Monday 9th April 2007
By Shaun Keddle
Squad: 1. St John; 2. Small; 3. Cleaver, L; 4. Davis; 5. Judge; 6. Clark (14. Wright); 7. Williams, J; 8. Perkins; 9. Harrigan; 10. Martin (19. Benningfield); 11. Cleaver, B (12. Head)
Subs Not Used: 15. Connelly; 16. Nott
A good result to push us into third place and keep us in contention with Tonbridge and Tudor.
This game was one of the easiest games for a while, which is no disrespect to Erith but a credit to how good we can be when we play to our strengths. Other than a good 15 mins in the second half, Erith did not show the form that had given then their deserved league position. Erith have had some decent results, beating some strong opposition but we were stronger than them in literally every department.
We had a real strong squad on this day despite a couple of injuries. In the first five minutes, Erith looked sharp and up for it despite coming off the back of a loss to Tudor two days earlier. However, the Guild upped the pace and started to control the game. Judge and Davis at the back made their intentions clear early on really getting to grips with two centre forwards who have bagged a number of goals between them this season. Perkins was really causing havoc in the centre driving forward at every opportunity and running circles around their big number 6. From early attacking play from the Guild it was obvious that the big keeper was going to remain on his line, enabling us to attack the ball at close range on set pieces. From a set piece the ball was played into the box and Perkins attacked the ball in the air and reaped the rewards as the ball found its way into the net. 1-0 up and we were on top. Despite going only one goal down, Erith looked deflated and further chances followed where we should have increased the lead on a number of occasions. With 35 mins gone, Perkins again found his way into the box and dispatched the ball into the net providing him with a well earned brace and put us in control. Erith were simply not at the races and the Guild started to really accelerate through the gears. The half finished with Farnborough on a high although we should have had more goals for our efforts.
At the half we were relaxed and composed and spoke very positively about our intentions for the second half. However, it was Erith who seemed to liven up from the break with renewed vigour and started the half quite well, but with not a lot on target. We sat deep for the first twenty and soaked up the pressure with St John in goal having very little to do. On the break we always looked dangerous with Williams, J flying down the right hand side using his pace but taking plenty of knocks for his efforts. Cleaver, L and B were combining well ‘going straight’ down the flanks with some clever interplay. Martin upfront was dominant in the air and Harrigan’s ability to hold onto the ball using his strength and lovely first touch was an absolute joy to watch. Perkins had a couple of opportunities to score our first hat-trick of the season, but the blatant ‘jug avoidance bug’ had struck once again and the chance of free lager on the Perkins tab went amiss. Williams, J also had a number of opportunities but also failed to find the target. With around 10 minutes to go the referee had to deal with an unsavoury incident which resulted in an Erith player being dismissed from the field of play. It was an incident that evolved from frustration but had no place in any type of game. I was very impressed with the discipline of my team and thought that the incident was dealt very well by the referee who was impeccable throughout the game. Erith’s response after the game was also very admirable.
The game re-started and Erith were clearly let down by an individual and the remaining ten minutes saw us dominate the game with Martin adding to our tally scoring a very well deserved goal.
Overall it was an excellent performance against a side that has caused many teams problem in the past. Erith did not seem to be at the races for large parts of this encounter, but this may well be due to us being so good. Over the Easter period I said I wanted 4 points and I got them, so I am a happy man, but we do have to rely on both Tonbridge and Tudor slipping up which is a big ask, but not unrealistic given the amount of fixtures that remain. We just have to keep on winning now and we can have no excuses at the end of the season.
Again I stress that availability will be absolutely key in determining our end of season success.
Great result, let''s keep this run going.