Saturday 12th May 2007
By Steve Viner
As another season draws to a close, this was an opportunity to enjoy a game that would be open and played with a good spirit - we knew this from the away leg of this fixture when we came away with a 7 - 4 win having been 2 - 0 up and 4 - 2 down before half time.
Whilst the previous game was influenced by a noticeable slope on the pitch, this game had an even more noticeable wind blowing end to end. Todd lost the toss, so Beaverwood chose to play with this advantage first.
For a large part of this half the game was played in and around our penalty area. Some resolute defending and some fine work in goal from Matt kept the opposition at bay. However we gave away possession too easily on many occasions and, due to the conditions
umpteen corners, one after another, and it was from one of these corners that Beaverwood took the lead, the ball swinging in with the wind under the crossbar and beating everybody. Undeterred by this we battled on and kept the lead down to one, knowing that
the second half would be a different matter.
Looking lively up front we had Ben Tomkins and the young Viner who were posing problems for their defence to think about, and when Chris latched on to a through ball he lobbed the keeper with aplomb. We were hitting them on the break more often now and Chris had the ball in the net a second time when their keeper spilled a long range effort. This was to ruled offside but we knew we were getting the upper hand. So half time 1 - 1.
Ed assured us that the game was there to be won but rather than rely on the wind and the long ball we should stick to a passing game and keep the ball on the ground. When I looked around at our team I could see why. Matt Riley showing great handling and making fine saves in goal; Richard Tapsfield at right back, strong, assured good going forward; Todd and Steve Blanchard in the middle, nobody was going to get the ball (and themselves) past these two very easily; Rod Stoyle at left back, some young legs to help out the old ones; midfield consisted of myself on the right (mainly for the overlapping of course), Tony Dine on the left, a lad with skill and balance; Gary Harrigan all talent and unfortunately beer gut, Jay Blay winning his fair share and distributing the ball well. The aforementioned Chris and Ben up front.To back this up we had two lively replacements in Bobby (dazzler) Moulson and Michael Seymour.
Into the second half and we soon had Beaverwood on the back foot passing and moving well we put them under pressure. We took the lead through Gary Harrigan not from and a great passing move though but from a marvellous piece of skill. Finding himself in space and with time some 40 yards out he smashed the ball over the goalkeeper, the ball bouncing on the goalline and into the roof of the net. This goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of them and when Bobby Moulson came on it was all one way traffic.
Our third goal came from a great build up down the left and when Chris drove the ball across the face of the goal their defender could only help the ball against a post and into the net. Michael Seymour joined the action as Gary''s groin gave out under the strain; get this boy fit and we won''t see him in the third team again. Then a party piece from Bobby, dancing around lunges and tackles before
depositing the ball into the corner of the net. Time for us to make plenty more chances as Beaverwood had given up the ghost. Unfortunately Michael was unable to make the most of some of them. Still, a very enjoyable game for everyone, and a great way to end this season.
Plenty to look forward next year and if we don''t lose too many of the young lads to the seconds or even firsts we could well be pressing for honours next year.