EUMHC Keep Premier League Dreams Alive
Andrew Miller, EUMHC Club Captain, reports on EUMHC’s 4 – 3 victory over Cannock on March 4th.
An emphatic, closely fought 4-3 victory against the most successful club in National League history, Cannock, has seen EUMHC draw level with next-placed placed Bowdon as the relegation battle heats up towards the end of the season.
In what could prove to be a seminal moment in the season, the Nandos Sports Park was the scene of heart-racing theatrics as Exeter overcame an initial two-goal deficit to snatch victory from their Birmingham-based opponents.
Both sides made a tentative start to the eagerly anticipated encounter but it was Cannock who broke the deadlock in the sixth minute after Matthew Plunkett slotted a rebound off Exeter keeper, Chris Rea.
The club, founded in 1905, then went two up courtesy of a Chana deflection.
The Green Army responded positively, however, making incisive runs and incisions deep into their opposition’s territory and the deficit was reduced to one after Exeter capitalized on their first penalty corner of the game as Brendon Noble slid in to deflect the ball past a flailing Patrick Smith in the Cannock goal.
Scores were then levelled in the 28th minute when Tom Carson unleashed a drag-flick that rocketed into the bottom right-hand corner.
Buoyed by their come-back University of Exeter, led with passion and pride by their talismanic skipper Oliver Deasy, pressed on and the pressure told soon after the interval as Rob Mugridge converted a penalty corner by connecting with another Carson drag-flick.
It was not until the 52nd minute that Cannock equalised via a David Harris drag-flick but then first year Sports Science student, Josh Godfrey provided the perfect remedy to Exeter conceding after he ensured that Harris’s strike was merely a temporary setback: following a superb passage of play by Ian Haley, Josh punished some slack Cannock defending to nestle the ball into the goal’s corner.
As the clock began to run out there were unnerving moments for fans of the Devon outfit, but University of Exeter goalkeeper, Chris Rea, who was solid throughout the game, standing firm and calmly protected Exeter’s lead in the final stages.
The side has sought betterment throughout the season and signs of the experience previously lacking will give coaches Nick Beasant and Chris McInroy greater hope for the remaining games.
Whilst today's front-page will be dominated by Kremlinology, the back-page belongs to the plucky EUMHC 1st XI and there are now three matches left for them to usurp Bowdon and remain in the National Premier League – come on Exeter!