Sunday 15th October 2017
By Mark Harrington
The sun shone brightly on the lush fields of Lee and you would have thought we were in July waiting for a game of bat and ball rather than football in mid-October. Even the referee wore a cricket sweater and whilst you could not hear the sound of leather cracking on willow, it was replaced with the crack of Scouse on Scot. The oppo forward not getting any change out of the big man (nothing new there been trying for years). Marcus Allen along with Jon Gasson, Frank Pearce and Joe Champ are building an excellent rapport at the back but what was most impressive was the football being played by our, let’s say, “never knowingly undernourished back four” who you normally associate large shouts of “av it” rather than the ‘one two’s’ and ‘tippy tappy’ being displayed. The first 45 minutes carried on from last week and the possession statistics must have been somewhere in the 75 to 80% region as the Guild knocked the ball around at will and won every header and tackle.
Damien Preston had a fine all action display and rightly won 50% of the Man of the Match votes. His first time volley, with his wrong foot, opening the scoring. His right leg is usually reserved just for standing on but on this occasion connected brilliantly with Jez Mooney’s cross. Jez also had a fine game and his energy is amazing for a man who has just turned 50 (a typo that could not be corrected before going to print – sorry Jez !). His constant running and pressure created mayhem and forced numerous mistakes from the opposition. On another day Jez could have well had a hat-trick but for some fine keeping and the occasional hand ball on the line which gave the Guild a penalty which Captain Dean Murphy tucked away into the bottom left with no chance for the keeper. Jez did eventually find the back of the net with a fine strike from the edge of the area. Good shot sir!
Rob Mullen scored the other in what was his second game for the Guild and made it a ratio of two in two and a 4-0 half-time lead. With the lead we created, pattern of play and the referee's jumper we expected a cricket score in the second half but to their credit, our hosts battled hard and did their best to limit further damage. The second half did not live up to the first and I think it would have been difficult to replicate such passing when tired minds lose a bit of discipline and charge forward to try and score at every opportunity. Alan Fines controlled and converted another Jez Mooney cross and dispatched a penalty after being fouled running in on goal. It was a generous award but Alan fired in to make it 10 goals in 8 games.
Whilst the whole team were camped in the oppo half, we were undone by one clearance and left Gary exposed for the hosts' winger to race through and convert. In truth, a consolation was no more than their efforts deserved, even if their hard work was left on the pitch and not in the kitchen as no buffet was on offer. Anyway, Rob Mullen completed the scoring with a fine header from a corner to make it 3 goals in two games for our new recruit.
We could have scored many more goals but for some wayward finishing but this would have been hard on our hosts and does not need to detract from another super display and our first double over a team this season. Some more good news was the return from injury of Tom Naughton and the display from quiet man James Clarke who performed equally well in two positions today; midfield and right back, his meaty challenges setting a base for the attackers to launch their raids. Sadly no raids on the buffet though.
Final word must go to the Man of the Match and his response to the Scottish oppo forward's claim which was in defence of his moaning. “I don’t like losing”. The riposte from our flying winger…… “well you better get used to it being Scottish mate”. A fine strike just like his goal.
Charlton Rangers away next week lads. Perhaps in the new kit? Have a good week all and let’s keep this winning run going.
Man of the match: Damien Preston