Saturday 28th February 2009
By Paul Parsons
‘The football looks great, the passing good, the tackles being made, running off the ball is excellent, a little bit of composure to hit the target and just a tiny bit of luck needed and it will all come good.’
My words from last week came true!
The first half was exactly as the previous games against Chislehurst Sports when we lost 2-1 each game. Plenty of good quality possession, excellent interplay down the wings, shots being blocked, saved and hit wide and the opposition going in 1-0 up completely against the run of play with a bumbling half chance kneed into the net by the excellent centre midfielder. Jack Hopper made tackle of the day with an expertly timed crunching challenge inside the penalty area leaving the forward hobbling and the ball at Jack's feet.
Edd talked about belief at half time, and continuing with the play down the flanks that makes us look extremely dangerous. Adam Steward speeding past defenders and midfielders at will, Lee Cross having an excellent first touch, and finding his accurate passes straight to the ever present Dave Thompson who was full of creative play and clever runs. Tackles were made by Stuart Gaylor and tough challenges by James Behagg as we took control of the midfield. Goals came thick and fast after the first 10 minutes, with Simon Davies hitting the target after some superb play by Luke Dunne (MOM) as he flew through the heart of the pitch with the ball at his feet and ploughed through two or three challenges into the penalty box and passed unselfishly for Simon to keep his composure for our first.
Both fullbacks, myself and Michael Seymour were linking the play down the flanks and Lee and Adam were enjoying the possession and finding both Simon and Dave upfront. Things were looking good, but all too quickly the very dangerous centre midfielder got away from his marker and turned strongly in the box to hit a screamer from 5 yards out at a very tight angle. Disappointing for Geoff Ray in goal as he had been solid all game, with excellent distribution, and a great save in the first half to tip it on to the bar and out of play after a scramble. So 2-1 down, 15 minutes to go and a change was needed, with Ben Dutton making his debut at left back for a tiring Parsons.
Wickham Park were now full of running, and were creating a lot of pressure, Lee was called upon to clear one off the line and then Ben was needed to do the same a few minutes later. We had our luck, and then from more excellent kicking by Geoff, we caught them on an excellent counter attack, which led to Dave's shot being charged down, the penalty given for handball, and more composure made it 2-2. We then went ahead with a good ball crossed in at the far post by Lee, and the hardworking Adam just getting to the by line to head it back into play for Dave to crash one home by the penalty spot. It was surely all over with less than 5 minutes left, but Wickham Park never gave up and fired a shot hard and low from just outside the box which left Geoff unsighted. Wickham celebrated the ‘draw’ as if it was the winning Carling Cup final penalty, but it was 1 minute too early as again a fine ball was crossed in at the back post and a marauding Michael, who had had a great game at right back, popped up to smash it home and three points were now in the bag.
‘The football looks great, the passing good, the tackles being made, running off the ball is excellent, a little bit of composure to hit the target and just a tiny bit of luck needed and it will all come good.’ Keep it going lads!