Stein and Weinrich steer Raiders home
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Norstar continue to prove the journalists wrong after an extremely impressive and professional comeback saw them beat previously unbeaten Jewdinese in a really good game at the Ark.
Jewdinese knew this was going to be a hard game as pre-match preparations were affected by both chairmen Zac Brin and Jake Erlich celebrating their birthday the night before. However, this didn’t seem to affect them as they settled into the game pretty early on.
Having registered their first win of the season last week, Norstar built on that win with an exceptional first half performance, passing the ball around Jewdinese and had it not been for a tight offside call against Jamie Weinrich, after the striker put the ball into the net, and had Norstar been successful with one of the many chances they had, they would have taken a much deserved half time lead, but Erich spurned a one-on-one opportunity.
Jewdinese's chances were limited, due to Norstar's ever-impressive backline, that despite having numerous defensive injuries.
At half time Jewdinese manager Darren Lawrence encouraged the team and explained the importance of three points saying "if you get the ball down and play, the result is ours for the taking".
This is exactly what they did for the opening 10 minutes. Two half-time substitutes saw Zack Collins replace Barney Rhodes and Ben Berrick replace Dan Moses. They immediately caused problems for Norstar and a superb goal by Collins put Jewdinese in front.
Where last season that would have been that for Norstar, this season that gave them the drive and determination to ensure that their good performance was not going to go unrewarded.
Jewdinese keeper Josh Frey made a couple of great saves including my nomination for save of the season in which he made a double save only to crawl along the line to push clear a ball heading for the back of the net.
Jewdinese appeared to back off and Norstar started piling on the pressure and within 10 minutes of going behind, Liam Stein, who has been in tremendous form, picked the ball up inside the Jewdinese half, drove on and hit a delightful strike into the top corner from all of 30 yards, leaving the keeper no chance.
Norstar weren't done there. As the game came more open, and tempers started to boil over, Norstar kept their heads and Weinrich made it two in two in rather fortuitous circumstances when his one on one was saved by Frey, but the ball rebounded off the striker and rolled into the net from the edge of the box.
Norstar soaked up the pressure for the last five and held out for the victory. They remain unbeaten and have the best defensive record in the league. There won't be many goals in Norstar matches this season, but it's certainly the team to follow if you want to see some stunning strikes.
This was a win that will surely make others in the league take serious note.
Darren Lawrence, the Jewdinese boss, told JC Sport: "How we haven’t won this match I do not know. Every team has a slip-up at one point during the season and I hope that this is our only won. It hurts for everyone but we will look to bounce straight back with a huge game against Catford next week."
Club chairman Jake Erlich told JC Sport: "We had the chances to kill the game off but we didn’t take them. This result hurts as we know this should have been a comfortable win and I hope we don’t look back at this with regret when it comes to the end of the season."