Majestic Martyn helps Real Life make their point
They huffed and they puffed - but Real Life still could not chalk up a first league win of the season in a ding dong battle against Zig Zag in the mud at Edgwarebury.
In many ways they WEre indebted to goalkeeper Will Martyn who pulled off three world-class saves - twice in the first half and once in the second - that meant the spoils were shared. And they'll be thankful for the contribution of Rob Greene who popped up with two quality goals in the second half.
In truth, this game could have gone either way. Real Life started very sloppily and conceded a goal within a few minutes. Pressure on their penalty area resulted in their left winger getting to the by-line and putting a ball right across the RL corridor of uncertainty. Dave Allen had to put something on the ball or else give a tap in to the Zig Zag forward - but the defender only managed to turn into his own net. Unfortunate for Allen who alongside Kenny Markeson made a number of crucial interventions in the game. However manager Beaumont will be more concerned about his team not playing as a defensive unit than the performances of individuals.
Eventually RL started to find their feet in the game with some decent football and a desire for the second ball which had been missing in the opening 15 minutes. A corner was cleared by ZZ only to the edge of the box when a left foot shot from Ed Lewin was deflected into the air which Max Curtis challenged for and it fell to Dan Markeson to bury for 1-1.
Martyn then pulled off two outstanding saves. The first came from a powerful shot from 12 yards arrowing in to the bottom corner. The big man got down low brilliantly to his left to tip it round the post. The second was even more spectacular and came amid concerted Zig Zag pressure. Their midfielder latched on to the ball, and let fly from 25 yards with a ball destined for the corner. At full stretch Martyn dived to his right and got his fingertips to it to push it on to the post. Magnificent keeping from the young man.
Real Life came out for the second half galvanised and it was their turn to start quickly. A long throw from Beaumont was flicked on by Dan Markeson. Skipper Lewin cheekily back-healed it across the goal, for Max Curtis to spin and score. 2-1 Real Life.
But as we have seen on countless occasions from the Oranges, they do not know how to close out a game. Two quick sucker punches meant Zig Zag were ahead again. And while Real Life seem to work hard for their goals, scoring against them is too easy with the midfield and defence looking far too open. They equalised following another Beaumont long throw which was crossed to the back post. Rob Greene with his back to goal turned, beating his man and then bent the ball into the far corner of the net. A sublime goal of real quality. It's just a shame his goal celebration was one of the worst ever seen in a Real Life shirt.
Zig Zag again took the lead, but once more, Real Life showed their character. This time another set piece from the influential Beaumont, this time a free-kick of real quality, was met on the run by Greene to volley home with confidence and ease. Greene's celebration this time was much improved and he lapped up the adoration of the fans behind the South Stand.
The game ended on a sad note with Curtis stretchered off with a knee injury and seemingly in considerable pain. Beaumont will be hoping he will not be out for long after what was an all-action, high energy performance from the full-back.
After the game Beaumont said: "The lads showed their best and worst side today. We worked hard in parts, and were sloppy in others. Scored good goals as a team, conceded soft ones as a team. But I'll say this: if we stick together as a team as we did today, we'll rise up the league quickly. And I would love it, love it, if we did that."
Danny Fenton, Laurence Rosenthal, Neil Marcus and an own goal accounted for the Zig Zag strikes.
Zig Zag manager DJ Neal Cohen told JC Sport: “This was a good point in a game we led twice and I’m pleased with the performance."