Wardens Reserves held by Balsall in top of the table clash

By James Smith

29th Jan 2023 | Football


Wardens Reserves were held by Balsall in a second against third clash at the top of the Coventry Alliance Division Three table
Wardens Reserves were held by Balsall in a second against third clash at the top of the Coventry Alliance Division Three table

Wardens Reserves were held by Balsall in a second against third clash at the top of the Coventry Alliance Division Three table.

Adam Hnat fired the hosts into the lead but they only stayed in front for five minutes.

Despite the result manager Adam Maltby was pleased with his side's performance.

"Given the pitch conditions and the importance of the game I thought it was a very entertaining encounter, it was great to see two teams trying to play football and while they offered a threat I felt comfortable throughout that we were the better side," he said. 

"We've had a good few chances with Ad in the first half and a glance from Povey that's hit the bar, plus two last ditch tackles on George that on another day go in."

With a few absentees at the back Maltby was able to recall Tom Perrin and James Butler in the latter returning for his first game in 10 weeks due to a hand injury. 

The first clear cut chance of the game came when a clever ball found Charlie Waters on the left, as the onrushing keeper came out Waters opted to turn back on to his right and square to Hnat whose curled effort from the edge of the box went just wide. 

Another chance on the 35 minute mark saw George Ferridge beat the offside trap and rush through on goal, but before he could get his shot away the Balsall centre back produced an excellent last ditch tackle to clear the ball.

The deadlock was broken 10 minutes after the restart when a Ferridge corner was headed several times in the box before making its way to the edge where Hnat stuck on the half volley firmly into the top corner.

Balsall's response came five minutes later from a corner of their own. A near post effort deflected off a Balsall body, looped up into the air, with the big striker holding off his defender to almost back heel into the near post from inside the 6 yard box. 

On the 65 minute mark Ferridge again found himself just inside the Balsall area with the goal at his mercy but was unable to work the ball in to a decent shooting position with the centre back making yet another good block.

And while he landed on the ball and appeared to obstruct the play, Wardens' pleas fell on deaf ears.

Povey was unlucky to glance a header against the top of the bar and Balsall forced Tate into a very smart save at his near post just inside the last 10 minutes, but neither side could find a winner.

"We were solid all over today and the lad's attitudes and work rate were absolutely spot on but I'd like to single out Ryan Hoey for a man of the match performance in the middle of the park, he was exceptional and for me a real pleasing reaction to being on the bench against Phoenix two weeks ago," Maltby added.

"Also we have to take into account that was only the second game we've had since 26 November so I'm really pleased with the point and we move on."

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