FC Parson Drove 1
Bretton N.End 2
Drove, coming into the game off of the back of 10 straight wins, faced tough opposition and both sides evidentially were missing a few players.
This game promised to be a six-pointer with both sides having ambitions of promotion and both with reasonable starts to their campaigns.
The game started direct and physical and the style of the game never really changed, Bretton starting the brighter but creating nothing. Drove started to settle and created two gilt-edged chances but failed to convert. A corner from Bretton on the 17th minute bounced three times in the box and was scrambled home.
Drove responded pretty well and looked the more likely to score, but had a few more chances missed. Bretton continued to dominate the middle of the park for the whole half, however a quick breakaway from Drove seemed as if it would only be a matter of time before they notched.
On the 38th minute another breakaway was finally capitalised on by Kev Smith bringing the hosts level at the break.
In the second half Drove never really got out of the traps, still losing the midfield battle to a combative Bretton; however Drove still looked the more dangerous with Bretton never looking like hurting the hosts in the final third.
Drove again failed to covert twice before Bretton were awarded a free-kick which took a wicked deflection. Callum Summers pulled out what must be one of the saves of the season in a tremendous stop preventing the ball from going into the top corner. Summers was called upon to make another good save on the counter attack to keep level.
Drove peppered the Bretton box with a shot being cleared off the line and another good chance missed moments later. Drove were punished with 10 minutes to go from a Bretton cross and in the swirling wind caught Summers in two minds between a catch and a punch which was spilled to the waiting Bretton player to make it 2-1.
A final piece of drama with minutes to go saw Steven Thompson on his Drove return with a free header, a yard left or right and Drove were level; however it found the safe hands of the Bretton keeper.
A case could easily be argued that Drove deserved a minimum of a point based on chances, however manager Gary Haime made no excuses: “We did not turn up, we did not have enough passion, heart and were not brave enough to be in the battle,” he said.
“Full credit to Bretton who in my opinion out-battled us in all areas of the park and purely based on that are good for their three points. Perhaps complacency set in after such a good run but the lack of fight was unforgivable, my sides run through walls for me. I nor the club will accept such a lacklustre performance.
“I have faith in this group and will give everything to them but they must learn from this and I must see a reaction on Saturday.”
Drove now visit Manea for the second time in three weeks in the Quarter-Final of the North Cambs County Cup looking to put right Saturday’s performance.