Moulton’s 1st round heroics earned the team an away day trip to the neighbouring county of Warwickshire to face Ashlawn School. Full of belief and confidence after the previous 9-0 victory, Jonesy stuck with a similar looking team for the encounter with a returning Coxhill and debutant Riley being the only two changes to an already impressive starting eleven. As expected the hosts were a much tougher opponent than Moulton’s prior encounter, which was evident during the first 10 minutes as the home side edged possession and looked likeliest to take the lead. Nonetheless, Moulton always looked a threat on the break with devastating pace and skill throughout the front 3 of O’Hare, Gibbins and Reid. This threat soon told as Moulton took the lead in the game through marksman Gibbins, latching onto a through ball before coolly despatching past the opposing keeper.
This prompted a goal blitz from the visitors in the next 15 minutes as they soon found themselves 4-0 up. It was time for Reid and O’Hare to join the goal scoring along with Gibbins notching his second of the game. Moulton controlled proceedings during this period with a compact and organised defensive set up which saw debutant Riley impress through his calmness and composure on the ball alongside the ever excellent McCoach. Full-backs Johnson and White displayed willingness offensively and defensively with a variety of surging runs mixed with clever defending from the pair. Midfield duo Richardson and Coxhill offered a powerful yet skilful midfield base with the two of them being at the heart of both sides of the visitor’s game during the 1st half. Playmaker Evans-Smith endured a tough first half after failing to replicate the scintillating performance in the prior round, despite flashes of class throughout the first 45.
In spite of the hosts growing into the match again Moulton continued to probe the Ashlawn backline and added a 5th after a strong tackle by Richardson on the edge of the host’s box was followed by a tidy finish into the corner of the goal from the midfield warrior. Gibbins completed (Another!) hat-trick just before the half time whistle after a strong run saw the front man brought down only for him to pick himself up and tuck away the subsequent penalty.
Although Moulton found themselves 6-0 up at half-time the opponents were a strong side which is a testament to how impressive Moulton were. The second half saw the introduction of another new boy Webb alongside youngster O’Connor, outlining the strength in depth of the squad. The match became a fiercely competitive affair after the restart with neither side controlling the game but instead both sides were displaying strong challenges all around the pitch with usual culprit Richardson at the forefront of this action. The hosts grabbed a special but ultimately worthless goal after a sublime strike from a free-kick crashing into the top left hand corner. Moulton responded with a free-kick of their own, courtesy of an O’Connor beauty, one which has definitely been practised by the ‘Kid’.
O’Hare added an 8th after an exquisite ball from Webb found the winger perfectly before a strong run and curling finish extended Moulton’s lead. The visitors scored a 2nd through a scrappy goal that the Moulton defence will be disappointed to concede. With the hosts tiring the gaps began to appear and Moulton wrapped up the scoring after Coxhill played through debutant Fowler whose cross found Gibbins at the back post and the latter slotted into the empty net. Another fine win for Moulton which has seen them score 18 goals in two games and is sure to make a few sides ponder their chances in the 3rd round against an in-form side.
Team: Scrutton; White, Riley, McCoach, Johnson; Richardson, Coxhill; Reid, Evans-Smith, O’Hare; Gibbins
Subs: Webb, O’Connor, Sullivan, Fowler, Nash-Knight
Reporter: Luke Gardner