Usually this fixture is played in the blazing sun of early season however conditions on this second visit to Shrewsbury in 17/18 could not have been more different. The “mini-beast from the East” was in full tempest with sleet, hail and towards the end a blizzard whipping in. If the wind was coming in from the east, the pitch must have been on a bearing approximate to East South East as the gale blew down the field on a slight diagonal. Salop had their backs to the wind in the first half and it was no surprise that they dominated play. I can recall each of their goals but, to paraphrase Eric Morecambe, not necessarily in the right order. The first (I think) came after Ramblers had gifted possession on the right flank and was a neat finish. The second came soon afterwards when Brett saved well from an angled shot but was only able to parry the ball into the path of a Salop player. The Salop player then scuffed the ball but nevertheless applied sufficient force for it to evade the efforts of Rogers and creep over the line. After a pretty dismal opening period there then followed a passage in which Salop dominated possession with nice little triangles but then invariably any through balls either carried through to Brett or went out of play with wind assistance. As half time approached this correspondent’s thoughts were that, given the conditions, turning round with a 2 goal deficit was pretty decent for Ramblers. However, no sooner had such thought passed through his mind than the deficit was doubled with 2 quickfire goals, the first with a suspicion of offside (Hopkins & Sykes seeing things differently) and the second an unfortunate deflection from Minto for an og.
With the benefit of the conditions reversed the second half was a very different affair. Mornington resisted the temptation to introduce Sykes, keeping the same Xl, but moving Harthan from left back to right back. Given that the wind was causing the ball to drift to the Rambler’s right flank in the first half and left in the second half, one can only assume that this was a move designed to keep Harthan in a largely spectating role in preparation for a detailed match report.
Sykes was introduced for Harthan mid-way through the half and, whilst narrative simplicity demands the easy conclusion, this correspondent would ask you to bear in mind that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Anyway, soon after Sykes’ introduction Ramblers had a breakthrough with a goal from Mornington. A second goal soon followed after a goalkeeping error, I can’t recall the scorer. Suddenly Salop were rocking and the fightback was on. Ramblers went close on a few occasions but were unable to get a third. Harthan was re-introduced for Hopkins and soon afterwards (again, correlation doesn’t mean causation) Salop scored a fifth with a well struck skidding shot from distance which made the game secure. The last 10 minutes were played out in blizzard conditions with snow sticking on the ground, the final whistle coming as a relief to all.
Salop 5 – 2 Ramblers and / or Salop 1 – 2 Sykes
|March 17, 2018||2:00 pm||2nd XI Fixtures||2017-18|
|21 Ashton Rd, Shrewsbury SY3, UK|