All Saints 2 Rowley 1

Taking stock five games in we have classic mid table stats (2-1-2 F10 A 10) and it’s an indication of how competitive this league is that every one of our (and I think All Saints’) games has been a draw or decided by a single goal. At least today (as with our other defeat) the decisive goal was something of a cracker, a sweet left footer from a free kick (I think our keeper was a little hard on himself to think he should have kept it out). For the second game running that put us 2-0 down and we almost repeated the recovery for a point we managed against Clarendon. I think it would have been deserved on the whole match.

All Saints are a tidy, well-organised team of young footballers who are well suited to Churchfield’s hard, flat pitches. They have a lot of possession, work hard for one another and will be a match for anyone: we too, I hope. Today I think we created the better chances but lacked just a little energy and spent too much of the game comfortable but behind. We welcomed back last season’s league player of the year Leon Mitchell and he was immediately a handful. The game started in treacherous conditions but both sides tried to play football. Sloppy play from us though allowed them an early chance which they gleefully converted but we were back at them and missed a couple of good openings, particularly for Nathan who ghosted between their centre backs only to knock it wide. The half petered out rather, though we lost Andre to injury just before half time.

Christie came on and gave us much more physicality and drive. By now we’d pushed another player up and were giving them real problems. Their goal was peppered but I can remember only one real save (fingertip from Christie’s cut back). Then we gave away a cheap free kick and our job was made harder (see above). At 2-0 they had a good chance for 3-0 but the lad skied it. Thankfully we got a slice of luck when Leon timed his run perfectly to beat the keeper and Sammy beat a tight offside to force it over the line. Plenty of time left but it just wasn’t to be. All the best to All Saints.

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