Pelicans Men’s 1st XI 3 March Town 3
Pelicans ended 2016 and began the second half of the season with a six goal thriller against March.
Missing several key players through injuries and unavailability, Pelicans were certainly not at full strength but made an early breakthrough after a long ball over the top from Chris Page was chased down by Henry Frost who beat two defenders before crossing for Josh Widdowson to score from close range.
However instead of building on this good start the home side were quickly brought back down to earth as March equalised on the counter attack.
Despite Pelicans looking threatening through Frost, Widdowson and their makeshift midfield of Otto Esse, Gav Johnstone, Ed Brown, Sean Kerry and youngster Andrew Todd who all had chances they were unable to break down the yellow wall in front of them, and it was March who went ahead just before half time but in the most bizarre of circumstances. A shot which was heading well wide hit the umpire in the stomach and rolled over the line leaving Craig Green helpless in goal.
Fresh from a 20-minute half-time delay due to the floodlights not coming on, Pelicans started the better and were rewarded with an early equaliser, a cross from Kerry was missed by Frost but just as Esse was to tap in he was cynically fouled. A penalty stroke was awarded which Chris Page tucked away.
The defence of Page, brother Iain Page, Luke Mitchell, Lee Dowers and Sam Major were all kept busy on the quick counter attacks of March and seemed to be coming out on top until a reverse stick shot from a tight angle made it past Green to give March the lead again.
Once again Pelicans were frustrated as they looked for an equaliser. Chances fell to Johnstone, Kerry, Frost and Widdowson but they were kept out brilliantly by the opposing goalkeeper, until Iain Page picked up the ball inside the March half beat two defender before getting into the circle and unleashing an unstoppable reverse stick shot which pinged in off the post.
The visitors however should have taken all three points in the final seconds of the game. They found themselves four on one in the Pelicans circle and with the goal wide open somehow a shot was scuffed wide.
Pelicans end 2016 in third place in Division 2N and must hit the ground running in 2017 if they are to catch the top two of Norwich Dragons and Sudbury.
4way Refrigeration MoM: Iain Page.