Sunday 14th October 2007
By Vince Wray
Last week I spoke about Darren’s need for some headache tablets to work out his team selection problems. This week just a couple of paracetamol tablets probably done the trick but next week it’s going to need morphine I reckon. Either that or a quick trip to the local loony bin. This is proving to be not just an ok start but a brilliant start to the season bearing in mind we’re playing another level higher. Once again the squad size proved invaluable, Carter injured, Garnham mislaid kit (tell me about it) and Skrine injured in the warm up. But again this is a true squad of strength which showed out again today. Looking at the players on the bench is always an indication of how strong the starting 11 is and I have to say we had some real quality players on the sidelines. We’ve always preached the squad ethic and now that togetherness and realisation that it is all about a squad and not a team of players appears to be paying off.
This was our first ever game in the Kent Cup so we were looking forward to competing against a team outside the Tandridge league. The 1st half was very keenly contested and was a very even game. They took the lead after about 15 minutes and we hit back on 25 minutes. We must have had 6 corners in the first half hour and they proved fruitless. But our equaliser probably will not be bettered this season. The move started just outside our box; Dale, Adams, Milner (across the back) Keyworth, Stevens, O’Donoghue (midfield) Holmes and Wray (upfront). Culminating in O’Donoghue sliding the ball through for Wray who was beaten to the ball by the keeper rushing off his line only for the ball to fall to Stevens who finished strongly from just outside the box. A brilliant goal. Half time approached and once again we were caught napping, their centre forward finishing well to make it 2-1 at half time. It has to be said that this player was the best they had on show and was a problem for us most of the game.
The players summoned some more spirit and energy in the 2nd half, Wray who had been having a running personal battle with their centre half was certainly proving a distinct handful for the opposition (I think we’ll have to get Alex wound up before every game) as was Holmes with his clever passing and running off the ball. It was all one way in the 2nd half for us and the pressure told midway through the half after a scramble on the edge of the their box involving the keeper and centre half, Wray pounced and finished to make it 2-2, don’t think their centre half enjoyed the goal celebration that much. We were sensing victory, Bridges, Townsend and Murphy had all now entered the fray. Bridges going close with a header and a couple of goalmouth scrambles that he couldn’t quite finish off. Stevens had a couple of shots wide. Townsend produced some lovely crosses from the right side which we couldn’t get on the end of. Extra time was looming until Murphy popped up at the far post from a left sided corner with a perfectly timed header giving their keeper no chance. 5 minutes left and we truly had the game sewn up. Burkett had little to do in goal twice saving well from long range efforts.
There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’!! The lads are on fire at the moment and the SQUAD is performing, they are playing as one unit and giving it all for each other with a distinct touch of unselfishness from all of them. Long may it continue.