Sunday 14th September 2008
By Roger French
With five players missing from last week’s opening win of the season it was pleasing to note that we were still able to select a team from the 13 players available indicating the strength in depth we hopefully have for this season now that we have recruited some “younger” and some not so “young as at first thought” members.
This week saw the return of Gary Rosslee in goal with a familiar defensive line-up of Pat Mongelard, Steve Blanchard, Chris Webb and Roger French, midfield consisted of Simon Harvey, Chris Ponulak, Toby Harlow and Ian Shoebridge and the attack was lead by a “youthful” Pete Harvey alongside Paul Smith. The subs for the game were Chris Bourlet and Darren Mace while the referee for the game was the much respected Micky Gearing who knew how to handle a whistle without asking people to blow it for him.
To the game and this week it felt like an early season game with bright sunshine beating down on the vast open spaces of the big pitch. We started as we had left off last week with a fast moving passing game and dominated the early exchanges. We had an early warning of the Erith game plan which was to lift the ball over our back line for one of their rather tricky attackers to chase which proved to be very effective as he ended up with virtually all the Erith goals. We were saved on at least one occasion by Gary pulling off an excellent one-on-one save and they had one goal ruled out for offside.
Erith went ahead against the run of play by employing this tactic and springing the offside trap. Encouraged by this turn around they started to get into their stride and aided by the fact that we did not close them down in midfield the tide turned in their favour whilst we lost our way somewhat. They scored a second before the half-time whistle and changes were made with Chris Bourlet and Darren Mace coming on.
We started the second half on the attack with Darren well in control down the left and Pete Harvey full of running up front...not bad for somebody who has aged a number of years in the last week. It was therefore very disappointing to find ourselves 3-0 down once again against the run of play. However, this sparked us into further action and it was not long before a series of passes down the right resulted in Paul Smith scoring an excellent goal from the edge of the box. In fact it was remarked that it was a bit like watching Brazil. This was followed by Chris Webb rising highest to meet a well taken free kick from Chris Ponulak to head our second goal and we looked to have them reeling. But things did not go our way – Pete had a goal disallowed and one saved on the line, Darren had an excellent shot cannon off the post and we had another goalbound shot bundled off the line.
As it was Erith continued to utilise their “midas” striker as he rattled in two more goals including one in off the post rather ours that went out off the post. The final whistle went to end another high scoring encounter with Erith but with a feeling that the score did not really reflect the contribution we had made.