Saturday 10th March 2007
By Paul Parsons
With perhaps (arguably, I am sure) one of the strongest line ups for a while (well it has been a while since we played! In fact 5 games in almost three months……). We needed to be strong and show what we were made of.
We twisted and turned the opposition in all directions in the first 10 minutes. There was a lot of screaming and shouting, wailing and moaning, but the opposition in red stayed calm and kept their shape well. Despite much stretching and some uncompromising tugging from certain players, that the referee thankfully never saw, we were lucky to get away with a draw. What do you mean it wasn’t a draw, and they don’t play in red..................?
I am talking about the first 10 minutes in the changing room trying to get the blasted socks on!
The game itself was played in an excellent manner with the referee keeping good control of the game, letting advantage be a real advantage when appropriate and the game flowed throughout. The pitch was the best I have played on over the last 10 years at this stage of the season, and I know the opposition have made favourable comments too.
With Jez, myself and Ian P at the back, it was like rolling back 10 years, and this was helped by the Eltham Royals line up of a couple of forwards of a knowledgeable age!
We should have won the game really. Easy to say now, but all credit to Eltham by going in one goal to the good after 30 minutes when we failed to pick up a midfield runner and it was slotted home with aplomb. Our chances came and went, a bit like our players….. Aaron looked as though he had been shot as he went for a ball and collapsed, leading to Joe O coming on and getting MOM. Daragh clashed heads, loads of blood, concussion and so ran off to the Princess Royal as he knew he would get there quicker that way, and Ian P faded away because he felt tight……….
In fact as the game progressed and the forced changes were made we grew stronger and more passionate about trying to win the game. Joe and Dave M as wide players were really attacking the full backs and getting great crosses in, Dan, Paul T and Paul B were unlucky not to score were it not for resolute goalkeeping. Sam had a good solid game in the centre of the park, and Chris G was gutsy in all his challenges and never put a foot wrong all game.
Eltham made us pay for the missed chances, by getting a second from poor defending of a throw that allowed two flicked headers and a ball bobbling in off the far post to put the game safe.
Although Matt G made an immediate impact, when he came on for Daragh, by flicking on a trademark long throw of Peter’s perfectly into the path of Paul T, who calmly netted from 8 yards out. This made the last 15 minutes a bit more interesting. Again Paul. Matt and Dave all coming close in the dying minutes of the game.