Aug 19

Cheltenham Saracens 7 – 3 Highmoor Ibis

Buoyant from their 2-1 midweek away win against Newbury, Cheltenham
Saracens welcomed league newcomers Highmoor Ibis to Petersfield Park.

Saracens Manager Gerry Oldham asked his players to be more consistent
with their win ratios but Oldham certainly wouldn’t have dreamt he’d
get this response!! With the last minute shrewd signing of Cheltenham
Town player Ethan Moore added to the starting line up, Oldham still had
a number of experienced players absent due to Injury and weddings, but
such is the strength of his squad this season these early absenteeism
is being well covered. Saracens Capt Sam Slender returned to the heart
of defence & Chris Pates & Joe Donaghue replaced the missing Ryan
Paddock & the rested Mike Oliver in defence respectively.

Saracens strangely started the game in a low key subdued mood and soon
found themselves 0-1 down after 2mins when the Highmoor forward Luke
Ferdinand found acres of space in front of goal and lobbed Saracens
Keeper Tim Griffiths. If this wasn’t a warning to the Saracens team
then 2mins later it certainly was! Again poor marking allowed the
experienced Highmoor midfielder Shane Small-King to ghost through

unchallenged, but a brilliant save by keeper Griffiths denied him the
chance to put Highmoor further ahead. Pat Sayce and Carl Griffiths was
instrumental in Saracens attacks, and a brilliant run and cross by
Sayce warranted a finish but the Saracens attacking players was slow to
react. This was then followed by a long 10th min punt downfield by the
Highmoor keeper, his fellow team mate Aaron Baker won the flick on and
in acres of space Ferdinand scored his and Highmoors second, calmly
rifling home into the top corner to put Highmoor 2-0 up. Struggling
injured, Saracens defender, Chris Pates was replaced by Mike Oliver and
slowly Saracens got a foothold in the game. In the 25th minute, the
brilliant Pat Sayce won possession on the right hand side of the
Highmoor area & sent a delightful cross to Carl Griffiths who calmly
gave the keeper no chance with his headed goal from just inside the
area 2-1. This goal was followed immediately by Saracens equaliser. A
one touch pass and move phase of play, between Pat Sayce & Jack Oldham
saw a Leigh Rayson cross majestically headed across goal by Carl
Griffiths to Ethan Moore, who’s first time shot sent the keeper the
wrong way and give him a dream start to his Saracens debut 2-2.
Highmoor’s high line of pressure and commitment of attacking players
was a constant threat to the Saracens defence, the lively young
Highmoor striker Ferdinand wasn’t shy of shooting on sight, for
whichthe Saracens defenders of Oliver, Tunnicliff, Slender and the
returning Joe Donahughe found themselves doubling on Ferdinand and was
given a torrid time in the first half.

HT: 2-2

With key pointers being applied by manager Oldham to his squad at half
time, a totally new look Saracens team came out with all guns blazing,
much to the delight of the healthy Petersfield crowd, was enjoying both
the quality of the game and the baking sun!!. With only 3mins gone of
the second half Jamie Hammond opened the scoring for Saracens from the
penalty spot when again a brilliant jinking run from Carl Griffiths

resulting in him being chopped down in the box 3-2. With Ethan Moore
slowly getting to know his fellow players he gave a majestic 20mins of
what he was about. Brilliant movement in and around the box, with
superb link up play with his fellow wingers Griffiths & Sayce. Moore
scored his second in the 54th min to put Saracens 4-2 up. Highmoor was
now clearly struggling to cope with Saracens youthful pace and power of
the game and Gerry Oldham added to their worries when he brought on
Moore’s ex Cheltenham Town colleague Josh Swales for Joe Donaghue .This
had an immediate effect and in the 54th min, Saracens scored their
fifth when Moore stole a yard on his marker and lobbed the keeper to
add to his earlier goal 5-2. With a sniff of a possible debut hat-
trick, young Ethan Moore didn’t disappoint the crowd, and dully claimed
his hat-trick, when again his quick thinking from a one two move with
Jordan Bryan saw him ghost into the box and finish with aplomb 6-2.
Jordan Bryan soon added Saracens final seventh goal when he was put
through by Moore to finish clinically into the bottom corner. Highmoor
scored their 3rd to make it 7-3 when Mitch Parker scored a consolation
goal late on.

M.o.M – Ethan Moore

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