Sunday 5th November 2017
By Mark Harrington
Supporters: Barry Grainger, Jon Redman and little Redman, Jumbo and Little Jumbo
Well what a super performance…by the Riverside Chef. Without doubt the finest comestibles we will see all season and definitely in a league of their own. Chicken legs, scotch eggs, sarnies and those porky pie things with egg in the middle and all washed down in the Five Bells. I think I might post this report on Trip Advisor as it is a lovely boozer but big Jon and Marcus struggled with the low Edwardian ceilings!.
Unfortunately, the Riverside defence could not match their chef's performance and whilst he or she was five star it was also five in their net. A welcome return by long term absentee Matti Wright but not in his usual left back role but the more unfamiliar position of goalkeeper, regular Gary Rosslee sunning himself in the Indian Ocean. Matti’s handling and positional sense was outstanding and made three excellent saves. The first of which will be difficult to beat (sorry Gary) but not only did Matti keep the free header out, he dived down to his left to hold onto ball ensuring that no follow-ups were possible. It says a lot about your performance when you win 75% of the man of the match votes and a striker has scored a hat-trick! Hard luck on big Al who also had a super game.
Our midweek altitude training certainly proved worthwhile as the pitch at Eynsford resembles the Eiger. The oppo’s delight at winning the toss proved to be presumptuous and from their reaction you would have thought they had won the game already. The Guild had no problem in taking on the challenge of the Eiger and our superior fitness making light work of the climb with Dean Wyatt, Steve Shippey, Rob Mullen and Damien Preston hassling the back four and midfield of Riverside at every opportunity. Steve Shippey and Simon Davies combined to force the error which enabled Simon to bend a shot into the bottom right hand corner in the 12th minute. Alan Fines didn't take too long afterwards to take a lobbed pass from Shipps to side foot over the keeper and put the Guild 2-0 up. We could have scored a couple more but we were happy to go in at half-time with the lead and clean sheet thanks to another superb Matti Wright save just before the break.
With a 2-0 lead and going downhill we fancied our chances to get a few more and so it proved, Alan getting his weekly penalty when he was bundled down from behind and wiped off the mud to plant the ball into the bottom right. The hat-trick was not far away when Damien Preston played a super ball from the halfway line, over the back line for Alan to run onto and slot past the Riverside keeper. Damien then got his own reward when he tapped in, after several moments of ‘keepy uppy’, to tap past the stranded keeper.
In the first few weeks we were just keen to get a result but now the team is equally desperate to play good football, score goals and even more determined to keep the ball out of our net, which thankfully due to the hard work of the consistent back line and Matti’s performance in goal we managed to add to our regular excellent recent results which is now seven wins on the spin. Other notable performances were Paul Tanton, who really deserved a goal for his sensible and educated footballing brain, James Clarke again acquitting himself in both central midfield and right back roles and Rob Mullen excelled in an unfamiliar central midfield slot with regulars Dean Murphy, Jason Miller, Neil Pearce absent. Marcus Allen, Joe Champ, Frank Pearce and Jon Gasson set the solid foundation at the back to launch our attacks.
Comedy moment of the day goes to Frank Pearce. The oppo forward who had been offside more times than a Hollywood producer expressed his displeasure, to put it mildly, at yours truly raising the flag. I believe it was something along the lines of “you cheating female appendage”. At 4-0 and being four yards off it was really unnecessary. I have never seen a forward who does not believe he is always onside however, Frank advised our rotund friend that it was actually his belly that was offside. Much to the hilarity of both sets of players and fans.
We may not have a game next week but Tant is doing his best to try to arrange. Have a good week all and well done everyone.
Man of the match: Matt Wright