Grappenhall Sports 5 - Unicorn Athletic 3
Grappenhall hosted Unicorn Athletic on a windy day, looking to avenge a 5-2 defeat earlier in the season.
Sports kicked off the first half kicking directly into a stiff wind against a strong Unicorn team, who had only suffered one defeat in the league this season. Unicorn began looking to play out from the back, switching play from side to side. Grappenhall set up looking to be solid from the back, and hit Unicorn on the counter. The first goal came from Sports pressing Unicorn’s defence, Adam Ashcroft forcing a mistake from the back 4 and nipping in in front of the keeper to give Grappenhall the lead. The half continued in the same vein, and Unicorn equalised following a good cross from the right, finding the unmarked striker who headed home from 8 yards. However, Grappenhall continued to counter, and went back in front when Ashcroft’s through ball found Odi Koubemba on the corner of the area, who cut inside and finished well into the far corner. Just before half-time, Unicorn hit back again, a deep corner was headed back across the 6 yard box and finished. Poor marking from Sports meant that the teams went in a 2-2.
Sports went out in the second half with the wind at their backs, but a poor start to the half led to Unicorn’s third goal. Slack defending allowed Unicorn to play into the Sports area, and the striker slotted past Dave Kennedy to give Unicorn the lead. Sports fought back and dominated proceedings before Kennedy found Dan Kimber in space on the right, who pulled the ball back to an unmarked Sean Preston to apply the finish. 3-3. Grappenhall continued to press, and were rewarded when they won a free kick in the Unicorn half. Kimber floated the free kick into the Unicorn area, where Adam Green rose highest to head Sports back in front with 15 to play. Unicorn pushed on for an equaliser, but Grappenhall defended resolutely, and finished the game off in the final minutes as substitute Mark Hewitt found the top corner from the edge of the box following Ashcroft’s square ball.
Final score – 5-3. The result kept Grappenhall in touching distance of the top 2. Next up, a tough trip to 4th placed Buxton, knowing a good result will put us right in the mix for promotion.