Saturday 13th January 2007
By Paul Parsons
We are not halfway through the season, and some players are forgetting that fact.
39 points still to play for in this league, and coming back after a break, with a couple of crucial enforced changes against a team that played last week, and is doing well in this league, means that this defeat should be put in perspective.
We dominated the first half, with good chances on goal and our possession was excellent. In the first 5 minutes of play Simon Davies had a header tipped on to the post. Matt Gardiner (MOM) (no Danny, not MOAN!) showed pace and guile upfront, creating a chance by powering down the left, and crossing in for Simon Davies to meet at full pelt and drive a shot wide at the near post. Matt then saw a terrific effort hit so cleanly (too cleanly) smash against the far post, having taken on and beaten a defender again down the left. At the other end all pressure was soaked up calmly and combatitively by both Steve Viner and Jay Blay in the centre and by Paul Parsons and Todd Arnold at the back.
Other efforts from Anthony Dine and a blocked overhead shot by the ever present Matt G, showed no inclination of what was to follow. Indeed Peter Morton and Colin Brazier were both getting into good wide positions as well as defending stoutly and resolutely (see how I didn’t think to do a joke about stoutly?!).
From a crossfield ball by Steve Viner of 30 yards to pick out Peter Morton, the Blackheath midfield were on it like a flash, and intercepted the pass, ran 15 yards, got tackled by Todd, another midfield player picked up the loose ball took a shot, blocked by Paul Parsons, where again the loose ball was collected by the right winger and dispatched into the bottom left of Rod Stoyles net. We were 1-0 down to the only shot, and real possession that Blackheath had achieved all half.
The injured Peter was replaced by Darren Burkett at the half, and we were confident of turning this around, however the first 10 minutes of the half produced excellent saves from Rod Stoyle and desperate defending from Todd, Paul and Colin. Ben Tomkins was also in the back four for this game, although much of the time he was finding space on the right to help attack and support Darren and the two forwards.
Against the second half run of play, Anthony Dine created a searching ball forward for Matt to run on to, and as he got into the penalty area was tackled from behind. Penalty!
A gallant Simon Davies, who always volunteers each week for any penalties, stepped up for this crucial equaliser and smashed it against the post. A cruel blow, and a few heads went down after this. Jay Blay continued to battle and so did Steve Viner to the bitter end, however not all the team can say the same, including myself. Jay’s hard work was rewarded with an excellent volley that was seen off by the Blackheath goalkeeper with a desperate lunge to beat it round the post for a corner.
In the final 15 minutes we had a couple of corners but the belief had disappeared, with just a half chance from Darren at a difficult angle worthy of mention.
Edd had no other options to freshen the side up, his one substitute used at half time, not only were the team hanging their heads in shame at the end, so should some of the players that let him down off the park as well...