Machno’s second game of the new season saw us welcome Rhyl Rovers to Cae Ty’n Ddol, a team we disappointingly lost to, by six goals to two, here in January.
Revenge for the aforementioned result was definitely on the menu, as Machno looked to follow up on the opening weekend victory over Old Colwyn FC.
There was reason for concern before kick off, as heavy rain on Saturday morning led to some doubt over whether the fixture would go ahead, due to standing water on the pitch. However, following a pitch inspection by referee Mark James, it was agreed that the match would go ahead with a further assessment of conditions at half time.
As the game got underway, the surface water didn’t deter Machno who looked to play a quick, precise passing game, and this led to an early opening goal in the 5th minute. A pinpoint throughball from Jiw Jefferies was met by a thundering first time finish by Luke Roberts, who slammed the ball into the roof of the Rhyl net. 1-0 Machno.
Though playing into a strong breeze, Machno continued to probe and looked comfortable until caught out by a quick counter attack in the 18th minute. A Rovers break down the left wing led to a low cross being delivered across the 6 yard box, which evaded the Yellows’ defence, and a tap-in equaliser ensued for the visitors. 1-1.
Machno spirits were not aversely affected by the equaliser, and the Yellows continued to play some very attractive attacking football. The forward trio of Damien Eyre, Rhidian Williams and Luke Roberts looked confident as they interchanged precisely, and it was this combination which led to Machno regaining the lead on 25 minutes. As another Machno attack unfolded, Damien played in Rhidian who unselfishly squared for Luke to bag his second goal of the game in very nice style. 2-1 Machno. Just six minutes later Luke completed his hat-trick as the front two again combined superbly, Rhidian playing in Luke who finished crisply. 3-1 Machno.
Three minutes later and Machno further extended their lead…..”Master of assists” Jiw Jeff played in Rhidian on the left hand side of the box and the youngster provided a crisp, low finish for his seventh goal in just two games! 4-1 Machno.
At this point, 34 minutes in, Machno were looking quite comfortable with Seb Owen covering lots of ground in midfield, protecting his defence supremely, and the “always industrious” Rob Lloyd picking and probing holes through the centre of the park. However, things were made a little more uncomfortable for Machno just before half time. A free kick given away near the halfway line didn’t initially appear to pose too much of a threat, but as the ball was lofted into the Machno area the Rovers’ captain stretched out his leg and looped the ball into the far corner of Eric Richards’ net. Not much could have been done about this deceptive flick and it was “game on” again as the half time whistle was blown. 4-2 Machno.
With the drenched playing surface holding up well, primarily due to the thankless hours spent by Steven Berry lovingly nurturing the field, the second half got underway. Machno, now playing downwind, had made an enforced change due to illness to Damien Eyre who had been a real bright spark in the opening half. The Yellows started the half very brightly, again playing some attractive attacking football, which resulted in a 5th goal in the 62nd Minute. Another speedy break down the right hand side by Luke Roberts saw him intelligently pull the ball back to the edge of the Rovers box, for Damo’s replacement, Dion Jones, who tidily slotted the ball away into the bottom left hand corner. The goal was greeted by great cheers as the popular local scored his first competitive goal since returning to the fold this season. Another welcome addition to the squad. 5-2 Machno.
Seven minutes later and it was, seemingly, “game over” with a tremendous team goal, to make it 6-2, which had everybody in raptures. A lovely break down the left hand side, by young talent Harry Thomas, led to some superb one touch interchanges between Jiw, Dion and Rhidian, before the ball was laid off for skipper Rob Lloyd to smash a low 20 yarder into the bottom right hand corner of the net. It truly was as good a team goal as had been seen on this pitch for many a year. 6-2 Machno.
The increasing confidence within the team saw Machno retain a lot of possession as the game drew towards an end, with the impressive defensive partnership of Jon Seymour, Andrew Williams and Ben Mullender knocking the ball around comfortably to kill off remaining minutes. The match drew to a highly satisfactory close, for Machno, as sub Jo Owen provided a very neat finish to some lovely build up play, between Ben and Luke, for a 7th goal in injury time.
So, final score Machno United 7 Rhyl Rovers 2, with Seb Owen claiming the Man of the Match award for the Yellows.
A second consecutive win to start the season, and a highly satisfactory performance from every member of the squad. Onwards now to another tough test against Rhyl Athletic next week. COYY