Saturday 14th October 2006
By Paul Parsons
Man of the Match Todd Arnold shows that there is no age discrimination problem at FOBG!
Throughout the match Todd was commanding in his attitude, commitment and ability to read the game. He drove a curling free kick into the top right hand corner from 25 yards out to start his assault against a tough Wickham Park team.
Geof in goal made a couple of crucial saves to keep us in the game shortly afterwards, and his long drop kicks to both Simon and Paul upfront were causing the Wickham Park defence all sorts of problems. Lee Cross was keeping wide right and taking on his man well in the first half. Jay Blay was working well in tandem with Djan Akwasi, as the two central midfield personnel, and they took it in turns to bomb forward and tackle back aggressively as if they had played with each other all season. Djan doing particularly well in close control and keeping the ball by spreading the play, exactly as we say each week, and exactly as we do when we play well. Another great combination of Rod Stoyle and Danny Mace on the left showed a very well balanced team, with players really playing for each other and wanting the ball. Rod and Danny were the ultimate combination of young legs and an experienced mind that made it very difficult for the Wickham Park team to deal with.
Midway through the half a clearance from me found Simon Davies appealing for a foul, and while the appeals were being waved on by the referee, Paul Burford in the melee of keeper, centre half and Simon''s shouting, was able to stick out a stud and help the ball into the net to make it 2-0. Great defending from Mark Doyle, winning every header, and with Jay and Rod staying on their feet and nicking in with timely challenges it seemed we were in control. 3-0 flattered us at half time when another good and accurate kick from Geof allowed Simon Davies to run on and loop one over the despairing keeper.
We again allowed ourselves to be caught cold in the second half, immediately the opposition charged forward and nearly gained an important early goal had it not been for the resolute defending of Todd, myself and Geof. Mark Doyle had run himself into the ground so was substituted by Richard Tapsfield, who injected even more pace into the right hand side of the pitch.
The referee was having an excellent game, allowing the play to flow and keeping control throughout, both teams were playing with great spirit. An unfortunate error led to a corner and this was only half got away, the Wickham Park midfielder shot and it took an unkindly deflection off Jay and into the top left corner. This meant that Wickham Park attacked with three upfront, however we too were attacking, with Simon just pulling a shot past the post and Djan shooting on and off target to keep the new Wickham Park keeper awake. Another sloppy defending error allowed the ball to be flicked on from a throw and ‘bounce twice’ as Geof put it, before being steered in with an overhead kick to keep the last 7 minutes very interesting for the spectators. However we held out for a well deserved win.
We played to our strengths and did that for the majority of the game, well done to all involved.
P.S. As many people as possible to go out next Saturday to Mexican in Coney Hall, see newsletter for more info.