Saturday 9th February 2008
This was a great result which not only takes us through to the quarter-finals of the cup but also gives us a real confidence boost as we begin the second half of the league season. On a heavy pitch we worked hard, created a hatful of chances and scored some good goals to win the tie convincingly.
It was pleasing to see that we all managed to find the ground ok as it feels like it’s somewhere in Middle Earth, although obviously that is more familiar to some players than others. Having changed in the luxurious facilities we kicked off and immediately took charge of the game, Dan Head and Paul Tanton both going close early on. It seemed inevitable that we would take the lead and did so 10 minutes into the game. Richard Davies swung a corner in and Paul Tanton flicked it on to Dan Head who in turn helped it on to Jay Blay at the far post. Jay retained his composure and finished well to put us 1-0 up. Our second goal didn’t arrive until the half hour mark but in that time St Lawrence rarely threatened us. Daragh Nott was in a typically combative mood in the centre of the park, effectively challenging for the ball and preventing St Lawrence stringing passes together. At the other end we continued to create good chances and deserved to have scored our second goal before it eventually came when Richard Davies knocked a good ball over the top. Paul Tanton peeled off the shoulder of the last defender and finished precisely into the far corner. At 2-0 we started to look comfortable, Ian Parsfield at right back and Richard Tapsfield at left back fed the ball efficiently into midfield, and Jay Blay in right midfield and Liam Williams in left midfield slotted many a ball into the channel for Dan Head and Paul Tanton to run onto. From one of these moves the ball was cut back to Daragh Nott on the edge of the box and his cross-come-shot (apologies, Daragh, if it was an intentional cross) found its way to Liam Williams at the far post who had worked hard to get into a good supporting position and was rewarded with an easy tap in. There is indeed “nothing wrong with gingers”.
At half time we felt confident of continuing to dominate the game and were keen to score more goals. Bobby Moulson replaced Liam Williams and came on upfront, so Dan Head dropped back to left midfield. The change of ends did mean us playing into the sun and I know many of us found this difficult. Nevertheless we continued at the same pace as the first half and scored a fourth goal on the hour. The ball was played up to Bobby who showed his strength in turning their centre back this way then that way, before firing a low, hard shot into the corner of the goal. Mark Doyle subsequently replaced Ian Parsfield at right back and we continued to dominate the game. St Lawrence struggled to create decent chances; long balls up to their strikers were effectively headed away by Adam Benningfield and Richard Davies at centre back and although their strikers dropped short sometimes, as a team we effectively snuffed any opportunities out. Mark Edwards in net had very little to do although he did make a good save towards the end of the second half.
Jamie Williams replaced Daragh Nott in centre midfield and our fifth goal followed soon afterwards. Dan Head broke away down the left and drilled a low shot into the near post which their keeper was unable to save. The best goal of the day however was saved until last. From a short corner the ball was worked back to Richard ‘Frodo’ Davies who fired a powerful shot into the roof of the goal from 25 yards out. It would be remiss not to mention the other chances we wasted in the second half. Paul Tanton played the ball square to me and I had a clear run on goal but rather than dribbling in I chose to pass the ball back to their keeper from the edge of the box. In a separate incident, Richard Tapsfield found himself unmarked at the far post but had a super-heavyweight first touch and the ball ran through to their keeper. And Daragh Nott struck a volley from just outside the box which to be fair wasn’t really a chance as he was a long way out, but deserves a mention as the ball went very, very high before landing on the corner of the penalty area.
It was, of course, really good to be creating all these chances and we could have hit double figures had we been more ruthless. Man of the match went to our captain Daragh Nott for a terrific 75 minutes in centre midfield. Daragh battled for everything, won balls he had no right to win, and was at his inspiring best today. Next week is a massive game – Bridon Ropes away. They are right down at the bottom with us and we are yet to play them this season so the stakes are high. We should take confidence from this result today and go out looking to dominate the game, score some goals, and take all three points. I’m sure like me you’re all really looking forward to it and if I get the date right I will see you all there.
Man of the match: Daragh Nott
Reporter: Sam Evans
I''m only writing this report as Sammy ''Marty McFly'' Evans failed to mention something in his report that needs to be told to the rest of the club. Did you know that young Sam isn''t even born yet. Apparently our Sammy was born on the 31st October 2008. Well that''s what he put on the Sevenoaks cup match card so it must be true. Having a time traveller in your team is now vital and I''m told that Fergie & Wenger are on the look-out for Dr Who or one of the Time Bandits should they become available in the summer transfer window. Being a manager myself I''m stunned by player inability to do the most simple tasks without supervision.
Anyway after correcting the match card we all set off in convoy to the middle of nowhere. I think St Lawrence win most of their home games by the opposition being lost en route. En route myself and Village commented on the amount of good pubs we were travelling past and thought we would pay a visit to one on the way back; that was until we noticed St Lawrence''s facilities. Eventually we arrived after going on a magical mystery tour led by the easily recognisable Blu-Lite van. To say that St Lawrence''s facilities are basic is an understatement, with no working showers and no drinking water, I would describe the facilities as awful.
This game had already been called off twice and the pitch was very heavy despite a week of good weather.
Anyway we kicked off and basically controlled the whole game. We scored 6 well taken goals and missed several other good chances. Here''s a brief description of the goals...
Goal number 1 - good work down the right and Dan Head flicked on to Jay Blay who bagged his first for the club;
Goal number 2 - Rich Davies'' long ball over the defence and Paul Tanton ran on and finished low into the bottom corner;
Goal number 3 - Daragh''s cross on the right was finished at the far post by Liam Williams;
Goal number 4 - Dan Head finished with a low drive through the keeper''s legs;
Goal number 5 - Bobby on at half-time for Liam finished with a low shot after a jinking run;
Goal number 6 - in the last minute Rich Davies scored from the edge of the area after a well taken short corner.
An excellent performance all round, with plenty of good play and hard work. Daragh led by example and was rightly man of the match. St Lawrence thanked us for the beating they had just received (they were bl**dy nice blokes) and we all got back into our cars and went back to civilisation. We now move into the quarter finals but more importantly we must take this performance into the league campaign starting this week against Bridon Ropes.
Reporter: Paul Tanton