Saturday 17th December 2005
By Shaun Keddle
Defeat grabbed from the jaws of victory.
Again, shocking availability left us with the bare eleven and Ian Parsfield helping us out at the last minute (cheers mate) coming up from the reserves. Colin Benningfield also signed on as an emergency goalkeeper in case anyone got injured, therefore releasing Jim St John onto the pitch if necessary. Rubbish start to the day, which lead to a rubbish finish as well.
However, it was a starting eleven good enough to give anyone trouble and we started the game kicking up the infamous Wickham slope. We could not really get any sort of grip on this game for the first 20 minutes and Park started the brighter side, with their centre forward missing a golden chance to take an early-ish lead. Park''s keeper looked suspect and could not cleanly hold anything and this led to us taking the lead on the half hour when Dave Harrigan was keen to pounce on a keeping error and poked the ball home. This seemed to settle us down and we then started to play some good football, it was amazing to see how much confidence a goal can give. A couple more chances were missed, but we went into the half 1-0 with the slope to our advantage in the second half.
At the half we spoke about ending the year on a high and trying to nick an early goal to try and kill Park off, but again we started the half slowly. A few more chances were missed and other opportunities were not taken on but Wickham scored a deserved equaliser after we failed to deal with an attack down our right hand side, which left the centre forward completely unmarked, who finished easily. Again the usual happened - instead of fighting back we rolled over, got complacent and conceded a very poor second goal due to people being lazy and not taking responsibility for the job they are doing. After that we pushed on in search of an equaliser, but Wickham always looked dangerous on the break and scored again towards the end. 3-1 it finished and Wickham ran out deserved winners.
Individual defensive errors teamed with a poor return on chances had really led to our own downfall this season, and the start to this season is best left forgotten. What we must do is come back in the New Year and redeem ourselves with a positive finish to the season. We have plenty of games left with 8 out of the eleven being at home (where we are best).
Bah humbug and don’t forget the game on NYD.