Saturday 4th March 2006
After a poor result against Old Addeyans we were all well up for this game. Knowing a win would put us level with Hayeswood and knowing how well we played against Rotherhithe last time we were all confident of getting something out of this game.
After Des’s promise to give everyone a fair run last week we had a different and unfamiliar look to our team this week. In goal we had Stewart Copeland and a changed back four. With Rod Stoyle suffering an ingrowing toenail, Mark Friend stepped into the breach filling the left back role, Paul Dow was given a chance in the back four following a run in midfield with myself and Ryan completing the back four. Midfield started with Steve Broadway and Dan Head in the centre with George Hillman and Gene Green on the flanks. Leaving Djan and Liam upfront.
So after a rousing team talk from Des we all marched up to the pitch minus Djan who hadn’t arrived yet. After a few last minute changes Steve Blanchard made his way into the starting line up and Djan found himself dropped. Then Djan turned up and was again undropped and back in his original position.
We couldn’t have possibly started this game better and I doubt we ever will start a game as good. Ryan broke forward and was fouled on the edge of the box. A well placed free kick from George saw the keeper come and punch clear only for Gene to chest the ball down and hit a sweet volley back over the keeper into the net for one of our best individual efforts this season. Well other than my sweetly headed own goal any way.
At one nil up we pushed on and after some crisp passing manoeuvres we found ourselves with a corner. Djan hit a well-placed corner onto the foot of the onrushing Dan who buried his 6th goal in 5 games.
Not content at being 2-0 up against a good team we pushed on further and a nice pass from Gene who was having an absolute blinder fed Liam on the edge of the box who continued his good run of form with a crisp finish into the far corner from the edge of the box. A well-deserved goal from Liam who had an excellent start to the game looking composed on the ball and using possession well.
So at 3-0 we were guilty of getting a bit complacent and our attitude was summed up when Paul said to me ‘we’ve got this game won’. Following swiftly on from that sweeping statement Rotherhithe got lucky with a dodgy offside decision breaking through our offside trap for their strikers to play a neat cross and head into an open goal.
At 3-1 we still looked comfortable and their players were getting frustrated kicking out at us and getting niggly with the ref who was having a decent game..
Looking comfortable again after the slip Rotherhithe resorted to long balls placing an innocuous ball over the top of us. Paul looked comfortable to make an easy clearance when he slipped presenting their forward with a one on one with Stewart who was unlucky to be beaten by a clean finish and what should have been game over was game on once again.
The half ended with their lino giving a poor offside decision against Dan stopping him getting his 2nd goal of the game.
The second half started and we struggled to get into the game. With Steve playing out of position in centre midfield we were having difficulty retaining the ball and Rotherhithe were all over us. At this stage our secret weapon came into play. Stewart. Rotherhithe broke through several times only for Stewart to make a fantastic double save and then about 3 one on ones with their players. Any other day I think Stewart would have got man of the match and was unlucky Gene was having a blinder today.
Steve Blanchard coming on for Steve Broadway put in an excellent tackle in the centre of the pitch and fed Gene who played a lovely ball over the top for Liam (another candidate for man of the match today) to finish cleanly rounding off a nice day for him.
With Steve on now we were playing tidier football once again and were unlucky not to make the game safe earlier than we did. With the last ten minutes looming Rotherhithe scored an untidy goal and really put pressure on us with us struggling to get the ball. However, much like our recent performances it was too little too late for Rotherhithe and we held on for a much-needed win!!
It''s getting late so I’m gonna finish up quickly. Ryan had his car stolen from the car park after the game and if anyone saw anyone tampering with a black Clio in the car park or driving off in one can they have a chat with Ryan on Saturday, any help appreciated.
Also this Saturday Rob is having a training session at the ground - the more attending the better - and it should set us up nicely for our last two league games and relegation great escape!!!
Hope to see you all Saturday keep looking at the website for updates cheers lads.