After an interminable wait for a Senior League match – stretching back to November 23 – Asfordby blew off the cobwebs with a comfortable 2-0 win at Ellistown on Saturday.
The visitors started on the front foot with Dean Copson, Liam Ambrose and Matt Hendey leading the press, and forcing Ellistown defence into errors.
From a Copson set-piece, Asfordby were sure they had taken the lead, but the linesman ruled the effort had not crossed the line.
Undeterred, another set-piece was fizzed into the box and Lapworth reacted quickest to flick the ball into the far corner.
The goal settled Asfordby who began to monopolise possession.
Great interplay between Rowland, Copson and Matt Hendey put Ambrose through, but his shot was blocked on the line, and several times Ellistown rode their luck as Asfordby doing everything but score.
Asfordby picked up where they left off after half-time.
Ellistown came out strongly, but resolute defence from man-of-the-match Dean Randall, flanked by the superb Hollis and Lapworth, gave them no change at all, while Rowland and Felstead offered defensive cover and support in attack.
The influential Johnson poked a shot against the base of the post, but with the visitors thinking their luck was out, they finally had their second.
Copson’s good work won a free-kick, 25 yards from goal, which Mike Hendey struck sweetly into the corner of the net, with the keeper wrong-footed.
“We’ve been guilty of not knowing how to manage games this season,” said Hendey.
“It’s the sign of a new side. We’ve had games this year, particularly Cottesmore and Hathern away, where we’ve played some amazing football, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot by not being smart when we’re in control.
“On Saturday Dean Randall was pivotal in keeping us aggressive, focused and consistent in our approach.
“In the last three league games, we’ve scored 13 goals, and wen you’ve got players in your side like Dean Copson, Liam Ambrose and Matt Hendey, you know they’ll take chances when they come.
“So having the defence stand up like that and the team as a whole hold their shape how they did, it was really pleasing.
“I felt they matured on Saturday and showed a different side to their game.”
Asfordby face a tough test on Saturday at defending champions Rugby Borough, looking to make it four straight wins.
Asfordby: Mortimer, Hollis, Randall, Lapworth, Felstead, Mike Hendey, Johnson, Rowland, Matt Hendey, Ambrose (c), Copson, Dawkin.