Inter Leisure 2
Cardiff Northern 5
University Fields, 16th September

Starting XI
1) Martyn Rich
2) David Manley
3) Carl French
4) Matthew Rowley
5) Craig Palfrey
6) Lee Blackshaw
7) Ross Gunter
8) Andrew Howell
9) Simon Paterson
10) Nicky Ball
11) Jason Paterson

Following defeat the previous week Northern needed to bounce back quickly but needed to do it without the help of Carl Manley (who was still injured), Gareth Fundalski and the late-coming Stephen Mustey.  Nicky Ball and Andrew Howell or Pill as he's known started up front but a change of tactic meant Nicky moved wide right and Simon Paterson making his first start went up front.  Inter Leisure had most of the early possession but never fashioned anything more than a few 25 yard efforts.  The first goal came when Nicky Ball beat his full back and crossed well which was met on the half volley by Pill at the back post for his first goal of the season.  Northern got back into the game a bit more and David Manley tried his luck from 25 yards only to see the very tall Leisure keeper get his fingers to the ball and tip it onto the bar.  Then suddenly Ross Gunter played a one-two with Jason Paterson and his surging run through the middle gave him a one on one opportunity with the keeper, Ross chipped it over but the keeper got fingers to it but the ball deflected off a defenders head and in for 2-0.  Nicky almost made the lead 3 when he hit the near post from a tight angle.

Half time came and now not playing into the wind the game should have got easier but it didn't.  Leisure pushed more men forward and by seemingly playing 2 left wingers Dave Manley and Nicky were both pinned back and unable to push forward as in the first half.  Then against the run of play Pill made a run down the left and with Nicky and substitute Stephen Mustey calling for the square ball Pill nonchalantly and audaciously bent it into the top right corner for his second goal and 3-0.  Leisure then pulled a goal back when a long ball forward took a bounce and looped over Martyn Rich who could only get finger tips to the ball and the striker headed the ball on and smacked it home.  It could so easily have been 3-2 when a long range effort hit the corner of the post and bar and bounced straight into the grateful Martyn's hands.  Then came the goal of the game when Northern got a freekick from 30 yards. Pill back-heeled it and teed it up for Carl French to rifle a shot in from 30 yards out.  A goal mouth scramble allowed Leisure to make it 4-2 before Barrie Willacott, on for Jason Paterson, released Stephen Mustey who scored at the near post for 5-2. Leisure were able to head a chance against the post near the end and when the whistle went Northern were perhaps flattered by the 3 goal gap.

Subs: Stephen Mustey, Barrie Willacott
Scorers: Andrew Howell 2, Ross Gunter, Carl French, Stephen Mustey
MOM: Ross Gunter

* Match Reports represent the opinion of the author and in no way represent the opinions of CNFC.