Having failed to field a starting 11, thereby canceling the previous fixture against PHMG, ActiveWin were penalised with a 5-0 defeat. The team were, therefore, looking to get back to winning ways, when they faced Steel’s Tips for the second time in as many months. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be and, despite a spirited performance, they fell to a 4-1 defeat, in their second Summer Cup outing of the season.
The team welcomed back some old familiar faces in Ayaz Mohammed (defender) and Luis Santos (forward), whilst midfielder trio Sean Banner, Gary Maiden and Bryn May also returned to the fold.
Player-manager Adam Jackson and defender Eliot Jacob were unable to make it due to work commitments.
Midfielder Greg Jacobs and forward Allan Stevenson remained sidelined through injury, but Jordan Rudge, who impressed on his debut, was back in action.
A frenetic start by ActiveWin quickly settled down into a more productive rhythm, with good composure on the ball displayed by Liam Tyler.
Meanwhile, Steel’s Tips showed their intent with an early long-range effort, but it was straight at James Harries in the ActiveWin goal.
Luis Santos employed the chest control he is known for to bring down the ball and get it to Sam Benson. Benson fed it through to Sean Banner who tried a shot, but perhaps should have done better.
Eddie Jordan and Ben Skeer were strong at the heart of defence, whilst Tyler stopped a Steel’s Tips attack, yet they kept coming. Gary Maiden cleared, but AW were still in danger, until Jordan headed out.
Banner made a good run and did well to get on the end of a ball from Adam Rowley, but couldn’t fashion an opportunity.
Steel’s Tips were back on the attack and winning plenty of corners. The players had a couple of attempts but couldn’t find the net. Skeer blocked, before another ST attempt went straight at Harries.
0-1 ST GOAL – ST’s opened the scoring with a well-taken, if entirely dubious, penalty.
Rowley tried a long ball but the keeper read it and, although he kept harrying players, Rowley’s frustrations were beginning to show.
Jordan Rudge played a neat one-two with Skeer, then got the ball forward through Tyler who put his shot over the bar.
Rudge was making a nuisance of himself, whilst Rowley tried to link up with Tyler, as AW looked for an equaliser.
A good passage of play involving Maiden, Benson and Rudge saw AW on the front foot for a while. Rowley’s persistence almost paid off when his free-kick hit the far post.
Tyler made a superb run to keep the ball in and managed to deliver it into the box, where Banner tried a shot, winning AW a corner.
Josh-Luksys-Booth did well to see the ball out before Tyler pulled off another good move, unfortunately, Rowley couldn’t get a touch on it.
0-2 ST GOAL – Steel’s Tips doubled their tally with a lovely finish from the same player.
AW tried to get back into the game. A Jordan throw-in was cleared by ST before Skeer fed Tyler who back-heeled the ball to Jordan who was running up with Rudge for company. ST cleared and went on the counter-attack, with Maiden’s defensive header proving to be the last touch of the half.
AW started the second half brightly. Banner won a corner, whilst Rudge was exerting more influence in midfield as the game went on. Bryn May brought the ball into the box, but ST countered.
Luksys-Booth couldn’t get a foot to it, but the danger was averted.
Rowley swung the ball into the box, but it was an easy save for the keeper. Soon after, ST had another effort on target, but Harries gathered without any trouble.
Rudge sent a free-kick smashing into the wall, then tried a long-range shot.
At the other end, Luksys-Booth cleared, before May found Santos to try to form another AW attack.
In a surprising twist, Rudge was shown a yellow card for dissent, but continued to go for goal.
Santos started to give the fans what they wanted – grunts!
1-2 AW GOAL! – AW finally made a breakthrough, as Tyler sliced through the ST defence and sent the ball high into the net.
Benson made a timely interception and AW won a couple more corners, but ST’s weren’t finished yet.
1-3 ST GOAL – ST’s ‘Jack’ completed his hattrick.
1-4 ST GOAL – ST quickly added insult to injury by guiding the ball round Harries to make it four, and it was well and truly game over.
Line up: Harries, Jordan, Skeer, Luksys-Booth, Tyler, Maiden, Rudge, Rowley, Banner, Benson, Santos
Subs: May, Mohammed
Man of the Match: Tyler showed maturity and composure on the wing, and fully deserved his goal. However, Jordan Rudge was once again a cut above and bossed the midfield, particularly in the second half.
Verdict: The better team won, but the scoreline grossly flattered the opposition. ActiveWin put in a decent team performance, but lacked killer instinct and failed to test a mediocre goalkeeper. Thanks to our 5-1 victory over InterQuest Group last month, we’re very much still in the Summer Cup, we just need to get back on track against Network Rail!