GWENT County League leaders Sudbrook CC put last week’s disappointment behind them but used the lessons learned to good effect to maintain their title bid.
With visitors West of St Julians still harbouring promotion ambitions, the home side’s management team of Daryl Cann and Drew Main was keen to remind their players of those lessons.
“We showed we can grind out results,” assistant manager Main said after Sudbrook won 2-0.
“It took us a while to get going but we battled hard and went into half time 0-0.
“We moved the influential David Sinden into centre midfield and as St Julians’ strength was in the centre, we urged our players to attack down the flanks.
“We told Steve Wilson to push right up on the last man and wait for his chances to come – and they did.”
The tactics left plenty of room for Ben Miles, Ollie Mottram and Sinden to dominate the middle and the visitors’ keeper made several saves before Wilson put Sudbrook ahead with a fine finish
“We stuck to our game plan and Steve scored a second,” Main continued
“Our back three put on an excellent display to restrict St Julians to few chances.
“Daryl and I were delighted with our performance and we realise that, in hindsight, last week's game was the perfect preparation for this match.”
It was a good day for the club as the Seconds clinched runners-up place and promotion in the East Gwent Senior League’s Division 2 with a 6-4 victory at Chepstow Athletic.
Elsewhere in Division 3, Severn Tunnel were unable to beat one of Sudbrook’s rivals, Brynmawr although manager Marcus Jenkins was far from unhappy at the 4-3 defeat.
“It was a hell of game, we dominated possession and outplayed them in all areas,” he said later.
“But they caught us out with the long ball over our back four for their quick winger to latch onto.
“I was very happy with how the team played and the boys who came up from the Seconds played out of their skins. It was our best in a long time.”
Tunnel’s goals came from Chris Taylor (2) and Rhys Briscoe.
Meanwhile, Caldicot Castle slumped to one place from the bottom of the table after being leapfrogged by Mardy who won 5-3.
Manager Dave Adamson offered no excuses for the defeat and admitted the difference was the ability to take chances.
“Mardy took their chances, we didn't,” he said bluntly.
“Same as the Sebastopol game, we missed a hat-load of chances, scored first with a Joe O'Brien free kick but they went 3-1 up.
“We got it back to 3-3 with two goals from Rick Woodland but although we were well on top after the break, we couldn't score and they hit us with a sucker punch to go ahead and then a fifth when we pushed for an equaliser.
“There isn’t a lot we can do but dust ourselves down and go again next week.”