East Harling made the trip to Beccles Caxton yesterday hoping to secure their first points of the season. They knew it would be a tough game as Caxton were also fighting for their first points of the new campaign.
Greens were without the injured Calvin Gibson, Tom Catchpole who celebrated the arrival of his new daughter Lottie, and Ben Chase who was away. But in Game 16 year old Robbie Smith for his first team debut, Adam Bunting who returned from holiday and Mark Dolman. Chris Bray made his first start of the season and there was a recall to the starting 11 for Jack Denniss.
The Greens started well having been asked to show a reaction to last weeks dissapointing defeat, and the players responded excellently passing the ball around well and playing with some clear direction and purpose. Pat Armes had a goal ruled out for offside on 15 minutes which looked harsh, but then James Sparks scored a close range header to give the visitors the lead on 20 minutes.
Caxton were unlucky to lose a player to injury on 25 minutes, and with only sub on the day,you felt they it was only going to get tougher for the hosts.
Harling were enjoying much more of the ball and creating the openings as the home side struggled to get to grips with the pass and move game being played by a much improved team. However some slack play in midfield did allow the hosts a clear sight on goal as their striker ran through on goal, but Matt Terry produced an excellent stop to keep his side in front.
Pat Armes doubled Harling’s lead on the half hour mark with a header from an excellent Tom Smith cross.
Pat Armes then turned provider when he slotted the ball into the path of Chris Bray who finished well to make it 3-0 on the stroke of HT.
Harling knew they would have to match their first half performance in order to secure the points, and they started the 2nd half just as well, although it must be said the home side were much improved in the second half choosing to play the ball around themselves instead of being so physical.
Chris Bray made it 4-0 on 6o minutes when some good work from Sparks resulted in another cool finish from the experienced striker.
Youngster Smith then went close when he jinked inside a defender before dispatching an excellent strike from the edge of the box, but the home keeper made a very good save to tip it around the post.
Smith was then replaced by Kwame Jones who was forced to start on the bench due to his late arrival, and Bunting replaced Williamson.
Harling continued to press in search of further goals and Bray completed his hatrick with a close range finish from an excellent Stu Scott cross to make it 5-0.
Harling saw the game out to record their first 3 points ahead of next weeks trip to Bungay.
A much better display from a bunch of players who knew they had let themselves down last week, but credit to them for not feeling sorry for themselves and showing their quality.
Mom was Pat Armes who really looks to be getting back to his best. While their was excellent displays by Chris Bray, Stu Boddy, Ellis Williamson and Chris Watling.