Sunday 4th May 2008
By Roger French
Final game of the season played on the top pitch in hot/humid conditions against formidable opposition who thrashed us back in September – the ideal end to a varied campaign and a good indication as to how far we have gone over the course of the last 8 months. Our last two fixtures against Cudham have produced 3 goals for with a massive 19 goals against so no doubt they were expecting a goal fest to draw their season to an end. Any thoughts of pre-match meditation were shattered with the arrival of Mark “DJ Alligator” James who had finally worked out what noise a whistle can make – this was shortly followed by a number of suggestions as to where it would be inserted if the noise didn’t stop.
This week''s starting line-up from the 15 players available was Gary “buzz zone” Rosslee in goal, defence consisted of Pat Mongelard, Chris Webb, Steve Blanchard and Roger French, midfield lined up with Toby “bottle job” Manchip, Paul Storkey, Chris Ponulak and Colin Ebdon with an attack force of Paul Smith and Ian Shoebridge. On the sidelines we had Toby Harlow, Trevor Stewart, Chris Bourlet and Mark James with Micky Gearing taking over as referee.
Cudham got the game underway and immediately applied pressure with a number of attacks and good running all over the pitch. The pressure was too much for Toby Manchip who collapsed in a heap with a mysterious strain after 5 minutes to be replaced by Trevor Stewart with a minor reshuffle that saw Pat Mongelard move into the centre of midfield, Paul “B&H” Storkey went out to the right and Trevor took up the right back position. The first 20 minutes saw us struggle to contain Cudham and we were in danger of repeating some of the previous cricket scorelines if it wasn’t for some poor finishing from the Cudham attack. As it was we conceded two soft goals before we started to get our act together and make a game of it with some good passing moves but we were unable to reduce the deficit before half-time.
The second half was a much more evenly contested game and it was Ian Shoebridge who sprung the offside trap and finished in style to pull one back for the Guild. Chances were being created at both ends and team formation was shuffled to allow everyone to get a game. This resulted in a new strike partnership of Smithy and Webby with CW getting 2 or 3 good chances on goal but not able to hit the back of the net. As it was Cudham added a third and another victory went their way but this time we had given them a decent game. With reference to the match report written after the first game things have got better and hopefully are looking good for next season.