Saturday 24th March 2007
By Paul Parsons
Mark Edwards was MOM by a mile today, an excellent performance that saw him called into action twice in the first 5 minutes, both times getting down low to his left and pushing the ball around the post after two ferocious shots from the Eltham forwards.
Again Mark was called into action soon after with a great point blank save, and a scramble on the line that deserved better from the Eltham Town men, but as one commented after this 15 minute spell ‘I can tell what sort of a day you are going to have mate’ as he saw another effort tipped over by Mark.
However this was not the whole story, and taking nothing away from Mark''s performance, it was hard graft by everyone that ensured a point in this never-say-die 0-0 encounter. Our defence performed heroically, blocking, tackling, chasing and challenging. Soaking up the pressure and snuffing out the Eltham Town threat, which was relentless.
Paul B, Paul P, Chris G and Peter M all deserving votes, but probably not receiving any due to Mark''s agility (I wonder who Mark voted for?)
Dave Martin and David Goenaga kept wide and created openings when possible, but we were unable to get it to them as much as we have in previous games, however when they did get the ball, they both took a couple of touches, looked up and found a combination of first time crosses and runs down the wing that confused Eltham and it made us look dangerous on the break. Daragh had his hands full at centre midfield, and showed strong spirit and good awareness to keep the tricky Eltham midfield at bay. Joe Oatley helping Daragh out in the first half, spread the play well and linked the front two and midfield with sensible support and going out wide later in the second half. Our chances of note were few, however we looked as if we could score, Matt G full of running and covering every blade of grass in his effort to close down the defence was unlucky to be adjudged offside when put through, and Paul Tanton was unable to convert a half chance as he broke through the Eltham ranks in the final 15 minutes. Ben Jones came on for the last 25 minutes and shored up the centre for a tiring Joe, and Adam B, after an 11 week absence from injury made a welcome return for the last 15 minutes to shore up the back. Again it makes such a difference knowing that the depth of the squad allows you to give your all.
Danny’s team talk before the game was spot on, if we do not concede, we won''t lose a game. Eltham Town did run out of ideas for the last 20 minutes of the game and we nearly produced a winner due to our never ending belief of getting something out of the game, it was this belief that got us the point as well, because if we were not totally committed for this game, previous experience tells us that we concede sloppy goals. Not today!
Another hard decision for the manager this week as players start to return to fitness and others come back from their hangovers, eh Chris?!?