Saturday 20th December 2008
By Sam Evans
What a great result. Those of who played last season will remember a variety of games which we lost by the odd goal, often conceded in the last few minutes of the second half. So it feels particularly good to be doing this to the opposition this season. Our team was:
Evans (RM) (Captain)
The game was very tight early on. Both teams had a couple of decent chances. Our best chance was a flowing move down the left which ended with a cross to the far post. Unfortunately Tant was unable to stretch far enough to steer it into the goal. I also had a header again from a cross from the left which I should have done better with. Their best chance came when the ball ricocheted around in the box before falling to one of their players near the penalty spot. He blazed it over when he really should have scored.
Apart from that I thought the first half was pretty tight. Not a great deal of good football played, although that was more because both teams worked hard to close each other down, rather than anyone playing particularly badly. We took the lead after 40 minutes. We had a good passing move on the right before the ball was played square to Dan who was just inside the box and quite central. Dan got his body in front of the defender and got to the ball first. He created space for the shot by flicking the ball over the defender’s head, and hit a first time left foot volley into the corner of the net. (I say left foot, but there was a bit of shin pad in there too. Still a great finish though – right in the corner.)
They were lucky to equalise right on half time from a free kick. The ball was delivered right into that area between Matt Wright and the back four and no-one got anywhere near it as it bounced into the far corner of the net.
For the first ten minutes of the second half I thought they were probably on top, and came close when the ginger kid (their best player by a mile) hit a rasping half volley from the right wing which Matt did well to tip over. From then on we started to dominate and opened them up a few times with good passing moves. From on of these moves we should have been awarded a penalty when their left back scooped the ball clear with his hand whilst lying on the floor.
Spence replaced Tant and Aaron replaced Taps and we really took control of the game. We were helped by the fact that their right midfielder got himself sent off with about half an hour to go. He said something he shouldn’t have to the ref, who sent him off. At this point Danny changed it to 3-4-3 which worked really well and we turned the screw even more. We scored the winner with 5 minutes to go. Aaron floated in a corner from the right and Gio volleyed the ball into the corner of the net whilst falling backwards. Definite contender for goal of the season. Many thanks must also go to Tiffany who cleaned Gio’s boots before the game – Johnny’s had not been cleaned and I didn’t notice any good shots from Johnny today.
Ricky deservedly won man of the match after a great performance at the heart of our defence. Ricky organized the back four, distributed the ball well, and did the crucial ugly stuff at the right times, all of which helped us to win the game. Special thanks also to Matt Wright who helped us out by going in goal. We managed to limit Thames’ shots on goal, but whenever Matt was called upon he delivered. A strong punch when we were under pressure, and that shot he tipped over the bar have particularly stuck in my mind. Danny should also take some credit for his bold tactical change at 1-1 which was almost enough to make up for that weird CD he put on in the changing room. I am not a northern monkey Danny.
So all in all a great result which has put us second in the league. We are playing really well at the moment, the only thing we need to improve on is that we need to start hammering some teams. As Russ pointed out, Bridon have really destroyed some teams with big scores and we should be looking to do the same in the New Year. The next game is only 2 weeks away (Crayford Arrows away) so hopefully no-one will eat too much over Christmas and we will all be fighting fit on the 3rd January for another 3 points.
Man of the match: Ricky Simmons