So the strollers took to the surprisingly narrow pitch on a fairly cool evening with the added difficulty of kick ins and corners to deal with, something we haven’t really come across too many times and a complete contrast to the previous away game.
As in the Ashford match we started really brightly and tested the home keeper with a couple of early attempts on goal, the breakthrough was soon to come as a stabbed interception from Jim found Les who turned his marker before firing in to the corner .
Soon after it was two as Toony took a quick kick in to find Rob who turned, took aim and he also found the corner of the net.
Ten minutes gone and in control and if they did get near our goal Lawrence was always in the right place to thwart their efforts.
Unfortunately it wasn’t to last as a lapse of concentration from a kick in allowed a home player the time and space to pick his spot and get them back in the game. This really rattled us for a few minutes and we started walking around like headless chickens losing shape and intensity but fortunately our opponents could not capitalise on our temporary confusion. The referee seemed to join in the mayhem by stating “look if you want me to blow up for every foul or running I will” we suggested that that would probably be a good idea! One of the pluses for joining an FA ran league was to have qualified officials, something we are still yet to see.
Half time and in the lead but the equaliser was soon to come. There was a scramble for the ball and it broke to a Woodnesborough forward, before we could close him down he shot and the unsighted Lawrence could do nothing to keep the ball out.
The game already had been fairly physical with a number of border line tackles going unpunished, this quickly deteriorated as we suffered several heavy challenges that were not even rewarded with a free kick let alone a card. The home team seemed to think that this was acceptable but thankfully we kept to our philosophy of at least trying to play walking football. This is not an avenue that we wish to go down and more protection is required from the people in charge who understand the rules and ethos of the game we love. Until then we will keep on playing as it is still a pleasure to be involved in competitive football.
We gradually started to take control working out how best to play to the pitch dimensions and kick ins. If it was not for a fine save from Steve Earl in the home goal we would have come away with all the points as he denied Les with virtually the last kick off the game.
This and the previous fixture were both difficult games against tough teams that will be near the top of the league table come the end of the season. Although it is a little disappointing to only draw after taking two goal leads in our last two games, we can take a lot of positives from both matches. Our team spirit and a resolve not to be beaten resulted in us finishing on the front foot on both occasions.
We retired to the bar to discuss our performance and also enjoy the sandwiches and food supplied by our hosts.
Tony Old’s input and his observations about the game were very insightful and we will make a couple of tactical changes for our next match against Margate.
Before then our next outing is a mini tournament at Bay Point arranged by Nobby this Sunday (24th) with all proceeds going to charity.