Elstone nets as Cranbrook beat table-toppers
PUBLISHED: 09:07 26 February 2020
Cranbrook recorded arguably one of their finest results of the season when they defeated Macron Devon & Exeter League Division Four table-topping Central 1-0 at the Cranbrook Education Centre.
It's a result that has seen Cranbrook climb to second in the table and, while they remain nine points behind Central, the Exeter-based side have played six games more!
As for this latest game, both teams made confident starts and there were chances fashioned at both ends. As the first half wore on, Cranbrook began to take charge and only some determined defending by the visitors kept the game still seeking a goal.
The deadlock was finally broken late in the half for, when Cranbrook won a corner, the ball was delivered to the far post where it was bundled home by centre back Jon Elstone.
After the break Cranbrook stayed on the front foot enjoying the lion's share of possession, but once again they were kept at arm's length by an outstanding visiting defence.
Once again, and for seemingly the 'umpteenth' time in recent games, Cranbrook were denied what did look a clear penalty!
Team boss Jon Martin lamented: "I am not one to criticise match officials for they have a difficult job and, without them, we'd have no game. However, I can honestly say that, in the past four games we have genuinely had six instances of a penalty shout when I have been left shaking my head at the non-award!"
Despite not getting a spot kick, Cranbrook closed the game out well to deservedly net a clean sheet success and exact sweet revenge for their 4-2 defeat at Central in the early weeks of the season.
A delighted manager said: "I figured we'd have a tough game. They [Central] have comfortably the best defence we have played against in some time and their captain, at centre back, is a class act.
"That said, we did fashion lots of good attacking situations and our own defensive work was top notch too."
He continued: "We were well organised, and everyone did their job. We could, probably should, have scored three of four and I'd have to say that we have played better, but, as we approach the business end of the season it is often going to be the case that the result is actually more important than the performance."
Next up for Cranbrook is a Saturday (February 29) Bill Slee Cup tie at home to unbeaten Division Two table-topping Elmore with kick-off being at 3pm.
Martin says of Saturday's task: "They [Elmore] are unbeaten in 13, scoring 50 plus goals and shipping just six so it's a tough task, However, it is also a 'free hit' for us in as much as the league is the number one priority, but I am looking forward to seeing how our players rise to the challenge of taking on such an 'in-form' team.
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