Cranbrook boss delighted with team's second half show against Cheriton
PUBLISHED: 15:15 20 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:15 20 November 2019
Cranbrook continued their climb up the Macron Devon & Exeter League Division Four table with a 4-2 win over Cheriton Fitzpaine at the Cranbrook Education Centre.
The Cherries came into the game sitting second bottom of the table having lost eight of their nine games so far and Cranbrook boss Jon Martin was forced to make some changes owing to work commitments.
What's more, the home side made the worst possible start when a defensive error gifted the visitors an early lead.
The Cranbrook response was excellent and twice the frame of the goal denied them an equaliser, but, and somewhat against the run of play, the Cherries scored a second on the break to head into half-time with a 2-0 advantage.
During the interval Jon Martin reminded his players that they were capable of far, far better than they had served up in the first 45 minutes. He did tell them their overall play did not deserve to see them two goals down, but he challenged them to go back out and put things right - and they did just that, and in some style too!
Cranbrook began the second half on the front foot and began to exert some serious pressure on the visitors.
However, the Cherries' goal led a charmed life but, just when it seemed it would be 'one of those days', right back John Buckland ventured forward before unleashing a strike that arrowed its way into the top corner of the net from fully 30 yards!
Boosted by what was a sensational strike, Cranbrook were swiftly celebrating again as striker Tom Taylor turned on the edge of the area before rifling a left foot strike that flew into the net.
Once level, it did not take Cranbrook long to get ahead as Buckland crossed for Taylor to power a header home.
Two-goal Taylor then turned provider as he first held the ball up well before squaring it for substitute Reece Saunders to complete the scoring.
A pleased, if relieved, Cranbrook boss Jon Martin said: "The first half was tough and we couldn't get a grip on the game, but we were unfortunate to be two down at the break. Our second-half shift was top class! I think our goalie touched the ball three times throughout the second half. At the break we talked it through and there was general agreement that while we had not played 'that' badly, we needed to offer more and having asked the lads for a response they went out and delivered it in wheel-barrow loads!"
On Saturday (November 23) Cranbrook are again in home action with Division Two table-topping Elmore Reserves providing the opposition for a Bill Slee Cup tie that will kick-off at the Education Campus at 2pm.
Martin says of Saturday's game: "It's a big test for us as they [Elmore] are flying and play two divisions above us, but it's a real opportunity for us to cause an upset and that's what we'll be trying to do."