Saturday 11th February 2006
By Danny Saines
We came, we saw, we conquered. In fact we (well I) came very late. Bloody sat nav''s. Sorry boys. Me and The Blu-Lite gang stuck in traffic round the Catford elbow at twenty past two was not ideal. Luckily for us the ref and Peckham agreed to delay kick off by 15 minutes. Well we did have the kit in the back. Eventually pulling up outside the changing room it was very interesting to see 3 of our players warming up in their pants and vests. That''s dedication for you and that''s all you need. But whatever next. Judgie was all beside himself.
Anyway back to the game. Although every match is important, in my book (and discounting the cup for a moment), we had 2 major ones left - which Saturday was one of them. To take 3 points back off of Peckham Town psychologically would give us the edge going into the last quarter of this year’s campaign. If Peckham stutter now at all then promotion should be ours. As long as we keep winning that is, and with another great performance like Saturday''s I cannot see that being a problem.
After losing Matt Pragnell through injury, resting Daragh''s knee to the Thirds (cheers mate) and Terry to the Firsts, we welcomed Village and Kirky back and Richie Davies + Hooper to the bench. More or less the same starting line up as the week before with Tant keeping his place up front and Judgie covering at the back. A strong starting 11 with everyone 100% fit and raring to go.
We started well and with a fired up attitude to take the game to them. Ray was placed up against Peckham''s quality playmaker (whom we knew we needed to stop), and Greenhough man to man marked Peckham''s other danger man, a quick left winger. Both carried out their duties superbly with Chris Greenhough getting my man of the match for his sheer determination of not letting the winger past him.
Down the left, Lee and Village started combining well, with Lee putting in some decent centres which we just couldn''t get on the end of (as much as Kirky tried). Barry and Tant''s runs pulled the Peckham back 4 apart and we were unlucky not to come in at half time a few goals to the good.
Not to worry, we knew that it was going to be tight and we spoke about how good and quick Peckham were on the counter attack and how they would punish us if we lost our concentration whatsoever in the second half. For all our persistence we just couldn''t break Peckham down at the back.
Fortunately for us Tant had other ideas. After some wicked play by Cleaver B, Tant found himself in a position to calmly slot one home. Where ''lucky'' came from on the website I don''t know. Okay fair dues, it was a toe poke down his shin but who''s complaining? One nil up, 10 minutes into the second half and things were looking good.
Peckham made some changes and after 70 minutes Tant came off and I swapped it around a bit in the centre of the park. Kevin came on down the right, Kirky went central and Jay pushed up front with Barry. 5 minutes after that Village had a breather and we swapped it around a bit down the left with Richie coming on at left mid. With 10 minutes to go Hooper made it on up front for Jay. My point here being how nice it was to have 3 fit subs and to be able to use them to counteract Peckham''s changes. Considering the ref played 10 minutes injury time nearly everyone got some sort of good run out and it was the use of the squad at the end of the day that earned us the 3 points.
10 minutes of nail biting stuff but we dug in and held out with Woody performing superbly at the back to keep the wolves at bay. Peckham new it was a 6 pointer for them and they took us right to the wire. Mark as well was superb under the pressure of the last few minutes as he had been all match.
Well done everyone and on to Saturday. Penhill is a must win game again if we are to keep the pressure on the rest of the league chasers.