Pallett and Carpenter back for away cup tie

PUBLISHED: 17:03 12 September 2018

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Cranbrook bagged a second successive Macron Devon and Exeter League Division Five success with a 3-2 win at Starcross Generals.

The win was made all the more impressive given the fact that, in a sluggish start to the contest, Cranbrook slipped into a two-goal deficit before roaring back to win thanks to goals from Karl Sugg, Craig Galloway and Dan MacDonald.

Cranbrook boss Jon Martin made two changes to the side that had won 2-0 at Exmouth Spartans seven days before with goalkeeper Danny Parcell and Dan MacDonald back in the starting line-up.

However, in the early exchanges, Cranbrook seemed to struggle with both the home pitch and the craft and movement of the home strikers.

Despite falling two goals down, Cranbrook did not panic and a close range finish from Sugg was followed by a Craig Galloway penalty to ensure parity was restored by half-time.

The winning goal came midway through the second half and it arrived after a neat passage of play that saw the ball end up at the feet of skipper James Bloomfield, who drilled a shot goalwards from the edge of the penalty area that the home glovesman could only parry out as far as MacDonald and he pounced to tuck the ball home.

Cranbrook boss Jon Martin said: “The game was a lot tougher than I expected it to be and we struggled in the early stages. However, once we found our feet we began to look good and, if I am honest, half-time arrived at the wrong time for we were then back at 2-2 and in the ascendency!”

He continued: “We talked at half-time about the need to keep a good tempo to our game and the importance of being able to close the game out should we get the next goal in the contest.

“We were the victims of some strange free kicks given against us, but dealt very well with the long balls that were launched into our area from those kicks.”

On Saturday (September 15) Cranbrook are in Devon Intermediate Cup action, but it’s not a competition that Martin enjoys being involved in. He explained: “I know it’s a prestigious thing being in a county cup, but we are involved in grass roots football and it’s certainly not ideal being tasked with a 120-mile round trip to play a game of football.

“Grassroots football is hard enough, what with running a side, week in and week out, without having to ask players to drive as far as we are going on Saturday!

“That said, it’s not a game we are going to take lightly and I have done my homework and know we are in for a tough afternoon.”

In terms of selection for the Cranbrook boss, he is definitely without the services of midfield work horse Liam Bounsall and he is still waiting to hear when centre back Matt Pike will be able to return to action after a hamstring injury.

On the plus side, Martin has central defender Tony Pallett and veteran midfielder Ric Carpenter back available.

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