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Match Report

Saturday 1st October 2005

Third XI
OG, Richard Tapsfield, Alex Thrall
3 - 0
Real Man of Kent

By Paul Parsons

Prior to the game the ref told me that he was taken off a top division Kent County game that was local to him, and asked to cover this one as Kent Cup games have priority. He ‘hoped it was going to be worth it’. Well I am sure the quality was similar!

He was reassuringly strict with dress code and jewellery, I am sure that some of the younger players were used to being turned away at discotheques for wearing worse, but some of us stick in the muds were very unhappy to lose the number 3 shirt just because the manager put our names down against the 11!

We started brightly, with a change from last week that pushed Ben upfront to partner me, and Richard T came straight in at right midfield. We played assertively and created a good few chances, that included Alex not quite connecting on three or four occasions, Ben driving forward and being in two minds as to cross or shoot and so doing neither, and Richard C just holding on to the ball too long and not getting a shot away. However we camped in their half most of the time and this led to Richard T passing the ball down the wing, for me to control and get into the box and unleash a powerful cross cum shot that deflected in off the defender''s right boot and sent the keeper sprawling. 1-0 and deservedly so, again we created our own luck, but this was from resolute defending, and good possession from midfield coupled with balls wide to the flanks and crosses leading to corners, excellent. Mark Edwards was solid in goal, and made a crucial dive at the feet of the forward with 10 minutes left in the half to snuff out any ‘Real’ threat.

We wanted more, and we again had our chances with Neil B having the best of all three chances to score, all from the same place and all missed in different ways! Up, over and placed softly! However after an hour, and a deft substitution by the manager of me for Lee Shep, (will I ever live that one down!) we got the vital second. Shep won the ball in midfield and slid the ball through to Richard T (now striker) who calmly slotted it past the keeper.

Alex made it three, after Ben took on the full back, forcing him inside, then outside, then inside again, Ben crossed and Alex drilled it into the ground and over the keeper''s head.

What was really pleasing was the commitment to keep the goals against to nil. All the way through Joe was intercepting, tackling back and really controlling his man. Steve V was calm under pressure, and strong in the air, Todd was powerful and accurate with his passing (mostly). Colin B was fast down the wing to support Alex, and ever present at the back tracking his man. Each and every player did their own job that day, and it was very pleasing to see such commitment. Let''s continue with a sterner test this week against Old Colfes, a match that we must concentrate on right from the beginning.