Sun 30
Birchover OB
J Evans (10'), M Corcoran (20')
First league defeat for Veterans

First league defeat for Veterans

By Steve Beresford
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Calverton give up a 2 goal lead to suffer their first defeat of the league season at Birchover.

Let's just say that the pitch played a part in this one!

On a boggy, muddy surface at Birchover, Calverton started well and looked to build on their unbeaten start to the league at Birchover. But games against Birchover are always close - having drawn at their place and losing by the only goal at home last season, so perhaps it was inevitable that a 2-0 lead wasn't neessarily going to be enough to see this one out, despite the fact the Birchover had found goals hard to come by so far this season.

Calverton started well and an early Keith Harrison free-kick was curled just over the bar after Ian Bird had been fouled on the edge of the penalty area.

After 10 minutes, Calverton took the lead; a quick throw in found Jonny Evans, who struck the ball towards goal from 25 yards out, his shot finding its way home via a defelction.

Despite the difficult conditions, Calverton did play some very good football in the first half - where the pitch allowed it - and a flowing move midway through the first half saw Ian Bird running with the ball from deep in his own half. He played the ball inside to Mark Corcoran who played the ball first time out to Jonny Evans who ran at the defender before pulling the ball back to Paul Merchant 12 yards out. His first time shot was blazed over with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Birchover came in to the game midway through the first half and a long ball over the top found their striker who fired wide. The pressure was buildin though, and Carl Wall conceded a free-kick towards the edge of the box and was booked for the challennge. Calverton failed to deal with the set piece and then conceded a penalty in the resulting panic.

Stand-in goalkeeper Ian Duncan pushed the spot-kick on to the post and rebound was fired wide.

Calverton then doubled their lead; Mark Corcoran was fouled on the edge of the penalty area after a flowing move down the right. He then struck the free kick right-footed in to the top left corner for a 2-0 lead.

Calverton kept pressing towards the end of the first half and another shot from Corcoran was pushed round the post by the keeper for a corner. Birchover showed that they were capable of causing problems with 2 attacks in the final minutes of the first half. Firstly, they broke on the counter-atack down the right and shot from inside the box across the goal but couldn't find the finishing touch.

Just afterwards, a misplaced back-pass from Carl Wall was intercepted and Birchover fired wide - a let off for Calverton, but a sign of things to come in the second half.

As the rain started to fall in the second half and the pitch became even more of a quagmire (giggedy!) Birchover totaly took control of the game and scored their first goal just 3 minutes after the re-start; A Birchover counter-attack led to confusion at the back for Calverton who failed to clear their lines and the loose ball was fired home from the edge of the box.

Minutes later, Birchover struck the post after a good ball across the box and shortly after, a short-corner on their left fould it's way to their striker who beat one defender before shooting, the ball being deflected over for another corner.

Calverton tried to fight back and a knock down from Mark Corcoran found Paul Merchant whose shot didn't trouble the Birchover keeper too much.

The equaliser came with just over ten minutes to go; a free kick over the top found a Birchover player who beat the defenders and side-footed the ball first time past Duncan.

Calverton again pushed forward, looking to take the pressure off the back for and Simon Austin picked up the ball from a quick free kick before firing a shot towards goal that was deflected behind for a rare Calverton corner.

Birchover scored the winner as the game headed in to stoppage time - relentless pressure as the ball was thrown in to the box over and over and as the ball was pinged around the box, it was stabbed home from close range.

The proverbial game of two halves and Calverton's first league defeat of the seaon.

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Match details

Match date

Sun 30, Nov 2014