Elite let another lead slip through their fingers and wound up on the wrong side of another double figures scoreline when they met Connor Salmon at Goals, Chester last week. Elite have been there or thereabouts for weeks now but just can’t seem to find that final touch.
Alex Gilfoyle’s new boots seemed to do the trick and he opened the scoring for Elite after just thirty seconds. Gilfoyle went for goal again m0ments later but this time failed to find the net, before Dave Madeley also took his shot wide of the goal. At the other end, Mike Hodges, between the sticks for Elite, denied Connor Salmon a quick equaliser before Gilfoyle made it two for Elite after just 4 minutes.
Clearly buoyed by the goals, Gilfoyle then tried a back-heel and was unlucky to see it rebound off the post. But just five minutes later Paul Brunton extended Elite’s lead with a quality finish.
It looked like Elite were going to put the game to bed in the first half, but CS got back into the game with a strong shot on ten minutes. Elite scored again on 13 minutes through Sean Payne, but CS had a foothold in the game and doubled their tally on 15 minutes and making it three a minute later. Payne slotted a long range shot home seconds later, but end to end football ensued and CS continued to close the gap, scoring again to make it four on 17 minutes.
Madeley show his shot saved but Payne popped up again, scoring a replica of his second goal to complete his hat trick and take Elite to six just before half time.
Half-time: Elite FC 6 Connor Salmon FC 4
CS started the second half on the attack but Hodges did well to stick a foot out and make the save. A good passage of play ensued with Brunton and Luke Kelly leading the charge, but ended when Kelly fired over on 22 minutes. Gilfoyle’s new boots seemed to have lost their magic and he missed an open goal, then saw a follow-up shot saved on 24 minutes. CS were having trouble finding the target too though, hitting the side netting and then shooting wide. It was the opposition who eventually found a way through though, wrong-footing the keeper with a tricky little back-heel on 26 minutes. Kelly saw another shot saved on 27 minutes, before Brunton stroked home a neat angled effort to give Elite some breathing space.
There was a slight delay as the ball got stuck in the top netting and CS took advantage of the break in play, making it six on the half-hour mark. A CS own goal took Elite’s lead to eight and the players took their frustrations out on Dale Hart. CS scored again on 32 minutes and Hodge had to work hard to keep the CS score down. Meanwhile Elite just couldn’t penetrate the CS defence. Josh Nicholls was denied by the CS keeper, then fired straight at him, albeit low to the ground and Payne hit the post on 37 minutes. In the meantime, CS scored twice, taking the lead shortly after Payne rattled the woodwork. Gilfoyle saw another shot saved and Payne went close on 38 minutes, but CS had the bit between their teeth and managed to seal an 11-8 victory with two late goals.
Full-time: Elite FC 8 Connor Salmon FC 11
Man of the Match: Three contenders this week, Paul Brunton, Sean Payne and Alex Gilfoyle, all of whom scored and made important contributions to the game but on balance, Payne just edges it.