Saturday 4th February 2006
By Shaun Keddle
A crazy scoreline for a crazy game.
Where do I start? The usual last minute changes left us starting the game with only one recognised sub and myself with a ‘painted-on’ kit. This left Adam Dawson on the bench, a difficult decision but one that was necessary to make with important forthcoming fixtures in mind (a decision which was swiftly rammed up my rectum as he came on and grabbed a stunning hat trick!!). It did leave us with a strong line up with Jumbo in goal, Benningfield, Wright (making his injury comeback), Small and Davis making up the back line, Clark, Harrigan, Carpenter and Connelly making up the midfield and Williams and full debutant Dunford starting up front.
We could not get off to a worse start. Within 10 minutes we were two goals down due to double-rubbish defending, and a stunning strike 30 yards out, put us 3-0 down with only 15 minutes played. We were all over the place defensively and looked very schoolboy. Worse was to follow. Terry Dunford bravely challenged the keeper for the ball and won us a penalty, which we duly missed, and Terry was unable to continue. The bad news was that it used up our only recognised substitute. The good news was that it was Adam Dawson. 5 minutes later Matt Wright’s old injury came back to haunt him and could no longer continue. This then forced us to switch Matty and Jumbo around with Matty taking the gloves and Jumbo making my shirt look relatively baggy. This switch was a big boost for the team as it meant that I did not have to come on. In short, 20 minutes gone, 3-0 down, no subs, no recognised goalkeeper and we missed a penalty. Suicide was briefly considered before I realised that I had a job to do.
These couple of changes sparked us into life and we started playing better football and missed a few easy chances which would have reduced the deficit. The half finished and we knew that this game was not over. At the half we re-grouped, took a bollocking for a dismal start but we all still realised that the goals would come if we continued to play the way we had in the last 15 minutes of the first half. The next goal was so important. Within 5 minutes of the start we got the important break through with Neil Connelly coolly finishing off a loose ball. We were back in it and our tails were up.
The next half an hour turned into the Adam Dawson show and he truly showed what he is all about with aggressive mazy runs leaving the chasing defenders looking like the end sketch of the Benny Hill show. Two swift goals from him, both of stunning individuality saw us level things up and surely the game was ours to go on and win. However, we decide to let them go ahead again with a catalogue of errors involving mis-kicks, tripping on the ball, passing to them, air shots etc… to which their winger duly converted. He couldn’t believe his luck when the ball crossed the line. Chuck in a tree and a fat guy and he had Xmas.
It remained 4-3 to Borough until about 5 minutes to the end. Then I entered the fray, changing the formation to ‘4-3-2 and a half‘. An unbelievable finish to the game saw Adam Dawson complete a truly wonderful hat-trick to bring us level. Then Dave Harrigan pushed on and tapped in for us to go ahead and at the death Liam Williams strolled past the keeper to make it 6-4. It finished that way.
A very entertaining game with some kamikaze defending from both sides. Lots and lots to learn from this. We cannot afford to start this way again and we definitely cannot afford to defend that way ever! Stronger opposition would have killed the game off. We need to be responsible for our men and get tighter, zonal marking does not work if forwards drop deep, turn and run. Defenders priority is obviously to defend. I have been critical in the past of our attacking record, but a day like we had it’s time for the defence to take some stick for a shocking start. However, we showed tremendous character to win the second half 6-1 even though we did ride our luck on a couple of occasions.
Everything we struck in the second half turned to gold, unlike the first half where everything we struck turned to poo. Therefore we must never give up and we showed tremendous spirit when things were not going to well for us. I gave MOM to Jumbo for showing tremendous team spirit for coming out of goal and playing in a role that he is unfamiliar to, in which he had not complaints. Jumbo played exceptionally well there, and maybe is something we will look to do in the future. Adam Dawson’s stunning all round display earned him the players MOM. Well done to both of you.
We must now take this high point into next week where we play Chipstead in the quarter final of the Sevenoaks Cup. It’s a must win game, so be a little bit more sensible on Friday night and treat this fixture with the respect that it deserves. We took a heavy loss to them a few months ago and must to look turn that result around.
Well done, great show of character – let’s do the same this week.