For the first time in its history, the Pentecostal derby was being played in the top flight. CLM had
won all 3 prior encounters the last win being a 2-0 win in the cup last season. However, derby day
doesn’t follow normal rules or form and we all know anything can happen. With that being said, Elim
would get their first win of the season in an entertaining 3-2 victory at the Saracens Stadium. Goals
from Richards, J.Smith and Hughes were enough to drag the home team out the drop zone.
Betancourt, Dean Smith and Sampson all returned to the line-up after picking up knocks against
Christ the King, missing the 11-1 battering of Hope. Elim also welcomed Reid back into the line-up
for the first time this season. Elim shuffled the players in the 3-5-2 with Moroney and B.Clark
pushing into the centre-midfield and J.Smith moving outside right. Richards was partnered up top
with C.Smith and Titman and Baldwin kept their places on the left wing and left of defence
respectfully. Daniel Clark was joined on the bench with player manager Hughes and Watkins. This
game sadly came to early for Matewe, Jones and Jon Watts who were all in the players prayers
Captain Ben Clark in his new advanced role had an inspired game, up against former teachers of Blue
Coats was a game he didn’t want to lose. The game being a derby had some crunching tackles early
on, with the coolest man on the pitch being Haydn Foster the man with the whistle. D.Smith would
be brought down on the right side just beyond the half way. Moroney would whip a ball in for
C.Smith to flick on to his striker partner Richards to overhead kick beyond a helpless keeper. The ball
perfectly nestling into the top corner. That would be 3 goals in 4 games for the young striker, with
this being an early contender for goal of the season.
Sampson, would have a fantastic chance to make it 2-0 but despite a lovely one two would unleash a
shot high and wide to untroubled the keeper. CLM would crank up the pressure pilling down the
right, causing Baldwin and Titman a few dramas. Baldwin jumping into a tackle winning the ball and
the man would be a costly dead leg that followed, with the player landing on his quad. Captain Clark,
would play a fantastic through ball from 45 yards picking out Josh Smith on the right wing. The pacey
winger, trickled onto a one on one with the keeper keeping his composure to slot home and double
the Eagles lead. It’s not often the assist is more noticeable than the goal but this was great vision by
the skipper. Reid, Baldwin, Dean Smith and Betancourt would keep it tight keeping a first half clean
sheet seeing the home side lead 2-0.
The second half, seen the rain make an appearance and a more intent CLM. CLM from the kick off
had wave after wave of pressure cutting through on a number of occasions. Betancourt would make
a save that was like scoring a goal on the 51t minute, with a ball cut back to the six yard box. The
keeper not only saved the full paced shot but kept hold of it like a superhero. The 11 Elim fans all in
shock on the events unfolding. Corey Smith would make way as the first sub, with Elim’s youngest
hot prospect Daniel Clark coming off the bench. Elim slotting the 16 year old in at full back moving to
a 4-5-1 formation.
Elim’s rode their luck with a shot from 3 yards somehow sailing over and Clark clipping his own goal
in a desperate result to clear. Both teams made this game scrappy with Elim failing for over two
years to keep a clean sheet and the wait goes on longer sadly. The ball sailed in from a corner dealt
with by Moroney, or so it would seem. The following shot that followed deflected of Baldwin and
Titman to slot into a goal with all the navy men back in the box. Lucky moment but no more than
CLM deserved for their attacking efforts.
With the dead leg kicking in and Baldwin clipped again Watkins came in for a like for like swap at left
back. Sampson was keeping the ball well keeping control and possession and using the experience of
being a league winner out there. Richards was chasing all loose balls out, running himself into the
ground, whilst Moroney was chucking his body into every tackle. In the 80 th Minute it would be two
subs linking up from a Titman cross, that would secure the win. Watkins assisting Hughes to bullet
header and restore Elim’s two goal lead. The player manager, came on the pitch to see out the win
and played a crucial role in making things a little more comfortable. Dean Smith could of scored a
fourth but after losing his man on a corner, would fail to find the net with his head.
CLM heads still didn’t go and would be rewarded in 91 st minute, with pacey play on the left
outmuscling the full back to slot passed Betancourt and set up a nervy finish. With 1 minute on the
clock all Elim had to do was find the corner, but in reality Elim don’t do anything easy. A foot left in
would result in a David Beckham Greece free kick moment. Thankfully for Elim despite a nervy
moment the ball would miss the goal by a whisker and go wide allowing Elim to leap from CLM and
move up to 6 th in the league.
Many congratulations to CLM for a great battle, very inspirational performance despite never being
in a winning position they never gave up and almost took a point. Josh Smith was Elim’s man of the
match and picks up the award for the first time this season. Many thanks to Jonesy, Kevin, Benni,
Kai, Amy, Lydia, Duncan and Sam also for sacrificing weekends to support the team. Elim, also now
have their first win of 2020 coming in October.