MATCH REPORT: Republica 2:6 Pudsey Athletic

Republica men succumbed to a heavy defeat at home to Pudsey Athletic this week. Despite an evenly contested first half and goals from Jack Smith and Josh Booth, the visitors ran away with second half to record a 6-2 victory.

The Reds lined up with Jordan Thomas again covering in goal; a defence of Nathan Crawley, Josh Booth, Liam Moran, and Jack Smith; Nick Hood sitting in front of the back four; an attacking midfield trio of Abdelwahab Osama, Matty Booth and Conor Walsh; and a strike pairing of Andy Kitching and Marvin Boakye.

Republica started the better of the two sides and immediately had Pudsey pressed back, earning a couple of early corners without creating any clear cut chances. In fact, it was a Republica corner which led to Athletic’s opening goal as several defenders were caught up field and the visitors broke swiftly, moving the ball from left to right before the striker took the ball around Thomas to score. Despite the set back, Republica continued to press but Boakye saw a header go wide and his teammates were twice denied by the feet of the Pudsey goalkeeper before the away side doubled their lead from a corner. A dangerous delivery was swung in towards the front post and a Pudsey head diverted it beyond Thomas.

The Reds were arguably unlucky to find themselves 0-2 down and came back into the match as the half wore on. Firstly, Smith opened his account for the club when his free kick from the left curled over the keeper’s head and into the top corner. A string of set pieces had built up with Walsh making inroads down the right and Boakye and Kitching causing problems up front. Another dead ball lead to the equaliser when Matty Booth’s whipped corner found his brother Josh who glanced a header inside the back post. Unfortunately, Republica didn’t have time to capitalise on the momentum before the half-time whistle went.

Conor Walsh had suffered a nasty ankle injury in the closing moments of the first half so he was replaced by Stephen Graham at the break. Jamie Pattinson replaced Andy Kitching after a few minutes but Pudsey then took the lead again with a cross from the left that was converted from the edge of the box. The visitors added another shortly afterwards at which point Colm Fitzpatrick was introduced for Osama in midfield but the Reds couldn’t prevent a further two goals as Pudsey pressed home their advantage before full time. Jack Smith, Matty Booth and debutant Nick Hood shared this week’s man of the match award.