Elite continued their recent unbeaten run, but once again failed to turn a draw into victory as they took on Phoenix FC at Goals Soccer Centre in Chester last Tuesday.
Elite got the game off to a canter with Josh Nicholls finding the net in some style after just 45 seconds.
And it was close but no cigar for Dave Madeley as he went just wide with a lovely strike just over a minute later.
At the other end Phoenix tested Elite’s stand-in keeper, Dan Abbott, forcing a save from the man-mountain on the three minute mark, but it wasn’t long before Madeley’s industry paid off and he stroked the ball home with a classy finish, making it 2-0 on 3 minutes.
Abbott was called into action to deny Phoenix and managed to clear the ball on his line, while Alex Gilfoyle made the Phoenix keeper work to stop Elite grabbing a third.
It was Madeley again who popped up to in the 12th minute to score Elite’s third – beautiful!
But Phoenix finally got a foothold in the game, scoring their first of the evening just seconds later.
The game opened up and despite solid attempts from Paul Brunton and Madeley, Phoenix held firm in defence and managed to draw level with two quick goals on 16 and 17 minutes.
There was still time for some drama as half-time approached with a Sean Payne goal disallowed for some spurious reason I apparently couldn’t even be bothered to record!
Half-Time Elite FC 3 Phoenix FC 3
Elite clearly meant business as the second half got underway – first a great effort by Payne was blocked on 22 minutes, and then Gilfoyle made sure with a neat chip over the Phoenix keeper to give Elite the lead once again.
A nice passage of play ensured between Gilfoyle and Shakes which ended when the former was denied by the post on 25 minutes.
And the woodwork saved Phoenix once again after the always dangerous Dave Madeley battled to retain possession and managed to get a shot off but saw it smack against the top of the bar on 28 minutes.
Madeley soon won a penalty which was coolly dispatched by Gilfoyle and it looked as though Elite would stay on the front foot and see the game out.
Unfortunately Phoenix had other ideas. Gilfoyle skied his shot and Phoenix saw their chance. Abbott continued to marshal his troops and guard Elite’s goal – making two strong saves and being helped out by his post to stop a sudden Phoenix onslaught.
But Elite couldn’t hold out for ever, and Phoenix scored their fourth in the 35th minute.
When Abbott saved a Phoenix penalty – possibly at the expense of any future offspring!! – it looked like Elite might just hold on for the win.
But it was not to be and Phoenix rose up once again to score their 5th and snatch a point in the final minutes.
Full-Time Elite FC 5 Phoenix FC 5
Man of the Match: Dan Abbott once again made some crucial saves and Gilfoyle made some important contributions to the game but Dave Madeley was a cut above. Verdict = Madeley shades it.