Michael move top after win over Colby
JUST when this top-of-the-table clash in JCK Division Two was going to end goal-less, Ben Dewry scored the fixture’s decisive goal for Michael.
Drewry’s goal means the Balliera Road outfit leap-frog their opponents and move into the second tier’s pole-position.
This was Michael’s toughest test of the season so far, however, and manager Barney Kelly wouldn’t have been happy when at critical times, his side couldn’t maintain possession.
Despite losing, Colby boss Nick Leece can take a lot of positives from this performance, with his side including a number of up-and-coming youngsters.
With so much at stake in this embryonic stage of the season, this was a match that was devoid of clear-cut opportunities.
Both central defensive units were outstanding; Jonathan Paul and Chris Wignall for Colby, nullified the threat of Michael’s top scorer Paul Corlett, while at the other end of the pitch United’s defensive duo Kieran Quinn and Andrew Berry were on form for the hosts.
A typical blood-and-guts match was fiercely contested in the centre of midfield and there was hardly any space to manoeuve. This meant neither could get a grip of the match.
A promising start by the hosts saw Rob Christian bend in a testing corner that was met by Quinn at the far post. His header hit the goal’s framework before Peter Fisher headed wide following a throw-in.
Colby too had their chances. Jonathan Paul showed good technique, bringing the ball down following Bobby Kneale’s header. Paul deceived his marker, before flashing a shot narrowly over the crossbar. Jack Snidal’s testing free-kick was then punched clear, but neither side could conjure the important break-through.
Michael started the second half promisingly enough, Dewry was found in space on the right and his angled shot was pushed wide.
Colby keeper Jay Gandy’s reputation as being one of the best goalkeepers outside the top-flight was further enhanced minutes later when the ball fell to Danny Chalk at the far post. The southern shot-stopper threw himself across goal as if his life depended on it and repelled the danger.
Colby thought they had scored when Adam Fretwell hit the ball into the net only to be ruled out for offside and came close again when Chris McKenna volleyed an effort just wide
The decisive breakthrough, however, came on 74 minutes.
The ball spun out and without assistant referees, it was difficult to determine which team had touched it last and so a corner was awarded.
From the resulting flag-kick, Christian crossed for Dewry to head home.
Colby looked to muster a response but couldn’t work a decisive reply.
Once the final whistle had blown, Michael could reflect on collecting their hardest three points of the season so far.
Michael Utd: Will Mitchell, Michael Hammond, Rob Christian, Peter Fisher, Kieran Quinn, Andy Berry, Ben Dewry (Tommy Corlett 79m), Kevin Pulman, Anthony Corkill, Paul Corlett ( Andy Williamson 76m), Danny Chalk (Matty Brand 70m).
Colby: Jay Gandy, Josh Gardner (Oliver Swales 75m), Harry Best, Jonathan Paul, Fraser Veale, Chris Wignall, Jack Snidal, Adam Fretwell, Chris McKenna, Bobby Kneale (Jim Collett 75m), Luke Samuels (Alex Hullock 86m).
Referee: Chris Taggart
Man of the Match: Berry (Michael)
Match rating: HHHHH
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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