Saturday 4th March 2006
By Paul Parsons
In my last report I mentioned that I might not get back into the team very easily, and so it proved this week, with a possible 16 players to choose from and another four waiting in the wings for either debut performances or injury woes it must have been a very hard decision for Ed about who to play.
The expectant crowd was crowding together expectantly (it was very cold Shep but not that cold!) and they were not disappointed when within 15 minutes there were two peach of goals. The first, after poor defending leading to a corner, was swung in powerfully and the keeper had no chance, other than flail a fist and in it went, and then shortly after that an expectant free kick floated into the sun and over the keeper''s head, 2-0 fantastic start!!!! ………………… for the opposition……..
Bugger! The four named subs of Parsons, Sheppard, Scott and Duffy were eagerly warming up thinking there was a good possibility of coming on after 30 minutes with the way the team was performing. Passes were going astray, tackling was half hearted and the commitment was lacking. However, was it not for that actual thought of any of us coming on, and a little barracking from the sidelines too, that the team gradually pulled itself together. We began to pass and move out wide, with both Peter Morton and Joe Oatley getting the ball, taking on defenders and being well supported by Richard Coyne, Joe Lipton and Colin Brazier. As we grew in confidence we were creating more and more, Paul Burford (MOM) running powerfully into space and flicking on balls for Ben Tomkins to latch on to. As the half was coming to a close we had two or three chances from just outside the box that were being blocked, noticeably from Richard and Peter. One of which was blocked by Paul which he and his partner are probably still examining now, if he could find it!
However we never gave up and from a fired in cross by Joe, with Paul running in and Ben ghosting in at the far post, it was Ben to get us into the game by nonchalantly bundling it over the line with a deft swing of his hips!
At half time we talked about keeping the ball and staying with playing it wide, Todd gave Joe some of his ideas around anger management and how the world was a better place for it(*!*!*!!*) and we did just that, with wave after wave of good possession and with Steve Viner steadying the ship at the back it looked as if we could at least get a draw. Colin was outstanding in the second half and combined well with Peter and created a lot down the left. Palace took off their dangerous (read it both ways!) number eleven and it did us a favour. Paul was still running into great space and from a surging run by Joe latched on to a through ball and toe poked the ball past the keeper to make it 2-2. Ben was still running himself ragged and a through ball from Richard created goal number three, as Ben skipped round the tired defender he was brought down in the box for Peter to coolly smash into the bottom left hand corner. At 3-2 it should have been comfortable but a lapse in concentration led to Palace heading the ball over the crossbar from 5 yards, a let off and reminder that the game wasn’t over. Ben Duffy replaced Paul and duly scored with his second touch from another great through ball again from Richard after taking on a couple of midfield players. As the game went into the last 15 minutes Jack was still full of running at the back snuffing out the chances as Palace brought on more subs and pushed more upfront. Joe Lipton took a crunching challenge and limped off with Lee S eager to get a piece of the action as his replacement, which he duly did, when Palace got a consolation goal to make the final score 4-3! Andy Scott was bitterly unlucky not to play, let alone get a game but we are producing wins from being a squad and we all have to wait for a clear opportunity.
I am sure it will be just as difficult next week for Ed and it was still good to see even if I was fourth sub this week.