However, ActiveWin had welcomed back some key players, and looked like an entirely different proposition as the game kicked-off at the Salford Sports Village.
ActiveWins Affiliate Team Leader Adam Rowley added a new dimension to the team and was instrumental in the majority of ActiveWin’s attacking play, whilst Senior Designer Ayaz Mohammed brought some essential ‘bite’ to the proceedings, with a series of strong challenges.
Charlie Noble (Manager of CRM), was replaced in goal by Sam Glaves, and Alex Duckett provided a strong physical presence until he was forced off with an ankle ligament injury.
Super sub Ashley Leith (Finance Director) was once again the star man, making an instant impact from the bench.
Rowley had been causing trouble for Clyde before Leith’s arrival, and the two linked up well to force a corner. A goal was clearly in the offing, and it didn’t take long before a beautifully-worked Leicester City-style counterattack unravelled Clyde completely.
The impressive three-touch move was finished with aplomb by Leith, and ActiveWin were off and running.
Leith doubled his, and the team’s, tally with a lovely free-kick to make it 2-0 at half-time. At the other end, Creative Director Eddie Jordan was rock solid in defence, and was ably aided by Marketing Executive Adam Jackson and Junior PPC Account Manager Dylan Casey. Casey’s meme-worthy slip-up also entertained his teammates!
The most improved award goes to Nektan Affiliate Manager Chris Dodd who significantly raised his game in defence, and did well when called upon to cover midfield.
Product Marketing Assistant Mike Swain ran the length of the pitch, and although Affiliate Team Leader Eliot Jacob had a quiet game, he burst to life in the closing stages, giving ActiveWin new energy.
Leith’s silky skills were on show again when, after some dogged closing down from Mohammed, he fired home to complete his hat-trick.
Clyde scored a consolation goal as tiredness set in, but the night belonged to ActiveWin.
Player Manager, Adam Jackson, said: “It was fantastic to get the win, particularly against Clyde as it meant we evened the score, and even better to go top of the table. I’m proud of the boys and looking forward to seeing the team progress in the New Year.”
Man of the Match: Eddie Jordan put in a powerhouse performance, but Ashley Leith’s scintillating hat-trick stole the show.
Overall Verdict: ActiveWin dominated the game in practically every position. With a couple more games and a few more substitutes, they will cut out the mistakes and should start to see some clean sheets. They start 2017 in pole position for promotion, bring it on!