Hellenic League Division 1 West
Ross Town at last made their superiority count in a game they should have won by a larger margin.
Manager Chris Parsons was again forced to make changes to his line up. Jamie Halfpenny came into goal in place of house-moving Richard Newman, and with David Skipp crying off at the last minute, Andy Trotman, following a fine goal-scoring run for the reserves, was drafted in to the front line for his first senior game of the season.
Town made the early running and created two half-chances before the visitors took the lead against the run of play in the twelfth minute. Town's defence must learn when a big clearance is the sensible option, and it turned an inconsequential Quarry attack into a disaster. Three weak tackles allowed Walsh time to hit a not very hard but low curling shot just inside Halfpenny's left hand post.
This spurred on Quarry, and their pony-tailed no 7, Dean Williams, began to dictate much of the mid-filed play, holding of challenges and distributing the ball well, and putting in a long range shot that rose only inches over the Ross bar. Then Halfpenny, who had a very solid game and dealt well with crosses all afternoon, came to Town's rescue when he saved at the second attempt from close range, and the ever reliable Glenn Capewell cleared off the line when Quarry looked to increase their lead.
At the other end Town were causing problems, but a combination of Quarry's defensive discipline and Town's lack of concentration found themselves flagged offside eleven times in the first half. Twice Trotman found himself with only the keeper to beat, but on the first occasion his first touch took him too wide to get in a clear shot, and on the second he placed the ball just wide of the right hand post.
Ross started the second half as though they meant business. After only four minutes Stuart was brought down on the left hand edge of the box. Spud Jenkins took a quick short kick to Tom Phillips who found Andy Trotman at the far post; his header back across goal was met by Phillips with a thunderous drive that would have ended up in the churchyard but for the net.
Now Town were putting on the pressure. Jenkins was beginning to win his mid-field battle with Dean Williams, pushing him further and further back towards his own goal so that his influence diminished dramatically. Three minutes after Town's goal it should have been two, Trotman arriving a fraction too late and heading over from two yards out.
Ross's superiority was rewarded in the 67 th minute, Burnham's acute cross to Dewi Stuart on the right wing being struck hard and low into the Quarry net. Stuart had a chance to make it three only minutes later when, with the goal yawning before him, managed only to hit the keeper, and Jenkins was unlucky on two occasions, lobbing the keeper but just skimming the bar on the first, and then being surprisingly pulled up by the ref for a foul after forcing his way past two defenders and finding the net.
If only Town could convert the many chances they make they could have a successful conclusion to the season. This was a good all round team effort with Phillips and Jones outstanding in defence.
Ross Town : Jamie Halfpenny; Tom Phillips, Ainsley Jones, Glenn Capewell; Andrew Green, Stuart Parker [c], Jamie Warwick, Spud Jenkins [ sub Declan Elliott ],Paul Burnham; Dewi Stuart, Andy Trotman [ Eli Wooding ]. Sub Ian Phillips.
Next Saturday Ross Town are away to last season's champions Purton.