Campion AFC Dev vs DRAM Com FC
Date: 26th September 2015
Venue: AA Van Hire Stadium
Referee: Mr. Paul Jarvis
Man of the Match: Macauley Haley
Carl Trenerry (c)
Damn DRAM End Unbeaten Run
After what had been a wonderful start to the season, Campion Development squad welcomed DRAM Community FC to the AA Van Hire Stadium in what was likely to be their sternest test of the season so far.
Having been bitten twice last season by a side that played football that was better than their league position would suggest, manager Mark Palfreeman set the team up with a defensive 4-1-4-1 formation in an effort to counter the attacking threat of a side who had averaged four goals per game so far this season.
Although offering defensive protection, Campion struggled to get hold of the ball and play football against a DRAM side that pressed high and afforded their opponents little time on the ball. But the counter-attacking set-up was dealt a blow when Carl Trenerry was off-balance as he tried to head a ball back to Karl Renardson in the Campion goal. Not managing to put the required power into the header afforded striker Lee Turner the opportunity to nip in and round Renardson before coolly slotting home.
At 1-0 down the home sides tactics meant DRAM were very much on top as their high pressing style forced Campion to go long to Chris Hellewell who found himself increasingly isolated and meant the ball was simply coming back too frequently. Campion were in fact lucky not to go 2-0 down quickly after as a good DRAM move got the ball into the six yard box only for the attacker to somehow hit the ball over the bar in what was a shocking miss.
Another setback came from the other DRAM danger man as league top scorer Craig Thompson continued his rich vein of form to put the Huddersfield side 2-0 up. Picking the ball up 25 yards out he shrugged off Sadio Barry before moving forward and smartly slotting the ball into the corner of the goal to Karl Renardson’s right.
Behind and outmanoeuvred forced Palfreeman to change tactics at half time as Luke Sharpe and Damien Hields made way for Cam Green and Tom Bentham in an attempt to offer more attacking threat and support to Hellewell in attack. The move to 4-4-2 seemed to have an immediate effect as Campion pressed their opponents and put much more pressure on a defence which looked decidedly shaky when on the back foot.
There were still opportunities for DRAM, but an excellent display from Jaden Powell quelled the majority of the threats. The best chance came as Lee Turner again broke through with his pace and rounded Renardson but from nowhere Macauley Haley managed to dive in and put the ball out for a corner with a last ditch tackle. It was part of an inspired performance from Haley who looked good going forward and dealt with the DRAM attacking threat with confidence and pace.
The hope of a comeback was given impetus when Aaron Metcalfe, now operating on the right hand side broke into the box and was brutally felled by the DRAM defender for a penalty. At least that is how the fall was perceived by referee Paul Jarvis who missed Metcalfe’s cheeky wink to acknowledge his aptitude at an Oscar winning performance. Hellewell stroked the ball home without problem and at 2-1 the comeback was very much alive.
And Campion had more than one opportunity to equalise. Cam Green’s powerful centre forward play allowed him a couple of good chances only to find the keeper rather than the back of the net. And somehow a Macauley Haley cross wasn’t converted by anyone as it flashed across the six yard box and then DRAM defenders dived in front of the follow up effort from Metcalfe as he tried to convert.
As Campion pushed forward to get the equaliser it was inevitable that they were more susceptible to the counter. In fact one of the DRAM attacks led to a quite outstanding save from goalkeeper Renardson whose strong hand and quick reactions impressively deflected a shot over the bar.
With six minutes to go a DRAM Player ghosted into the penalty area far too easily before striking home to make the game 3-1, an unfortunate bi-product of pushing to get back in the game.
In the end it was a close game and the second half performance had people wondering if DRAM were there for the taking with a more attacking approach from the off.