Saturday 19th November 2005
By Danny Saines
Tant summed it up from the line with 5 minutes to go. " I have never seen such a one sided game". And neither have I. After one initial shot they had within the first 10 minutes of the game I cannot remember them having another. Not saying that Stew had absolutely nothing to do but they never really threatened us at all, creating very few chances all game. Unlike us. Who must have created hundreds but didn''t convert one. To be fair Wilmington''s keeper did have a blinder and even when Matty Wilson directed his looping header over his head in the dying minutes to secure the three points he managed to leap out of nowhere and snatch the ball out of mid-air, we knew it was never gonna be our day.
Saying that though as good or as lucky as the Wilmington keeper was, our finishing at times was dreadful!! Every shot, or should I say, every shot on target (which were, in the first half, very few and far between - Couch will verify this as for most of the first half he was retrieving wayward and lost balls in the woods left, right, and centre), was abysmal and something we definitely have to work on and improve. In the past few weeks I have commented that we always seemed to be unlucky in front of the sticks - with a bad bounce here and a lucky block there. This week I don''t think we can use these excuses. The finishing was that poor at times.
As a whole though I was pleased with the performance though and the effort put in by all personnel. We didn''t give up pressing for the goal and sometimes it is very hard to create any sort of openings when the opposition camp out with 9 players on the edge of their own box. With 10 minutes to go we assaulted wave after wave at them pressing forward from both flanks and down the centre, 8 players strong, but still they would not fall.
With Village and Lee now both back from injury it was nice to have the correct balance once more down the left - even though Lee seemed to moan at Village all game!! Daragh and Kirky combined well down the right attacking at every opportunity - and Judgie and Matt Wilson bossed the centre of the park. Matt Pragnell responded well to his dropped captaincy and proved what an asset he is and got my man of the match. He also gets the armband back this week. Barry and Ray - keep plugging away boys - they will come. Both of you have got hat-tricks waiting to happen. With 35 minutes to go it was nice to give Paul Llewellyn a run out in the centre of the park - especially with Matt going back to the Firsts and Jay Hardy''s recurring ankle injury. Paul fitted in well, making some good forward attacking runs into their box, and showed on the ball that he is a good asset to the team.
Saturday we lose Peter Kirk for a week, but with Greenhough hopefully back, the right hand side should still stay balanced if Daragh pushes up to right midfield. As I''ve said the left now looks nicely balanced, with healthy competition for starting places down the spine of the team where I have various options open to me.
Finally I must apologise for my linesman outburst. BUT if you had bloody well scored I would not have allowed my frustration to get the better of me. It was totally out of character so from now on new rule. One of the substitutes will do at least one half of the line. No matter how crap you say you are at it. In my defence, after hearing a shocking story that involved a certain Mr S Keddle and a linesman''s flag in the bar after the match, I didn''t lose too much sleep.
Let''s go out Saturday boys and make sure we make it through to the 4th round of the Kent Junior Cup please. We know we are good enough when everything clicks.