Superb. Awesome. Calm. Composed. Just generally a great goalkeeper with another great performance.
After what some have called ‘the performance of the century’ away at Bury the previous week, the M1s entered the weekend with two tasks… Win on Saturday, win next Saturday…win the league.
In truth it wasn’t a great performance. No one doubted the effort, but as the nerves in the crowd grew it became clear this was not going to be easy. On another day points would’ve been lost, but not anymore, not this team, not the M1s. This team has re-found its form, its heart, its soul.
Controlling the early stages, South took the lead through James early in the first half. Whilst it remained close, South controlled the game and ball and were unlucky not to stretch the lead. Darren made a fantastic save off a short corner, the rebound going off the crossbar, and the midfield dynamos continued to drive South forward. Eventually the breakthrough came; half time two-nil up, one-and-a-half games to go.
Then came the wobble. Kettering started strong, and with the wind behind their backs the aerial bombardment began. Tom and Stu managed it well at the back but, driving into the wind, South struggled to really get their game going. Eventually Kettering broke through from a short corner and a nervous fifteen mins remained.
South had three or four short corners on the bounce but just couldn’t get that crucial goal to kill the game off. With only minutes to go James decided to test Tom’s nerves and passed backwards when surely anywhere forwards would have done. At times this year South have played the stuff of dreams… With two minutes to go this was more like Barcelona with their backs to the wall on a wet Monday night in Stoke!
Eventually the final whistle blew; South had held on. As results filtered in the reality started to hit… One down, one to go…
The M1s dare to dream…