Saturday 21st February 2009
By Sam Evans
It was a pity that we were short of numbers for the quarter finals of the cup. We were missing a number of key players which made it hard for us and we did well to make it such a competitive match. We were helped by the welcome return of Dave Martin who flew in especially from Australia for the game.
Evans (CM) (Captain)
The game started off very tight. It was noticeable how fit Lewisham were and they didn’t give us much time on the ball. Everyone was frustrated that our passing wasn’t up to scratch and that is true, but part of the explanation for that was that we were put under more pressure than normal, plus we hadn’t played for a few weeks. Our newly formed partnership of Charlton and Pragnell did well to cope with Lewisham’s quality upfront, most of which revolved around that number 8 with the good touch who kept dropping into the hole and linking play up.
After a slow start we started to create chances of our own, albeit generally from set pieces. Chris Charlton went close with a couple of headers, and Dan Head hit a cracking volley which the keeper did well to turn over the bar. Their 2 goals before half time kind of came out of nowhere, both times the ball fell to their striker in the middle of the pitch and he raced clear to finish well.
In the second half we were absolutely in the game and deserved to pull a goal back when Lewisham overplayed at the back and lost possession. Dave spotted the keeper off his line and delivered a great lob which the keeper just managed to claw away. However he could only manage to help it into the path of Dan who was rewarded for following up as strikers should and he headed home from close range.
At 2-1 we hoped to impose ourselves on the game and it was during this period that our passing let us down most. I was as guilty as anyone here and we all felt frustrated about it afterwards. Good to get it out of our system I guess as we now focus back on the league. Their third goal came in injury time as they hit us on the break when we were playing 3-4-3.
Man of the match today with almost a clean sweep was Matt Wright. Matt stepped in to help us out as Mark was with the first team and once again turned in an excellent performance. Matt made sensible decisions about when to punch and when to catch, and got down well to their shots from outside the box (and pushed these shots wide, not back into play). It was an excellent goal keeping performance and from what I hear we may be without Mark for a few weeks so hopefully you will keep yourself available for us!
Special thanks also to Aaron Carpenter who stepped in to help out in Danny’s absence. There is a surprising amount of administrative work which goes into making a football match happen and Aaron deserves a few beers from us all for taking up the mantle. Also I think a few of us appealed for offside on a couple of occasions and he deserves credit for his honesty as a linesman. In fact, Aaron is an all round great guy and I hope that when I am 42 I will be like him.
Next week is massive – Bridon Ropes away. Definitely the biggest game of the season so far. I know absolutely nothing about psychology but everyone always says that a positive mental attitude is vital in sport, so let’s spend our weeks at work thinking about Saturday and how we are going to get stuck in right from the first whistle, play them off the park and win the game convincingly.
Man of the match: Matt Wright