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CSKA Results

A West End Show Mods Come Out on Top in 7 Goal Thriller

League Fixture
Date: Sunday 05 September 2021
Venue: Rawlins Stadium
Referee: Martin Dexter, Leics

CSKA earned a hard-won victory of the new season as they twice battled back from behind at Rawlins Stadium. Goals from Tate, McCafferty, and a brace from captain Dave Payne secured all three points against West End in the tempestuous opening-day clash.

 

Following a strong pre-season, manager Jon Brice had a full squad to choose from. Adam Gent was in line to make his return to the side following an ankle injury sustained in early August, whilst there were competitive debuts for Jack Westley at left back and Ruben Capp in central midfield. New signing Connor Williams was on the bench ahead of his first appearance as well as Miky Garcia, who had been drafted into the first team squad following an impressive 90 minutes against Oadby Owls during pre-season.

 

The Mods took control of the game in the early stages and moved the ball sharply from front to back. Danny Chapman wasted two efforts after some neat wide play from both Jack Lucas and Chris McCafferty on either flank with little response from West End. The hosts looked comfortable in the early stages. However, a succession of quick counter attacks through the middle from the visitors saw CSKA concede twice in the first 20 minutes. CSKA responded well as Nathan Tate struck a half volley onto the bar moments after West End took the lead, and Jon Brice had two headed efforts from corners both cleared off the line.

 

CSKA eventually found a way through on 35 minutes. Nathan Tate’s left wing cross was delightfully volleyed home by captain Dave Payne to register CSKA’s first goal of the campaign. 5 minutes later parity was restored when McCafferty’s low cross found Tate, who tucked it away nicely into the bottom corner. Dave Payne almost completed the turn-around at the end of the half when he thrashed wide after breaking through one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

 

CSKA started the second half strongly but it was West End who scored next. A misplaced pass from Sean Brown allowed West End through to strike past Augustus and make it 2-3. Connor Williams, Hiran Mistry and Brad Parker were all introduced as CSKA pressed for the equalizer.

 

On 70 minutes the constant pressure paid off. A thunderous strike from Gareth Walker strike wasn’t cleared, allowing Brad Parker to follow up. When his shot was blocked referee Dexter immediately intervened, blowing his whistle and pointing to the spot. With regular penalty taker Chapman off the pitch, McCafferty coolly stepped up and nestled it low into the bottom left hand corner. The game was level again at 3-3.

 

Player-Manager Job Brice had his last roll of the dice as he sent on Adam Gent and Miky Garcia in the dying stages, as CSKA relentlessly pressed in search of a winner. With time running out, Parker fed in Payne for another one-on-one. This time he made no mistake. 4-3 and all 3 points for the home side.

 

In a thrilling affair between two good sides, Jon Brice was awarded Man of the Match for his outstanding display in spite of an ankle-injury picked up in the first half.

 

While there were frustrations over mistakes, lessons will be learned from this first game to make the squad stronger for the season to come. Most importantly, with 4 goals and 3 points, the Mods have gotten off to a near-perfect start.

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