The scoreline doesn't reallt tell the whole story here but it was, at the end of the day, a second league win from 2 games for the veterans and another encouraging display, but a game that was over-shadowed by some strange refereeing decisions.
Calverton started the brightest and set out trying to play the ball about to feet in difficult, windy conditions. It was Netherfield Albion who forced the first corner of the game though, showing that they were aiming to get their first win of the season after defeats to Wollaton and Dunkirk in their opening two league games. From the corner, the ball found its way to the back post, where the Albion player tried to deflect the ball in with his hands - an offence which was missed by the referee.
Fortunately, the Albion player also missed and it was Calverton who struck first; A Graham Breward throw on the right found Mark Corcoran running in to space and he lashed the ball in to the top corner from just inside the box with a sweetly struck volley after only 10 minutes.
Minutes later, it looked like 2-0 when Ian Bird's cross from the left found Steve Beresford inside the six-yard box, who stooped to put a diving header past the Albion keeper, but the offside flag was raised and after much confusion and negotiation with the referee, the goal was wrongly chalked out. A double blow for Calverton, as both Beresford and winger Eddie Prempeh went off injured at this point.
This seemed to unsettle Calverton slightly and Albion looked for an equaliser. Only a smart stop from Mark Armstrong kept the scores level, diving high to his right to deflect a well directed header over the bar.
Undeterred, Calverton battled on and did double the lead shortly after; Corcoran getting his second of the game with a well struck free kick on 25 minutes.
Calverton took a firm grip of the game and - with Tyrone Williams looking a handful up front - looked to press home their advantage. A through ball from Corcoron played in Tyrone William who, despite the offside flag being raised again, was allowed to continue by the referee and sucessfully rounded the keeper and slotted in to the empty net. After another round of protests, this 'goal' too was ruled out for offside, an unbelievable decision as the strikers run started well behind the last defender.
Williams did get his reward before half-time though, as a shot from Corcoran balloned up off a defender and was despatched from a yard ot by the unchallenged striker. Just desserts for the effort that Calverton had put in up until this point.
With the Calverton back four seemingly in control and able to handle the threat that Albion posed up front, it looked the vetswould be heading in to the break with a 3 goal cushion. However, the referee played an inexplicable 15 minutes of added time at the end of the first period, during which, Albion got themselves back in to the game, forcing the ball home from close range after some poor defending where Calverton failed to properly clear their lines.
This seemd to spur Netherfield on and they took the game to Calverton in the second half and forced two fine saves from mark Armstrong, who was having a strong game in goal. The first, diving low to his right to divert the ball past the post from a smart shot inside the area, and again a few minutes later when a volley from point-blank range was somehow diverted wide - possibly with the help of the keepers face!
But Albion did eventually get a second, the winder cutting in to the penalty area from the left and firing a low drive across Armstrong in to the bottom corner for 3-2, setting things up for a nervy final 20 minutes.
Fired on by this Albion continued to press and Calverton seemed to be camped in their own half for long spells, unable to clear their lines properly. But as the game wore on, space opened up behind the Albion defence and Ian Bird's pace was too much for Netherfield to deal with. He latched on to a ball down the left from Simon Austin and beat 2 defenders before squaring the ball inside for Jonny Evans who controlled the ball neatly before firing with his left foot past the keeper from inside the box to restore the two-goal cushion.
There was still time for on more goal to be disallowed by the referee; Tyrone Williams latching on to a through ball just inside the Albion half and being flagged for offside - this time, seemingly the right call. But the referee allowed play to continue amidst much confusion at the back and the ball eventually found its way to Ian Bird at the back post, who fired the ball home. The visitors complained over-zelously to the referee who brandished a red card to one Albion player, before then awarding a free kick for offside some minutes later.
Calverton still had some time to hang on to their lead, with the referee playing a mere 10 minutes of added time at the end of the game with the rain lashing across the pitch as conditions worsened.
But 4-2 was the final score, a win that sees Calverton close to within one point of leaders Dunkirk, who dropped their first points of the season at the weekend with a draw at Birchover. And it's Dunkirk that Calverton travel to in thier next game...
..nice to have a top-of-the-table clash to look forward to, even at this early stage in the season!