Sunday 16th December 2007
By Vince Wray
We got off to a decent start in this game passing the ball well on a narrow pitch and competing in all areas. As the first half ran it’s course I think it’s fair to say Wandle had the better chances though, by my calculations they had 4 or 5 decent openings, Carter made two last ditch tackles and Burkett pulled off a good stop to deny them. This combined with some poor finishing on their part meant we kept a cleansheet in the 1st half. We had our moments and played some good passing football but chances in the last third never seemed to materialise, Stevens shot over the bar but their keeper wasn’t called into action. The only other chances were half chances.
Both teams were well matched and Wandle took the lead shortly after half time after they won a header in our area and the ball fell invitingly for their forward to slot home from close range.
Farnborough rallied Bridges went close and we lifted. Keyworth was on target from close range to level the scores. This was after some fine work down our left flank from Murphy and Bridges which had been set up by a decent winning 50/50 crunch from Stevens. At this point with about 10/15 minutes remaining we certainly looked the better team and looked more likely to win it. We were the architects of our own downfall for the winning goal. We won a corner tried to take a ‘short’ one didn’t really end up delivering a cross the ball went loose O’Donoghue took a shot from distance which was blocked and then possession went back with them. They tore down our left flank with the players still out of position from our non-delivered corner and Burkett managed to pull off a really good block in our goal. From the resulting corner we conceded weakly. Their corner was purposely delivered low across our box from six yards out their player ran onto it and finished but with only 3 minutes left we were struggling Carter went upfront but had little time to have an effect. We were able to produce another chance though, again good work down our left gave Stevens the chance to equalise from close range but it didn’t work out and the chance couldn’t be converted. So we lost 2-1.
This will sound like a poor excuse but we really have been on the end of some bad luck and have not had the ‘run of the ball’ at all in the first half of the season. I think we now have to re-examine some options as a team because there are easily three games that we’ve thrown away this season and this was one of them, we should definitely have got something out of this game, a win if not a draw. We now have to say to ourselves, right this is the target this is what we are going to go for. For example; from January until the end of the season, we do not lose another game, it’s a tough one but we need something to aim for now. Also what about setting out with a burning intent to keep a clean sheet – we still cannot do it at the moment. We also need to be more composed with our finishing and converting more scoring chances. Additionally I really do think some of the lads have to ask themselves some questions, what do they want from their amateur football, what can they improve on the pitch, do they actually have a ‘never say die’ spirit and will to want to win and beat whatever opposition is in front of them, because at the moment I’m not convinced about the situation. Without the right attitude nothing else will work, doesn’t matter how talented a team or an individual is, attitude is the foundation to success. We played today’s game in silence, the only verbal was coming form the sidelines, we have to get more chat into our game, it does have an effect. Yes, so if any players are reading this, I am questioning your attitudes lads. Winners are what is needed and we need to display that on the pitch, if you’re happy losing at tiddlywinks and finishing second – at anything, is that good enough ? We want to see a reaction in January first game back. Merry Christmas !