Sunday 14th January 2007
By Paul Tanton
3 points earned because of hard work, solid defending and taking our chances.
Goldsmiths gave us a stuffing early in the season, however this time we were more organised and a strong side capable of competing for every ball. The team picked itself due to all 3 subs being either delayed courtesy of British Rail or stuck at work. This game also proved the value of set pieces, we scored two excellent goals scored from them and conceded one due to a slight lack of concentration.
Anyway Goldsmiths started slightly stronger probably due to their 30/40 minute warm up but we restricted them to pot shots from distance. After weathering the early storm we began to look dangerous with Barry working the channels and Miller, Head and Dawson finding space in the last third of the pitch. Midway through the half we won a free kick which Dawson picked out Pragnell who nodded in to give us the lead. About 5 minutes later another Dawson free kick curled straight in past a bemused keeper and we were two nil up. We started to look the better side as our tails were up against a clearly rattled Goldsmiths defence.
Half time arrived and there wasn''t a lot to say apart from more of the same. By this time our subs had arrived.
The second half, Goldsmith mounted a fightback (as predicted by Jeff) going close on several occasions but our defence and midfield got vital blocks and tackles in and Barry and Dawson kept them fully occupied at the back. Nana and Judgie replaced Miller and Barry who had run themselves into the ground for the last 20 minutes as Goldsmiths tried to apply the pressure. With about ten minutes to go, sloppy marking at a free-kick allowed Goldsmiths to score but we held on for a much deserved 3 points against a very good side.
A brilliant performance by everyone. Jumbo looked very solid in goal. Small, Pragnell, Cobham and Wright made some great challenges and blocks in defence. Daragh, Head, Miller and Pester tracked their runners and fought for every ball in midfield. Dawson looked dangerous whenever he got the ball and his delivery was superb from set pieces and Barry chased everything, used the ball wisely and held up play well. Also well done to the subs, to have such quality on the bench is definitely an asset. We have now set the standard of performance for the rest of the season.
Man of the match was split between Daragh and Dan Head but the votes were all over the place, the sign of a great battling performance.
Cup game this week against lower league opposition. We must not take this game lightly, as it will be totally embarrassing to beat Goldsmiths and then lose to Connaught Blues.