Saturday 1st November 2008
Barry Bundock West Kent Challenge Shield
By Shaun Keddle
Guild Cup Exit Haunted by Individual Errors
In appalling weather conditions, the Guild once again exited the West Kent Challenge Shield in the early stages of the competition.
We took to the field with a very strong line up and bench. However, it was Westerham who created the first chances of the match, but St John was alert to the danger and smothered the loose ball.
After this early fright it was the Guild who took charge of the fixture and created numerous opportunities to go ahead. Abbot and Perkins in the middle were dominating proceedings and at the back we had the measure of their attacking play.
We dominated the play for large periods of time and our passing was crisp and fluid. On the 38th minute we took the lead after a good exchange of passes between Cooke, Williams L and Perkins which resulted in a cool finish from Cleaver B to take a deserved lead into the break.
At the half we should have been leading by more but just needed to maintain what we were doing to score more goals and secure a home encounter against Belvedere in the quarter finals.
However, we once again got our kick off all wrong and within a minute of the re-start, Westerham had drawn level. A speculative cross from the right was misjudged in the air by and the gift was snapped up by Watkins who hammered home the finish. We had not got out of the dressing room in the second half. We had gifted Westerham a lifeline and they then started to liven up. The second half saw Westerham come more to life and the Guild did not start playing until 15 minutes towards the end when chances came and went to take the lead (and the fixture) but time after time we failed to hit the target let alone score.
With time running out, an excellent cross from Williams J on the right hand side was met solidly by the head of his elder sibling who directed his powerful header low and hard into the corner of the net. This was surely the winner for the Guild, but it was adjudged to be offside. It was never offside and was a legitimate goal and how the referee did not overrule the linesman defeats me. This goal would have put the fixture to bed.
Not long after, the whistle went for full time and extra time loomed and given the horrendous conditions, neither side appeared to want it.
Once again Westerham got the better start and they went ahead very early on after more calamity defending gifted the ‘West’ a goal. A bog standard cross was not dealt with which enabled Jarman to nip in and Westerham to take the lead.
From this point on we looked to push on. Graham replaced Cleaver B and Selmes replaced Warren to change the formation. With ten minutes left we found an equaliser when Williams L once again found the net from a set piece header. Williams J was replaced by Small. Both sides then really pushed on to find the winner and avoid the dreaded penalty shoot out, but neither side could muster a finish.
Penalties it was then and the standard of penalty taking from both sides was dubious to say the least. With penalties it’s a real lottery and despite going behind, Westerham emerged victorious after Wickham beat St John with Westerham’s final kick.
The game was well contested and played in the best of spirits (despite the best efforts of the ref whose mood matched the weather) and best of luck to Westerham in the next round.
From our point of view the two goals conceded were as poor as they come. On both goals we were given opportunities to deal with the danger and failed to do so. What we have really noticed in this division since the step up from last season is that you cannot get away with individual errors. Last season we were not punished as heavily. From the good performances of the past two games, I thought we had eliminated the individual errors that had haunted our early season form. However, the ghosts of errors past came back to haunt us today. However, we know we can defend well as we have done it in the past and showed how capable we are with an excellent display in the first half.
Going forward we always looked dangerous and did create a number of opportunities which is excellent to see. Our good pace and interplay carved Westerham open on a number of occasions but I thought our finishing was once again poor; I don’t know how many times I say it but we must finish LOW and ACROSS the goalkeeper with composure and accuracy, not power.
Man of the match was Perkins for the second week in a row for covering literally every blade of grass on the pitch. Over the last couple of weeks, Perkins is showing the kind of form which earned him the player of the season award.
Overall it was not a bad performance by any means but lack of finishing and individual errors cost us the game.
See you at training on Tuesday, we have work to do.
Farnborough: 1. St John; 2. Warren; 3. Eales; 4. Davis; 5. Judge; 6. Abbott; 7. Williams J; 8. Perkins; 9. Williams L; 10. Cooke J; 11. Cleaver B
Subs: 15. Graham for Cleaver B; 14. Selmes for 2. Warren; 12. Small for 7. Williams J
Westerham: 1. Smith; 2. Martin; 3. Cristou; 4. Nicoli; 5. Bell; 6. Brown; 7. Watkins; 8. Draper; 9. Stocks; 10. Jarman; 11. Morrison
Subs: 12. Bakewell; 13. Turner; 14. Wickham