UEA 2s football victorious against Hellesdon in decisive match

In what may prove to be a decisive match in the season for both sides, UEA 2s eventually came out on top against Hellesdon 2s after a hard-fought game in treacherously slippery conditions.
Both sides started at a quick tempo and neither team were able to hold onto possession with the ball constantly being regained and then lost in the middle of the pitch. UEA looked the most threatening early on and good interplay between Jimmy Dalton and Will Hanson saw Hanson have the first shot of the game, though he could not get enough power behind it and the shot went wide. Dalton also had a seemingly harmless shot from outside the box soon after, which the Hellesdon keeper made a hash of. It could easily have been 1-0 had another UEA player been there to follow up the original shot.
After another period with little action of note, Hellesdon started to build some possession, but resolute defending from UEA’s excellent back four ensured nothing came from it, and indeed UEA eventually launched a counter attack. The ball was pinged forward and eventually fell to Will Hanson out wide who played a one-two with Dalton before drilling the ball across the face of goal. Hellesdon’s defence were in disarray but just managed to scramble it clear. UEA had a couple more half-chances, but the game was 0-0 at half time.
The second half started quietly, though UEA had most of the possession with the midfield, particularly Groves, tracking back well when the ball was lost to regain possession and preserve UEA’s territory. Eventually, however, the tide began to turn, and midway through the second half Hellesdon cut back a cross to the edge of the box for their central-midfielder, whose shot looked dangerous, but went high and wide. UEA soon recovered their composure, and had a golden opportunity when Mark Allen found himself with a close-range free header from a corner, but he could not quite get the direction on it.
For the next 15 minutes, it was fairly even and Jonathan Steventon and Jono Parker in the centre of defence were called upon to make some important interceptions as Hellesdon tried to find a way through with their direct style. However, the game wore on and UEA’s superior fitness showed as they dug deep for the final period, piling on the pressure.
With five minutes to go, captain Mark Allen drilled the ball at the Hellesdon defenders, one of whom lunged in clumsily as he entered the penalty area. Allen went down and was justly awarded a penalty for the poor tackle, which ended his daring run. Hanson coped with the pressure far better than anyone on the sidelines, and hammered it home.
Victory was assured when Hellesdon, pushing for an equaliser in the dying seconds, gave away possession cheaply on the halfway line and found no defenders back to prevent Dalton slotting a second goal past the keeper for 2-0.


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