Saturday 9th May 2009
By Sam Evans
The second team had a real availability crisis this week and we were helped out by a number of players from the Sunday team and Rich also came down from the firsts. This was much appreciated and contributed massively to us taking a point from this game, and nearly all three. Big thanks also to Darren Burkett and Vince Wray who managed the team for the day in Danny’s absence. Our team was:
Taps (LB) (Captain)
Dan H (CF)
Dan G (CF)
Josh, Lee, Pete, Stuart
We started exceptionally well in the first half. We passed the ball around excellently and you would have thought that we were second and New Park were third. Alex was a constant threat in left midfield and Tom played well in centre midfield. Tom was unfortunate to pick up and injury after 20 minutes and was replaced by Josh. Josh slotted straight in at centre mid and turned in a great performance, distributing the ball well and winning all of his headers. Alongside Daragh the pair of them bossed the middle of the park all day and we looked thoroughly in control.
New Park were fortunate to take the lead after a defensive mix up. Up to that point we had hardly given them a sniff up front, Ben in particular turning in a strong display at centre back. Rich also played really well and won the physical battle. You would not have guessed that these two had not played together before as their positioning was excellent and New Park’s best player (the short striker) made loads of little runs off the ball but never really found space or threatened. Dave and Taps at full backs also had strong games and we didn’t deserve to be a goal down. Dan H and Dan G upfront constantly looked dangerous and it seemed only a matter of time until we scored.
We equalised on the half hour when Dan G was fouled in the box and Sam bravely stepped up to the penalty. Sam struck the ball low and hard into the bottom left hand corner – good penalty. We made it 2-1 a few minutes later when Josh made a great late run into the box and converted a cross from Sam.
At half time we were confident that we could go on and score more goals and we did when a long range shot deflected off Daragh and into the goal. At 3-1 we looked completely in control but they made a couple of substitutions and started playing much better. Stuart replaced Ben at centre back and Lee replaced Dave at full back. Both the subs played well but the tide had turned and New Park put us under increasing amounts of pressure as they scored twice in quick succession.
So we ended up taking only a point from the game which felt disappointing having been 3-1 up. However when you think about how few of us had played together before today then a point is hardly a disaster. It also bodes well for the future of the club as a whole that we have so many talented young players coming through the ranks. There were numerous strong performances today and the votes were spread around the whole team: Ben (1), Dave (2) and Josh (3). However the winner was Daragh with 7 votes. Daragh battled tirelessly in centre midfield and really set an example for everyone else.
We won’t find out until late summer whether we have been promoted or not but if we are then this point might turn out to be crucial so well done all – and especially those players who helped us out when we were short. Regardless of whether we are promoted or not I am sure everyone will agree that it has been an excellent season for the second team and we can be proud of how we have played.
Match report: Sam Evans
Man of the match: Daragh Nott