed up, and lobbed the onrushing Pledger. It left Mattishall with a mountain to climb.
With 20 minutes left a double substitution saw Gary Harbour and Gavin Tipple replace Clarke and Lovell ,and instantly Mattishall began to make inroads into the final third.
After going close they finally found a way through in the 82nd minute when, in a goalmouth mel�e, Luke Winter spun round and forced the ball home.
Mattishall stormed forward in search of the equaliser and in the dying minutes both Wooden and Winter had half-chances but the ball would just not fall for the visitors and the final whistle was greeted with loud cheers from the home supporters.
Although this was not one of Mattishall's best performances they must remain positive for the run-in as there will continue to be twists and turns at the top of the table and there are still over a quarter of the fixtures to complete.
Mattishall Reserves played hosts to AFC Norwich and in a disappointing performance lost 2-0. Unless performances improve they will be dragged into a relegation scrap.