JC MSFL DIVISION TWO
NORSTAR B 0 SPEC FC 2
SPEC made hard work of an important victory against a determined Norstar side on a beautiful morning in Wembley with two first half strikes from Craig Cohen and skipper Ashley Burns proving the difference.
The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and were given an early opportunity to take the lead when Burns was bundled over in the box. Ricky Lawrence coolly dispatched the penalty before being made to re-take it. The ref had spotted some encroachment from the attacking sides’ players and the re-taken penalty hit the cross bar and bounced out.
However, SPEC’s pressure did eventually pay dividends. This time, they did manage to make the most of a set- piece situation. Lone striker Cohen hit a curling free kick into the wall before collecting the rebound and firing it high into the top corner from fully 25 yards before lifting his top to reveal a “Happy Birthday Nick Berman” message written on his under-armour. A classy touch from a classy player.
Norstar could have equalised had it of not been from some fine work from stand-in goalkeeper Dan ‘The Cat’ Pike who somehow saved a low shot that looked a guaranteed goal after a goalmouth scramble.
And Norstar were duly made to rue that miss as captain Burns went up the other end and scored a goal of the season contender – weaving in and out of the Norstar defence like a boss before slotting home with his ‘weaker’ foot.
In an action packed first half, there was still time for Ricky Lawrence to complete his hat-trick of disallowed goals too. This time, the giant midfielder headed home a delicious Berman free-kick only to be judged offside.
The second half was a much tamer affair with SPEC having the majority of possession but failing to make it count. Craig Cohen, in particular, will be having nightmares about hitting the bar when it looked harder to miss.
Norstar’s best moments came when their centre back Sears went up front though SPEC’s Pike did remain relatively untroubled thanks to his expert sweeping and positioning.
All in all, a far from vintage performance performance from the Bananas against a spirited Norstar side. Though at this stage of the season three points is three points is three points.