Well all in all quite a performance, for simplicity I shall refer to our opposition as AI but alas it was down to human error as we conceded the opening goal, a poor free kick out of defence was blocked and fortunately fell to an AI forward whose scuffed effort just managed to beat Lawrence. We had started fairly well and it was disappointing to be behind early on for the third match in succession. Lawrence was called in to action again as an effort from an acute angle was well saved, it might sound at this point that it was Lawrence against the machine but that was not the case.
We kept our composure retaining possession and forced AI on to the back foot, Les was unfortunate not to get us level as his shot appeared to go in off the crossbar (where’s the technology now) but we didn’t get the decision. Undeterred we kept going and eventually got our reward as Mike F got his first goal of the season and our equaliser. Post and crossbar were both rattled as we dominated and the AI keeper made several good saves.
Half time and a quick word from Tony, a reminder of our training drills that would pay dividends if we just kept to the plan of pass and move to create the space we need.
As the second half began we were quickly in to our stride ( some of us a little bit too much ) as we again made chances. The goal that was to come, and many have said that it was the most important of the game, was finished off by Joycey calmly beating the keeper from close range, you’re a star was the proclamation.
More efforts on goal and more frustration as we looked to finish off the contest but we were to make things difficult, surprisingly for us we were treading a little bit of a disciplinary tightrope as we gave away numerous free kicks. The ones around our goal area were well defended as Lawrence manoeuvred us to block any gaps. One too many infringements though as we suffered a sin bin, I’ll be back was heard to be muttered as the disgruntled offender left the pitch.
We battened down the hatches and managed to survive without too many problems and could even have scored ourselves.
Back to full strength again and we should have got our third long before we did, but patience was to pay off as Rob put the game out of reach with a couple of minutes to go. A few more free kicks to negotiate as we deservedly claimed the points for our first victory away to AI with our fourth win on the trot for the season.
An extremely satisfying victory as the whole squad played their part, we defended well, didn’t give too much away and made chances almost at will with some good movement and passing.
So two visits to Hamstreet and two victories, both occasions having to come from behind. We have shown in these matches a desire that if we get knocked down and things aren’t going well that we have the team spirit and composure to get back in to games. We play in the right way and support each other believing in ourselves to turn any situation around, the 60s session on a Monday night must go a long way to helping with this.
A big thank you to AI for putting on the game and the hospitality shown after. Thanks also to Chris Smith for refereeing with his usual calm authority in what was a hard fought game.