Ricky's late winner
PUBLISHED: 13:41 03 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:05 24 May 2010
SAINTS finally got a long-overdue home win, beating Devon side Clyst Rovers at Coleridge Road, but were made to work hard for this much-needed victory over a side battling against relegation and the conditions did not make things any easier. Saints slight
SAINTS finally got a long-overdue home win, beating Devon side Clyst Rovers at Coleridge Road, but were made to work hard for this much-needed victory over a side battling against relegation and the conditions did not make things any easier.Saints slightly changed their formation, deciding to strengthen the midfield, but remaining with three defenders. Jamie Wootton returned to accompany Crandon, Park and Nathan Best in the middle, Ryan Harris, Marcus Brown and Trevor Haslett formed the defence with a forward line of Marlow, accompanied by Hodge and Hayes playing just behind in support.The first half hour was pretty much a stalemate with the pitch beginning to churn up that made playing any decent football impossible. A speculative pass was played into Saints penalty area that keeper Shaun Locke seemed to have covered, but he slipped in the mud and Darke was first to react to tap the ball in for the visitors to take the lead.Saints were not too disheartened by the half-time scoreline and came out for the second looking determined to get back on level terms. Hayes and Park worked hard to create openings and in the 65th minute substitute Brett Gready latched on to a through pass into the Clyst box and smashed a first-time shot low into the net.This seemed to rattle Clyst and several bad tackles went unpunished by the referee, but Saints kept their heads to take control. James Marshall came on for Ryan Harris in the 70th minute and showed the form that has seen him progress so quickly in Western League football.The winner came in the 80th minute when the pitch and conditions played a part. Ricky Hodge, who had worked tirelessly, took advantage of the ball sticking in the mud to pounce quickly and score his first goal for Saints.In the closing minutes, Saints had to endure a nail-biting finish and Locke pulled off a magnificent save to acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.Saints now face a hectic April with games against Dawlish, Chard and Street all at Coleridge Road.