Saturday 16th September 2006
By Paul Parsons
What a great start to the campaign!
A game full of hard graft and a desire to win. Ed’s choice of team was inspired by seeing 26 different players in pre-season friendlies, making it possibly the hardest decision for a long while. With a whole fourth team of players capable of filling each of ‘our’ positions we had no time to sit back and sunbathe on this rather muggy, sticky and hot day.
In the changing room Ed talked about starting well and knocking the ball around, I remembered from last year that they had a very powerful centre back and suggested that we actually do something on a tactical front to snuff out this dangerous player. What a start to a campaign, tactics in the third team dressing room!
Great, centre the whole game plan around stopping this player and we would win was the cry from the captain!
As I jogged up to the pitch I realised that he wasn’t playing, he had come to watch because he was injured……oh well, best laid plans and all that……
Both teams started well, with Colfes having the best of chances in the first half. Ivor standing up well and cutting the angles down, making the forwards fire wide. Ben Tomkins and Joe Oatley combining well down the right, creating some good attacking play, that was making the game an even balance with neither team able to capitalise. As the half drew to a close, Simon Davies was strong upfront all game and won a foul, allowing Todd Arnold to drill a free kick into the box from 30 yards. Ben Tomkins helped the ball on and Paul Burford pounced at the byeline to score from an impossible angle.
Joe Oatley was struggling with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Ben Duffy after 55 minutes, and it was at this point that Ben Tomkins and Ben Duffy quickly interchanged well on the right, with Ben Duffy carrying the ball strongly and finding a pinpoint pass to Dave Martin who had made a great run down the left to coolly slot the ball home and make it 2.
Hard work at the back and some important interceptions by both Jay Blay and Rodney Stoyle kept Old Colfes at bay for the next 15 minutes, but it was getting harder and harder as Old Colfes pushed more players forward looking for an opening. Simon Davies had a great chance to put us three up with a diving lunge from another perfectly worked drilled free kick from Todd, but it was inches away. Ivor was called upon to save at his near post from a ferocious shot and more pressure was piling on from the opposition. Two quick goals resulting in runs from midfield by Old Colfes suddenly brought the game back in their favour. We could have been defeated, however Ben Duffy’s strike from 20 yards resulted in a great tip over save, and lifted our spirits to try to push again for a winner. All of the midfield dug in, with Dave Martin (MOM) and Anthony Dine now putting in the tackles and fighting for everything. With less than a minute on the clock, we surged forward and Paul Burford was again able to pounce on a loose ball in the area and secure the three points.
A great game to be part of, and another few sleepless nights for Ed while he picks this week''s team.