After a couple of disappointing defeats, we looked to turn a corner against Reigate, traditionally a tough opponent. Luckily the rain stopped and things started looking up, making our warm up a lot more fun.
How things have changed, as we jogged past the oppo who were chatting and idly hitting the ball at the keeper, I reflected on how we used to do that, and how in fact in days gone by we could have done a warm up or played the game, not both….
The start looked good as well, we dominated possession and worked some quick incisive attacks, with Carlos and Adam looking dangerous. Part of this was the grip that Chris Wh had taken on the centre of the pitch, making tackles all over the pitch and generally enforcing midfield – our very own Robbie Savage – without the hair, or the looks…
As the half went on our previous weaknesses in front of goal made a brief appearance with the side netting being given a pasting by our forwards.
Reigate came back into the game, helped by some reinforcements but we broke again and Carlos jinked into the D, shrugging off a rugby tackle and dodging a flying stick, but eventually losing the ball which Adam calmly placed into the goal – to his delight (and our surprise…) – unfortunately the whistle had gone seconds before the ball crossed the line and Carlos claimed the goal, expertly converting the penalty stroke.
This gave us the upper hand and although Reigate started looking dangerous, solid tackling by the defence especially Nick, Matt and the Marquis, with Matt showing flair at left back.
Half time and we had the usual team talk – “pass to each other, don’t let goals in and let us forwards ponce around up front….”
In the second half we tired a little, and added to tactical changes, Reigate came back into the game although they made few chances, Tuck dealing brilliantly with the one dangerous situation. New boy Ashley and the rest of the midfield hung on and we started to make chances again.
Chris Wa played excellently, earning Mom for his allround effort as well as a well taken goal (though I don’t remember what happened, but I’m sure it was good). Reigate started to lose heart and we scored another with the aid of the keeper who unluckily back heeled a shot from Grant into the net.
I saw that one, despite being in a very dangerously slippery part of the pitch, which required immense skill to stay upright, and one brief lack of concentration saw me go down as if hit by a sniper – hence this match report…
This despite a certain forward making a complete hash of a 3 on 1 with the keeper (apparently we had practised this in training – making a hash that is…), or another forward losing his bearings and remembering his Irish roots as a shinty player, or the comment about one of the match officials by a veteran defender – which would have seen him sent off (again) if the official in question been anywhere near the game…