Saturday 5th November 2005
Ron Pope Cup
Three weeks ago I made an error in a match report, and would like to make an apology for my mistake. The mistake read: “…spread the play wide to Jon Blay who stepped back inside his man and curled one round the keeper into the far corner, a lovely finish and a good way to end the game”. What it meant to say was “Jon collected the ball on the right hand side of midfield, controlled it beautifully allowing himself to open up and carry the ball. Drawing the defender in, still weighing up his options he sent his man the wrong way with a delightful drop of the shoulder, now cutting in on his left foot he let loose a rasping finish that curled around the despairing goalkeeper. This was truly a goal worthy of winning any game of football and was surely one of the best goals that I have seen for a while.” Hope that this is a better description for you Jon.
So to this week''s cup game, a new cup run was started against AFC Mottingham in the legendary Ron Pope Cup. For some reason everyone was kitted up and ready to go by quarter past 1, a good sign that everyone was up for the game!! A few late additions were needed once again with Richard Tapsfield helping out as did Couch, who offered his services but wasn’t needed - a big thanks for coming and helping out!!
The team lined up with Stewart Copeland in goal, Rob Weekly left back Ryan McGibbon and Mark Edwards in the middle and Jonathan Lakin right back, Jon Blay right midfield, Dan Head and Richard Tapsfield in the middle of the park and Jack Harding on the left with George and Liam Hillman up front. But the team changed within 5 minutes of the KO when the tinkerman got to the pitch and switched Jack Harding with Jon Lakin, swapping a naturally left footed player to right back (hmmmmm…), half way through the first half the two full backs swapped and both felt more at home.
We started well with Richard Tapsfield trying to play football (good to see Richard back from his knee injury and showing glimpses of returning to his old form), spraying the ball wide and bringing other players into the game. Then the Mottingham midfield started to run the game, coming from deep and having time to pick their passes as they tried to undo the FOBG defence. They pressurised our goal the whole game and were a constant threat throughout. We looked threatening on the counter with good movement up front and some nice passing to try and bring them into the game. Half time came and with the majority of the chances going to them we did well to come in level.
It’s a cup game and anything can happen at nil - nil. With Mark saying we needed to bring the ball down and try and play football, keep the ball and take the pressure off we went out for the second half, still in the game and looking for some luck.
We started like a team with confidence in each other 9, 10, 11 passes to team mates, everyone wanting the ball, probing the Mottingham defence, finally created an opening and the ball was crossed into the box, they cleared high and long and somehow the ball fell between the defence and Stewart who was coming out to clear and their striker sneaked in to loop the ball into the unguarded net. We were shaken, but another blow was to follow, the ball scrambled across the box, our hapless defender was sold a treat by their striker, who then tucked in with style past Stew. 2-0 and 2 mistakes from us, such a cruel game. We gathered ourselves and rallied, trying to get back into the game, but yet again as we pressed forward searching for something to get back into the game we made another mistake, gave away possession and were caught on the break, 3-0.
We carried on pressing forward and finally got some reward in a goal for Liam, or was it George?? Whoever got the final touch we will never know, they are probably both still claiming it now. We thought we could get something back, get another quick goal and anything could happen. But in order to get a quick goal we needed the game to start back going, so instead of kissing and hugging each like it’s a Friday night in Walkabout we should get the ball from the back of the net and get the game going again!!!!!!
With renewed vigour we strived to get back into the match, but with pushing forwards it left many holes at the back and we were caught many times on the break, eventually ending in a fourth goal when their striker turned neatly on the edge and scored well to make it too much of an uphill struggle. We got a second through Dan Head but were unlucky to get awarded a penalty, which would have made for an exciting final few minutes. 4-2 it ended, the end of the Ron Pope experience for another season.
For all neutrals this was an exciting cup match with both teams wanting to win.
Stew was man of the match for conceding 4, he got 8 votes and had he conceded 5 he might have got 10 votes. Thanks to Stewart and Richard for helping out and playing very well, esp. Rich who didn’t know anyone in the team.
George and Liam improved from last week, holding the ball up and bringing players into the game, they are getting better and better each week, and if they keep going training and learning from the older players we should be OK this season. Jon Blay worked tirelessly in midfield as always, Dan was getting end to end and Jonathan Lakin (playing his third different position in 2 games - welcome to management Fallon style) got up and down all day. Four mistakes cost us dearly this week, let''s start putting these right this week and concentrate for the whole 90 minutes, we need to start winning games and move up this table, we have showed in patches that we can play football and we can create chances, we must start putting these chances away.
The post match analysis in the clubhouse was eye opening and very insightful, with Dan and Ryan getting very heated, Des waded in with some argumentative points and at one point I thought we were all going to come to blows. Mark couldn’t cope with passion in the row that ensued, I mean why aren’t Dot or Pauline allowed in a club?? There is no one else in the club and I’m pretty sure they would get into Bibas… I think next week we shouldn’t talk about Eastenders or Coronation Street since these are touchy subjects, and move onto such visual delights as Hollyoaks…