Saturday 22nd March 2008
By Sam Evans
We went 2-0 up in this game but were 3-2 down by half time. Then they scored a fourth immediately after the break which killed the game and the second half was a bit flat. Once again we gave a good team a real fright and can take lots of positives from the game.
In treacherous conditions we kicked into the wind and against the slope in the first half. This made it tough and we would have settled for 0-0 at half time. So that made it all the more pleasing to open them up and score a great goal. After some good short passing Paul Tanton picked the ball up in centre midfield and passed to Antony Dine on the left wing. Antony crossed and Jay Blay connected sweetly at the far post to half-volley the ball into the far corner. Our second goal was a fine individual effort from Dan Head. Tant played him in and although Dan initially looked second favourite for the ball he showed those Heskey-esque traits to which I have referred previously and muscled his way past the centre back. Dan shot from the edge of the box into the far corner and the ball went in off the post. This was a great strike and at 2-0 we really had Bexlians on the ropes. They had hardly created anything and a neutral would have thought that we were the ones at the top of the league.
We didn’t hold this lead for long enough. On the half hour they scored when a cross from left midfield found their striker unmarked in the middle and he headed home. The equaliser came down the right wing; the ball was centred and converted. Their third goal came from a corner and the big number 10 scored with his head. At half time we still felt positive, having turned in one of our best 45 minutes of the season. Apart from their goals they didn’t do much at all and we created some good chances ourselves. Terry Connor was replaced by Ian Parsfield and we were keen to use the slope and wind to our advantage.
However the first incident of note in the second half was their fourth goal. We conceded a free kick on their left wing. They took it short and played it down the line where the number 6 hit a cross-cum-shot powerfully into the far corner of the goal. Then the game went a bit flat. We never managed to create chances like we did in the first half. Mark Edwards made a really good tackle outside his box to keep the score at 4-2, and Richard Davies and Paul Parsons otherwise kept things tight at the back. Richard Tapsfield also had a great performance at right back and deserved to win man of the match. The other performance of note was Daragh Nott who competed exceptionally well against their giant centre midfielders and broke the play up effectively throughout the game. Simon Davies replaced Tant upfront and battled well but we never managed to provide any decent service to him. The only other thing to mention about today is that Village fell over during the warm up. I remember that Paul Parsons nearly did this at the start of the season. Perhaps it is a curse which afflicts the elder statesmen of our team.
So once again we played very well against a top team but have nothing to show for it. Despite this we must take the positives from the game. Although I know I have been writing this all season, we did play really well today and we must focus on that in the build up to next week''s game. As we finish the season we have games coming up against mid-table opposition. Let’s try and perform as we did against Bexlians and Lewisham and win some of these games. There are also places to play for in the semi-final on 19th April.
Man of the match: Richard Tapsfield