Saturday 19th November 2005
By Shaun Keddle
An organised, solid and controlled performance despite being short on personnel.
Before the match started I organised a team meeting to discuss poor attendances at training and match days, which was very reflective on our current form. I told all the players exactly what I thought of the team and why we are in the position that we are in and I also told everyone what I thought of them as individuals. This could have gone two ways - either people would have disagreed with what I had to say and got the hump or I was going to get a positive response. I was really pleased that all the lads really took on board what I had to say and I got a positive response – the result reflected this. Sometimes a manager needs a lift from his players and myself, Darren and Colin were very happy with the outcome. I shall be speaking to the players individually who missed my speech (Gary, Adam, Steve, Matty, Neil Cu).
Despite starting the week with a very strong 14, at kick off we were down to the bare bones due to Matt Wright (injured), Steve Pester (illness) and Adam Benningfield (working late). A disgraceful position to be in given the amount of personnel we have at the club and the fact that we play Kent League football.
Straight from kick-off, we fancied this one. We knew that Addeyans had a few problems with a change of manager and they looked a bit disorganised, so we knew we needed to get at them early. We got stuck in from the off and the pre-match chat looked as though it had taken affect. Danny Clark, Gary Harrigan, Liam Williams and Neil Connelly hitting some big important tackles – letting them know we were about. In return they just repetitively kicked Jamie!! Addeyans though had the majority of the ball in the first 20 minutes, but that soon changed around when Jamie Williams slotted a neat through ball for Adam Dawson to latch onto and round the keeper to slot home. 1-0 up. Addeyans continued to battle but we were clearly up for this with Dave Harrigan and Richard Davis starting to get a grip of the defence and Jumbo showing great hands and giving the defenders some extra confidence. Just before half time after a tangle of legs in the box, the Addeyans centre half stamped on Liam Williams leg, which the referee did really well to see. The centre half was sent off and a penalty was awarded, which Liam Williams himself duly dispatched into the corner. 2-0 at the half.
At the half, we spoke about keeping the ball and playing it left to right to really stretch Addeyans. We spoke about being sensible, as this game was not yet won and it could only be up to us to throw it away. We controlled the second half quite well, but Addeyans never gave up and really did themselves some credit. We scored the killer third goal after a great team move where a pass was cut back on the left hand side to find the head of Adam Dawson (as it was Adam, it was probably a case of ball to head rather than head to ball!!) who was actually doing his laces up at the time and the ball found the corner of the net. The force of the ball hitting his head, actually meant that Adam''s knee was pushed to the floor and got dirty – could he continue with mud on his knee? Macey started his warm up, until the drawstring snapped on his shorts…….
More calamities followed as Gary Harrigan did well to keep the ball in down the left hand side only to air-shot the cross, then foul and injure himself in the process. The ball was still in play though but a combination of laughter and finger pointing mean that nobody was there to follow it up. This was the start of an interesting day for Gary Harrigan….. Gary Harrigan was replaced by Adam Benningfield (so he could go and hide!).
All credit to Addeyans who kept going despite being three goals and a man down.
3-0 it finished - a good result played in a great spirit and very well refereed.
Despite a lot gone on at Addeyans of recent times, they showed good spirit after the game and all stayed for a few drinks. Good luck for the future, boys.
Manager’s man of the match was awarded to Danny Clark for a Captain''s performance. I really needed a big performance from Danny as I do expect more from my Captain (than the rest of the players) and that was delivered by keeping it simple and dishing out some well timed tackles – breaking down their play and starting off ours. Keep it up mate, more of the same for the rest of the season. Danny Clark also just edged the players MOM vote and lots of people picked up single votes which either mean that everyone played well or some of my players are sleeping with each other!!
A big ‘thanks’ also to Dave Harrigan who really showed what a class operator he is wherever he plays, and did the team a big favour in playing in the sweeper position. Neil Connelly and Aaron Carpenter tucked in well as full backs and the system worked a treat due to talking, collaboration and playing as a team. Richard Davis just gets better and better and Jamie caused so much havoc with his pace and directness despite receiving more kicks than a Kate Moss night out! Sam Small''s confidence grew as the game went on and hopefully he can start next week’s game in the same vein. Gary Harrigan and Danny Clark in the middle battled for everything and really serviced the wingers and forwards at every opportunity. Liam and Adam up front really started to work well with each other and are starting to gel. They shared the goals between them, which is a pleasing turn out for the manager. Thanks to Colin for doing the line, a job that should ideally be done by one of the subs.
The learnings from this game are basic. Get involved, fancy it and get yourselves going early in the game. Right from the off we fancied this one and we now have to bring this into our game next week. We are currently 4th in the league, but can go third if we win our game in hand, which is this week. We have Chipstead away which will be a tough encounter, but if we show the same attitude and spirit from this week, I am sure that we will come away with the points. We need to go on a little run from now up until Xmas. We have four games – Chipstead, New Broms, Tonbridge and Wickham Park which will all be must win games if we have any desire at all to keep in touch with the top two. The other factor in our favour is the amount of away games that we have played. Come Xmas we would have played 9 away games with only 4 home games. This means we can start the second half of the season knowing that other teams have got to come to us and we have a good home record and play well on our own turf. Let’s keep availability high and be organised and prepared.
Top result, same again this week.