Ramsey Pavilion made the journey to Isleham Utd and with John Turner making his league debut for the Pavo's between the sticks, they looked to start 2017 with a bang.
Fresh from the celebrations of one the clubs elder statesmen Alex Ramos (40) hopes and spirits in the changing room were high. However, the Pavo's first 45 minutes of 2017 was by far their worst of the season. One of the things the Pavo's have managed to do is build a squad with extreme strength in depth, and this allowed player / manager Matt Brading to make a triple substitution at half-time bringing on a combined age of 107 in exchange for the youthful exuberance that has served so them well so far. Immediately the changes and stirring team talk began to pay dividends as Jake Burton went through twice to be denied by last ditch tackles.
There was a real moment of controversy with 15 minutes to go when following a ‘George Best like’ run in the box Matt Brading went down under a heavy tackle in the penalty area only for the referee to wave play on. Goalkeeper John Turner continued to excel in goal making two excellent saves late on but the real drama came on 80 minutes. Striker Jake Burton broke free down the right hand side, sucking two defenders in before neatly squaring to Brading on the edge of the box who swept the ball first time into the bottom corner. Despite pressure late on, the Pavo's defended resolutely and delivered a hard fought win and first clean sheet of the season.
Brading said after the game 'the first game back after a break is always a tough one, but one thing we have is a fantastic team spirit and being able to make the changes we made helped us deliver a hard fought win. We go into the next two weeks against the league’s top 2 in good spirits. Happy 2017 everyone from myself the players and the board.'