Saturday 5th March 2011
By Colin Brazier
Home sweet home! Or not, as the case may be. Only our second game at Farrow Fields since November and still looking for our first win or draw there this season after 5 attempts.
Alex King has joined our lengthy injury list and despite the return of Tommy Noad and the recruitment of “Young Vet” Rob Lipscomb we were stripped to the bare 11 for this game. Ivor Swatton came back in goal, so we lined up as follows:
Ivor Swatton – GK
Steve Blanchard jnr - RB
Steve Blanchard snr – CB
Neil Barnes – CB (capt.)
Colin Brazier – LB
Luke Allen – RM
Rob Lipscomb – CM
Tom Smart – CM
Tommy Noad – LM
James Foyle – CF
Connor Barclay - CF
Much credit must go to our hard working ground staff, Bunny and Keith Beston, for getting the pitch in such good condition following a horrendous spell of bad weather. We made good use of the flat and true surface (apart from one or two soft areas in the middle) by playing our short game to full effect from the kick off. Connor and James were always willing to run the channels and get into good positions and despite Charlton’s lively forwards we looked comfortable at the back, with the midfield working hard in between.
We had a scare when a Charlton cross was headed in at the far post, but after some protestations from the Guild defence (and keeper, it must be said!) the referee agreed that the ball had earlier rebounded into play off one of the wheels on the goal and gave a goal kick.
Shortly after this we ended our 3-match goal drought when Tom Smart (I think) threaded the ball through to James who slotted the ball coolly past the keeper to give us a well earned half time lead.
During the interval we spoke about continuing to do what we were doing and to try to enjoy it more, as a few of us were getting overly tense. Well, one out of two ain’t bad I s’pose! We did indeed continue where we left off…James played in Luke on the right whose short cross was deftly headed home by Connor, so both of our strikers had ended their own dry spells which was really good to see. Charlton came back into the game and pulled a goal back when their striker saw Steve junior’s outstretched leg and dived over it – penalty given. In the return fixture Jez had faced a penalty from the same player and confidently told Ivor to go to his right, however the kick was placed expertly just inside Ivor’s left hand post, but that didn’t stop Jez getting the blame!
So back to 2-1 – no problem, we had played an hour and not conceded so why worry about the remaining 30 minutes? But Charlton scented blood and completed the turnaround within another 15 minutes, the third goal being a great strike from outside the area. We rallied with Luke hitting the post and several dangerous looking raids emanating from our midfield quartet but we couldn’t find the equaliser and so the hunt for a home point goes on…
Morals from this match? Not for the first time we have capitulated after conceding one goal. We must toughen up mentally, but this will come with experience, so let’s get in a few more winning positions and take it from there.
Secondly, it is a game of football. Game. So let’s try to enjoy it more. We all make mistakes, it’s part of the game…no-one will crucify you for it (ignore Ivor…everyone else does!).
Man of the Match went to Tom Smart for an excellent all-round midfield performance.
Man of the match: Tom Smart