With the cold snap upon us, we were fortunate to be playing in the warmer climes of North London. Unfortunately, we were up against one of the unbeaten sides in our division.
We started confidently Alex G, Tim, Andy & Rhys working the midfield well, using the pace & guile of Jackson, Alfie, David S & Brian (I’ll let you decide who had what) up front to cause problems for the WH&E defence. But with 3 very strong midfielders they soon got into their stride and caused anxious moments for Alex W, John & Pete in defence, but Dave G was strong in front of them and whenever they got through Terry was saving everything they could throw at us. Things got a little spicy when one of their players decided that the best way to tackle was with his body, Alex G & Andy being the main recipients of his treatment, he also thought that having a go at a 14 year old was a worthy thing, to which much umbrage was taken, including by the umpire & their captain, who sensibly decided he needed a break. The game was end to end, we didn’t really trouble their keeper, but Terry was performing miracles at the other end, getting down to stick one away, pushing one over the bar & somehow managing to keep out John’s deflection goalwards by instinct amongst others. So, we went in to half time at 0-0 and a bit battered & bruised.
It was decided to switch things around a bit to try & combat their strength in the middle, but they came out all guns blazing & scored from a deflected short corner, a deflection from a cross & a good individual goal, so we were 3-0 down within the first 5 minutes of the 2nd half. We continued to be challenged by their physicality (& verbal sniping) but wanted to get something from a game that we were still competitive in. We pressed hard & after some good interplay in the midfield got the ball to Brain who drew the short corner, it was pushed out to Alex G who struck it firmly past the keeper. We continued to press & after some good work on the right between Jackson & Rhys, the ball found its way to Andy at the top of the D with his back to goal he pushed the ball to the left and struck a firm shot past the keeper’s left boot. With about 5 minutes left they started to turn the screw again, Mr Aggressive was back on the pitch and further altercations drew John into a show of frustration for which he was punished with a rest on the sideline. But with the 10 men left, we held out until the final whistle.
All their players (well nearly all) were very apologetic, but we did well to keep our calm, play well, compete with a top side & put a couple of goals past a team who hadn’t conceded many.
There was only one choice for man of the match, Terry Wintle, who had a brilliant game & kept us in it for most of the game.