Saturday 17th September 2005
By Shaun Keddle
A disappointing result after a decent performance.
Nobody likes losing but we did play well in this fixture and I do think the best side lost. It was a very good game, which the supporters enjoyed with some very good individual battles. I won''t be too disappointed if we play this way every week. We could play a lot worse than this and win.
A poor refereeing decision led to the first goal, which was very well converted by their centre midfielder into the top corner, but it was a case of ball to hand not hand to ball as the ball struck Michael Clark''s hand which was in a natural position by his side, nobody could have avoided the contact. Sloppy defending saw us go 2 goals behind in 20 minutes. With 2 goals behind we then settled down and started playing our football and imposing ourselves on the opposition. A few good moves saw efforts from Matt Wilson and Liam Williams go wide. A well taken Michael Clark free kick was denied by the Westerham goalkeeper with a stunning save, when it looked as though we had pulled one back. In fact the Westerham goalkeeper had an excellent game and did not put a foot wrong all match.
We came into the half probably playing the better football, but decided to switch formations to introduce Adam Dawson who was just back from injury, as we needed somebody to latch onto Liam Williams'' flick-ons. This meant Daragh was subbed and Aaron Carpenter dropped back into the right hand side of defence with Dave Harrigan taking up the right midfield position. Westerham dropped deeper and deeper and we started the second half in much the same manner - having a lot of possession, but nothing really penetrative. A goal line scramble saw Jamie Williams go close when maybe he should have scored. The Westerham celebrations at the end really showed what it meant to them and they must have known that despite defending very well, they did not deserve all three points. Westerham are a very good footballing side and I tip them for promotion this season, but I did think that we played the better football.
Matt Wilson got the nod for the manager MOM which was also backed up by the players vote as well. Matt got better and better as the match went on and really looked dangerous when he drove at the opposition with plenty of space and movement. A good start to the season for Matt, who seems keen for the player of the season award at this early stage.
What we have to do next week is bounce back from this and travel to scenic Woolwich and get a result out of Meridian. I have full confidence that if we play the type of football we have for the first 3 games of this season then we will come away with all three points. We do however, need to get off to a brighter, sharper start and do need an end result from our possession and neat play. We know we are fit, we know we have ability and we know we have confidence. Overall, not too disappointed.