Vanarama National League Column March 7 – Snow

Snowbound - by Luke Coulson, FWA and Ebbsfleet United

Great Britain descended into chaos last week with the arrival of the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma. The cold weather resulted in heavy snowfall, blizzards and the postponement of our fifth straight win in the Vanarama National League. 

On Saturday, Stonebridge Road lay hidden under a thick layer of snow and therefore our home fixture against Wrexham was cancelled because of the poor weather conditions. 

However, the cancelled fixture meant that our manager, Daryl McMahon, rewarded us for our recent winning form with an unusual but well-received weekend off. 

Before the unscheduled time off, our longest consecutive winning run of the season was extended to four games after a 1-0 away win against Hartlepool. 

In the week leading up to the game, the former League Two side sacked their manager, Craig Harrison, following a midweek loss to Halifax. Therefore, we were fully anticipating Hartlepool to start the game on the front foot with their players trying to impress potential future managers. Yet, knowing what to expect and with our confidence soaring high after our three previous wins, we put on another dominating display. 

By our own admission, we weren’t ruthless enough in the first half as we missed four or five good chances and in all honesty, I was the culprit for a few of those missed opportunities. 
For one of those chances, a slight hesitation in the box led to the ball bobbling up off my left shin pad which allowed the defender to clear the ball. Luckily, that embarrassing moment didn’t cost the team. But, unfortunately for me, the highlight has since become a memorable video for the team to laugh about. 

However, I redeemed myself after 17 minutes when I assisted Dean Rance for his first goal of the season. Noticing his late run into the box, my cross to the back post found the head of Rance as he angled his header back across goal and gave us a deserved lead. 

Coming in at half-time with the score at 1-0, booing echoed around Victoria Park as the home fans voiced their disappointment at watching a commanding Ebbsfleet performance.

The second half was a dull affair compared to the first 45 minutes, but we didn’t care as we collected all three points for our journey home. 

In celebration of our victory, Nathan Ashmore blasted out some classic 80s tunes; much to the delight of our old school assistant manager, Steve Gritt. After my powerful and emotional initiation song at the start of the season, Rick Astley has remained a favourite in the changing room after a win. Hopefully, the words of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ will be sung again this coming weekend when we travel to Leyton Orient.

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