Screamer sends Star shooting to the top
Star FC went top of Uttoxeter Division One with a comfortable 3-1 win at third-placed Draycott Potter – but the Stone team need a remarkable collapse from Cheadle Cricket Club’s footballers if they’re going to clinch the title.
Star sit top of the league on 31 points with just one game left to play. Cheadle are second, four points behind but with six games still in the bag. However, a third consecutive league win on Easter Sunday – thanks to a 25-yard screamer from Dave Price – has certainly helped to pile the pressure on Cheadle.
Star made two changes from the side that successfully saw off Barlaston last time out, with Will Jones and Adam Heath returning to replace Chris Humphryson and Ed Sandy.
The visitors once again started the game brightly and were causing their hosts all sorts of trouble with their slick passing and the pace of Jake Charles. Star opened up the experienced Draycott back line time after time with Charles finding himself one on one with the keeper on half a dozen occasions in the first period.
The hotshot forward appeared to have left his shooting boots at home though after failing to convert his self-made chances. Win- back Will Jones also provided an unlikely goal threat, twice popping up at the far post after excellent wide play from Tom Arnold.
Yet despite all of Star’s possession and precise build-up, it took a wonder strike from Dave Price to open the scoring. The combative midfielder sent a 25-yard pile-driver into the top corner with the help of the angle of post and bar.
Star’s profligacy in front of goal was almost punished after an uncharacteristic error from the usually unflappable Pete Jones saw Draycott’s Jon Giblin presented with a one on one, only to be denied by Adam Heath in the Star goal.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first, with the enigmatic Jake Charles continuing to cause havoc in the Draycott back line. The striker soon doubled Star’s lead with a superb individual effort, which saw him elude several challenges before cooly slotting home in the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty box.
Star’s two goal advantage was soon halved though as Daniel Marson was incorrectly adjudged to have brought down a Draycott attacker inside the penalty area. The challenge appeared to all as a well-timed, goal-saving tackle but the referee Grenville Mould indicated that Marson had brought down the player AFTER playing the ball.
Star’s frustration was exacerbated by a further controversial decision by Mould who failed to award Charles a goal after deciding that his shot hadn’t crossed the line after crashing down from the crossbar.
The home side were beginning to exert some pressure for the first time in the game, but their hopes soon diminished as Charles once again proved his worth after cruising past the Draycott defence and sliding the ball past the keeper.
Star now find themselves at the summit of the table with just one league game remaining, but will still need a remarkable collapse from Cheadle Cricket Club if they are to clinch the title.