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Upwey stun leaders Mere
MERE TOWN 1 UPWEY & BROADWEY 3
UPWEY & Broadwey produced a stunning performance to become the first team this season to defeat runaway leaders Mere Town in the Dorset Senior League.
The table-toppers took the lead after just 10 seconds through a fortuitous strike from Maladi Benjamin, only for Upwey to come roaring back to record their sixth straight league win courtesy of a brace from Charlie Kenderine and a sublime effort from Sam Nichols.
Winning boss Steve Reynolds, who was missing the likes of Richard Frost, Ethan Devaney and Pete Bochonko, told Echosport: “It was absolutely superb. We went there with just 12 players due to one or two missing and I could not fault any of them from front to back.
“My assistant Simon Ansell had a lot of say in how we played and together we came up with a system we felt could do the job and it proved right.
“The attitude was right from the outset and the way everyone fought for each other was just fantastic.”
He went on to add: “We went one down after just 10 seconds to a bit of a freak goal.
“They play a lot of long ball and on this occasion it came off the lad’s shin and dropped over Michael Barton’s head into the far corner of the net.
“Straight away we were thinking here we go but the lads on the pitch just got on with it, rolled their sleeves up and within five minutes we were level. Sam Nichols was excellent all afternoon and he beat one defender before squaring the ball into Charlie May, who slid in and sent the ball against a post allowing Charlie Kenderdine to score on the rebound.
“Michael then made two superb saves before we then went on to score again on 13 minutes.
“Once again Sam Nichols beat a couple of defenders before cutting the ball across for Charlie Kend-erdine to grab his second.
“It remained 2-1 up until half-time with chances at either end before they nearly equalised straight after the restart when a ball to the back post saw one of their lads put it just wide.
“We then carried on playing our football and as the second half went on they began to get a bit frustrated and started to employ a bit of bully boy tactics.
“Sam Nichols was elbowed twice and also taken out at knee height, but in the end he had the last laugh when he got on the end of a great pass from Charlie Kenderdine and scored a screamer from the edge of the box to make it 3-1.
“After that it was just a case of running down the clock and although they had a few corners they never really forced Michael into a save.”
The victory has taken sixth-placed Upwey to within two points of the top three with at least two games in hand on all the teams above them.
Reynolds went on to say: “We played five across the middle and stifled them, and to be honest their midfield was just not in the same class.
“Everyone was just superb. Sam Nichols had a stormer, Charlie May ran tirelessly up front and Phil Anderson once again led by example but I think I was most pleased for Sam Purnell, who sat in front of the back four and was awesome.
“He has had to wait patiently on the sidelines for a while but since coming in for the injured Richard Frost he has stepped up the plate and done really well.
“We have still got an awful lot of games to catch up on, which is going to make things tough, but at the moment all I can be is pleased and if we can continue this type of form then who knows where we could end up?”
Upwey: Barton, Aston, Anderson, Budden, Porteous, Nichols, Young (Samways 80), Purnell, Kenderdine, Pearce, May.