Elite were unlucky not to earn a point as they put in a spirited performance but eventually fell to a defeat against Judson FC last Tuesday.
Danni Millington gave the Judson players something to think about: “By the way, you know if you score you’re barred right?” and Elite opened the scoring after just a minute when Josh Nicholls slammed home Dale Hart’s ricochet with an emphatic finish.
But seconds later Judson took advantage of some confusion in the box – there were two balls on the pitch and goalkeeper Dan Abbott was focused on the wrong one! – and found the net.
In what was quickly developing into an end-to-end game, Judson hit the post a few seconds later before Luke Kelly forced a save from the Judson keeper.
A total lapse in concentration then gifted Judson a second goal, before a goal-line clearance from Abbott narrowly avoided Judson adding to the tally.
Paul Brunton went agonisingly close on eight minutes, but Judson once again fired home less than a minute later.
Abbott saved with his feet and Dave Madeley pulled his shot just wide as Elite tried to get a foothold in the game.
Judson were denied by the post again before Abbott made another good save.
Unfortunately Abbott then briefly turned into Rob Green and watched the ball trickle past him into his net on 13 minutes! Judson scored their sixth soon after and it began to seem like an endless onslaught.
But some excellent defending from Brunton and tricky footwork from Dale Hart gave Elite a sense of renewed purpose. Alex Gilfoyle did well to create an opportunity from thin air but lacked the finally finish.
Thankfuly, the ever industrious Nicholls was on hand to grab Elite’s second of the evening on 18 minutes. Judson scored their seventh before the half-time whistle blew, but Elite left the pitch with their heads held high.
Half-Time: Elite FC 2 Judson FC 7
A change of personnel for Elite as Mike Jodges, aka Cream Jumper replaced Abbott in goal, allowing the powerful player more time as an outfield man, and though Elite conceded in the first minute of the second half, Elite quickly regained their footing with a clearly tired but determined Hart scoring two lovely goals in as many minutes, taking Elite’s tally to four after 25 minutes.
Not to be outdone, Kelly’s finish for Elite’s fifth was pure poetry and when Hodges saved on the line, Elite started to believe they might just get something from the game.
Clearly feeling confident, Kelly tried to strike again but went wide on 27 minutes and Judson took the opportunity to score their ninth just past the half hour mark.
Dave Madeley took Elite to six when his strike went in off the keeper’s arm, but Judson made it into double figures with an easy goal on 35 minutes.
Feeling the time tick away, Madeley lashed the ball before Hart defied the laws of physics (probably) to complete his hat-trick. Madeley did score his second moments later before Hodges saved.
Unfortunately Elite had left themselves with too many to do and when Judson scored again in the 41st minute, it was game over.
Full-Time: Elite FC 8 Judson FC 11
Man of the Match: Some excellent defending and lots of goals to choose from, but my pick this week is Josh Nicholls, for getting the ball rolling and giving the game momentum.