In their first competitive meeting at Step 4, it was Cribbs who claimed all three points in a fiery derby match at The Lawns, writes Jack Davies.
After the fixture was moved to Friday evening, newly-promoted Cribbs welcomed a club record 537 supporters to The Lawns, largely thanks to a bumper away following from the magnificent Farmy Army. But it was the babble of supporters crowding Cribbs Manager Luffman’s dugout who were cheering just after six minutes when George Kellow opened the scoring. A diagonal pass found its way to Jake Brown, who teed up Kellow to send a low shot skipping off the turf and finding it’s way into the net via the far post. Much of the first half was plagued by heavy downpours, as both sides struggled to create chances with the conditions worsening. Ben Bament had Farm’s first meaningful effort, stretching past a defender to poke an effort at goal, home keeper Brown alert to put behind. Friday’s match turned out to be another which was dictated by some rather interesting decisions. Firstly, Cribbs were given a golden chance to double the lead as Jake Brown won a penalty despite appearing to go shoulder to shoulder with Farm defender Steve Kingdon. Brown himself stepped up by Farm keeper Seth Locke, who was on the end of some rather unprofessional comments by the home dugout, silenced his doubters with a superb penalty save to keep Farm alive.
Trailing at the break, Manor Farm controlled the majority of play in the second half but struggled to break down a resolute Cribbs defence. Jayden Nielsen tracked back fully 30 yards to win the ball back before his pass to Grubb was just intercepted by the home keeper. The next moment of madness from the man in the middle saw Farm somehow denied a penalty of their own. Owen Brain sent a shot goal bound before hitting both outstretched arms of defender Cainey. The referee, although seeming to reach for his whistle initially, somehow waved play on. The official still wasn’t done as he reduced Farm to 10 men in the 80th minute. Jamie Adams, whose first card came after a forward appeared to run directly into him in the first half, was handed a second yellow for what looked an incredibly clean tackle. Farm, spurred on by the injustice, did keep coming despite the man advantage and would create one more big chance to steal a point. Rare miscommunication at the back for Cribbs and Ollie Woodhouse volleyed his effort agonisingly wide.