It was hot, seriously hot, but then so were we.
New opponent’s today and their record before this encounter had been four wins from four with only a single goal conceded, we were determined to use the unfamiliarity in our favour as we set about taking down the early league leaders. Those that have played here before will be familiar with the awkward surface and pitch dimensions, we made a couple of decent chances as we hit the post and could easily have taken an early advantage; we were alas to fall behind as we conceded a penalty for encroachment. This didn’t deter us as we kept up the pressure on the home keeper and we got our just reward as Mike set up Les for his first of the game and the equaliser. It was a bit harsh on us as we went in a goal behind at the break, some reasonably quick play ended with us conceding as the ball spun wickedly in to our goal.
Half time and a quick pep talk, we needed to get a little tighter and afford their very mobile striker less space, a change for us as Mick Sharp came on for the second period. Woodchurch also made a bit of a tactical alteration as they pushed another man forward in an attempt to get the third goal to make them more comfortable. Not to be for the home team as we started to make chances to get level, we were not to be denied as Kevin poked home from an acute angle.
Toony was the next to come on and his all action game was perfect for the occasion, the last ten minutes were to be decisive on the result. Toony was strong in defence and forceful in the attacking half, his effort on goal ended up at the feet of Les who calmly finished to put us in front.
It was still tough going with neither team giving any quarter as blows were traded in the sweltering conditions. The goal of the game came just at the right time for us as a sweeping cross field pass from Toony to Mick gave him the chance to hold the ball up and set up the oncoming Rob to finish nicely in to the corner, that was it we could relax for the final ninety seconds or so and savour our victory.
Woodchurch are a good team as their previous results show and they did start with the confidence of a side sitting at the top of the league, they are quick and fairly aggressive but that in part is down to the leniency of the match official on the day. What was most pleasing was our determination to try and keep to our passing game as we made numerous chances, the home keeper made two excellent saves from Les in particular and to be honest we could have scored more.
Our last two games have seen a big improvement as we picked up maximum points to move up the table but today was outstanding from everyone and one of our best all round performances for some time, Lawrence ever dependable, we were resolute in defence, determined in the middle with plenty of movement up front.
Nice to meet Woodchurch today and they very kindly put on refreshments in the local pub, we will probably have many tough encounters over the coming seasons.