The Villagers were unlucky not to come away with a draw, due to two poor decisions by the match officials.
Both teams were struggling to get a grip of the game on a very heavy surface, but in the 15th minute the ball stuck in the mud just inside the Cleeve penalty area, Ashley Edenborough swung a foot at it, missed it completely and fell to the floor. To everyone’s amazement the Referee awarded a penalty. Josh Parsons sent Jimmy Nortei the wrong way. Cleeve’s response came minutes later when Michael Tambling broke down the right his cross found Jake Lee whose header bounced off the top of the cross bar with the Marine ‘keeper well beaten. The Villagers were put under pressure again by a refereeing decision, with two players in off-side positions the Assistant raised his flag and Sam Avery, oblivious to this, got across to intercept the pass, the Referee awarded a corner.
Chances were few and far between, Sam Morris crossed to Dan Hilder 25 yards out and his first time shot was blocked by Lee Davis. For the Villagers Will Gayton put in a deep cross which was put out for corner by Dave Bampton with Matt Liddiard closing in, Michael Jackson had shot from 18 yards pushed round the post by Kent Kauppinen and the resulting corner bounced off Michael Tambling’s toe straight into the arms of a grateful Kauppinen. Will Gayton also had Kauppinen scrambling across his goal to push a 20 yard shot round the post. Marine doubled their lead when a hopeful punt forward by Chris Taylor found Ashley Edenborough the wrong side of Sam Avery and Matt Rose; with the Assistant Referee not reacting he ran on and put the ball past the advancing Jimmy Nortei. In the closing minutes Michael Tambling tried to chip the ball over Kauppinen but the ‘keeper collected the ball at full stretch.
Cleeve; Nortei, Crowford, Hoyle, L. Davis, Avery, Rose, Tambling, Jackson, Lee, Liddiard (Sykes 86), M. Davis (Gayton 39)
Subs Not used; Jones, Ackland
Cleeve are at home on Wednesday to Abingdon United and on Saturday to North Leigh.