Saturday 19th September 2009
By Paul Parsons
With 5 players unable to make this cup encounter, it was up to the remaining 10 players to show team spirit, determination and some good football to overturn a battling performance from Fleetway Printers.
Arriving late and annoyed that some team mates had let us down again without letting the management know, we were heartened by the fact that the pitch was very narrow, and so with this in mind Edd lined us up in a 4-3-2 formation that worked very well. Sam Clarkson made an impressive debut in goal, with a string of excellent first half saves and a spectacular save low to his right in the second half from a powerful header that kept our game alive at 3-2 up. We were very unlucky at the beginning with a free kick being deflected off the wall and leaving Sam stranded, so 1-0 down after 10 minutes was an injustice, even with 10 men.
It was a real team performance with the back four again looking very solid, Marvin Sinclair quick down the left flank scoring a superb goal as he continued his run down the left after passing to Kane and took the one two well, cut in to the box and drilled the ball past the keeper to take us to 1-1. Then a brilliantly clean strike from Ben Dutton from a 25 yard free kick fizzed into the far corner to make it 2-1.
We were pressing hard, with Josh Travers in midfield putting in a huge amount of unselfish work and deserved to be on the scoresheet long before he actually did, with excellent timing of runs into the box he saw many efforts hit goal posts, defenders, keepers, and with one excellent header he managed to hit all three and the ball bounced on the line twice! His hard graft and will to win was eventually rewarded when an astute quick free kick by Richard Tapsfield found Josh to slide the ball in from 6 yards out and get us a much needed 2 goal cushion.
At half time we just asked each other for more of the same as the one man advantage of Fleetways was nullified by the hard work of the whole team. Mark Smith and Paul Parsons were clearing the lines well and putting in strong tackles when needed to frustrate the Fleetway forwards. Simon Davies was winning everything in the air from Sam’s monstrous kicking, and he was linking intelligently with the ever present Kane to frustrate the Fleetway defence. James Behagg was putting in an extra shift in term of sheer hard graft and was able to sensibly hold position in midfield and stop any of Fleetways midfield running at the defence.
3-2 came about when a mix up between Sam and Paul allowed a Fleetway forward to nip in and poke the ball past Sam, but with Sam’s (MOM) excellent keeping in the second half Fleetway were never going to get back on level terms. With 10 minutes remaining Simon Davies notched his second goal in as many games with a good run into the box with the ball at his feet, he looked up and bent the ball round the keeper for it to nestle into the far corner of the net. With much relief from the rest of the team, we were able to play out the game with the same amount of team spirit, working hard for each other as the first 10 minutes. With this much good football, and a great mix of skill, youth and experience we should be in with a shout again this season. IF WE CAN GET 13 PLAYERS!