Saturday 17th December 2005
Elizabeth Jaques Cup
Five games unbeaten and full of confidence, going into a game against a more than capable opposition in Salmon. Again another week with a slightly depleted squad but a team who could definitely go into the game and get a result. The 3rd team goalkeeper soap opera continued this week with the return of Mark Edwards which turned out to be more than welcome.
However the start of the game and another quick goal, this week against us.
Todd was adjuged to have fouled by pushing the man down in the area which was the first of many crucial decisions by the referee. The penalty was slotted away and there was no longer the confidence and style in our play that has been present in the previous games.
The first half continued and the only other real action besides some skill from the Salmon left back was the confrontation between Todd and his man which was the only decision the referee might have awarded a deserved card for but thought better of it.
Salmon dominated up to the break besides a couple of weak shots from yours truly and some good holding play by Ben Tomkins which unfortunately led to nothing. Salmon''s basketball play was confusing but we stayed within one until the break.
A good talking to at half time and the realisation that we were being hard done by led to a rejuvinated team coming out.
With Salmon taking advantage of the wind and playing the long ball tactics opportunities were becoming more available for us, especially down the left side with Joe and Alex playing with some kind of lovers'' second nature about where each other are on the park, linking up well and crosses and chances were starting to come.
Then against the run of play Salmon unleashed a pacy forward who crossed the ball into the free man in the centre of the box, a shot was hit sweetly into the bottom right corner and all thoughts were that it was 2-0 until Mark (Superman) Edwards flew across the goal tipping round the post with a save the quality of which you would see from Paul Robinson in the world cup this summer. Being inspired by this I reacted from a ball through from the ever solid Steve Viner, turned the player brilliantly and was through on goal!
Unfortunately the shot was rubbish. But this play seemed to help give that extra boost we needed as Joe and Alex linked once more which ended up with me playing the ball through to Lee Sheppard who slotted away perfectly into the back of the net and the belief that we were going to win began to come back.
Paul Parsons was getting louder by the minute and the team was starting to take control until another long ball came over via one of the Salmon heads which fell to the attacker who chipped Salmon back into the lead. The fact he seemed well offside seemed to matter not to the referee who kindly ignored Colin, who was having a good game on the line with the flag. This was the killer blow as the football became more scrappy from both teams and the cards began to fly out for dissent. Colin come on for Tomkins in the upfront role and instantly found an opportunity to volley home but was denied by a surprisingly well placed keeper. Paul P joined the front line but an ambitious shot by myself was all we could manage. Another consistent performance from Rich Coyne and a good game by Paul Bailey stepping in for his 3rds debut was just not enough for the overall average team that was on display.
It would be fair to say we felt robbed and I am sure that after the break everyone will be back and full of fight to carry on our strong performance in the league.
Extra well done to Mark for a man of the match performance.
Hope everyone has a merry Christmas and a happy New Year and that the pie intake will be low so that come the 7th of January we are ready to pick up from where we left off.