Saturday 20th November 2010
By Richard Tapsfield
This week we were back at Farrow fields to take on second bottom Seven Acre, although to be honest I'm not sure how they are second bottom. They are a young side who had given us a tough game over at their place in the second game of the season, where we nicked a 1-0 win courtesy of a late penalty, so we new we would be in for another tough game.
With two starters from the previous week away in Sheffield to watch Palace collapse like Arsenal, we lined up as followed:
(GK) Jim St John
(RB) Matt Ellis
(CB) Matt Davis
(CB) Luke Johnson (C)
(LB) Dave Martin
(RM) Al Barnes
(CM) Nigel Johnstone
(CM) Louis Hussey
(LM) Dan Head
(CF) James Learmouth
(CF) Russ Nethercot
There's nothing better in a game like this than an early goal to settle the nerves and we got just that about 10 minutes in. Some good work just inside the box from Nev saw him lay the ball back to Dan who smashed it in to the top corner for 1-0, a great strike. We continued to dominate the game for the next quarter of an hour without creating too many clear cut chances although we did test Sevens excellent keeper a couple of times and also had some harsh off side decisions given against us. However just before half time Nigel decided to do his best Ashley Cole impression, laying the ball square across the edge of our box right to their striker who in turn teed up his partner, who drilled his shot in off the post to level the game at 1-1.
In to the second half and despite the set-back at the end of the first we continued to dominate proceedings and mid way through got our reward when James grabbed his second goal in as many games, beating the keeper low at his near post for 2-1. At the back we were solid as ever and restricted Seven to hopeful long range efforts and in truth we looked dangerous every time on the counter with Nigel running the show in the middle and our wide men continually stretching their full backs. However we couldn't seem to get the third goal we needed to kill the game off and the referee wasn't helping us, disallowing two goals. First James' for offside even though he let him run through, round the keeper and put it in before deciding to agree with the linesman! Then Dan's for a push as he beat the defender at the back post to head in. In fairness both decisions were probably correct (not that I thought that at the time)! On top of this we missed two one on ones with Al and Nev both fluffing their lines!
Fortunately we did eventually grab a third to settle my nerves when Nev headed in from close range. A brave header seeing as he took a right hander from the keeper in the process and had no idea he'd scored when he first got back to his feet. Shortly after that we added a fourth when Louis was put through by an excellent ball from James and finished coolly under the keeper.
Man of the match this week was Nigel who was superb in the middle of the park and made up for his dodgy pass for their goal by dominating the play and continually creating for us. However their wasn't a bad performance out there and praise must go to the back four and our wide men as well.
Another good win for us though, to make it three in a row and lift us up the league, which looks like it will be very tight. Other than the team at the top everyone seems to be beating everyone so it is all to play for, with a long way to go!
Man of the match: Nigel Johnstone