I was away today visiting my father-in-law who is unwell so did not see the Oracle (aka. Kovacs’ Kolumn) slip up a little (though not enough to see us sacrifice a decent unbeaten run). It seems I missed a dramatic morning which started with the home team’s recurring nightmare of no-one initially coming to open up the facilities. This resulted in a slight delay and 40 minutes each way. Though Amblecote seem to have fallen into the season we had last term and us vice versa, we never take anything for granted against a team who have often been a bogey team of ours. Today was our 28th meeeting in all competitions with the previous 27 going as follows: P 27 W 8 D 5 L 14 F42 A 67. Rowley stalwart Mike Ibrahim provides the first hand account this week:
Today’s game was adversely affected by a strong wind that both teams struggled at times to deal with. Indeed the first three goals could all be put down to goalkeeping errors. The flight of the ball confused first our keeper Lee, to let the Amblecote striker in for a simple goal. Next the Amblecote keeper appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball as it held up in the air and Matt Jones scored with a header from close range. Almost immediately an Amblecote player hit a ball from distance which, assisted by the wind, flew into the top of the net over the head of the Rowley keeper.
So 2 – 1 to Amblecote at half time but in the second half, playing with the wind behind them, Rowley looked much more assured as Amblecote struggled to get out of their own half. After a period of Rowley pressure, Ben Fowler sprang the Amblecote offside trap and calmly slotted past their keeper. There looked to be only one winner at this point with Rowley on top, but almost immediately Amblecote went down to the other end and made it 3 – 2. They now appeared to have worked out how to play the conditions and had several half-chances. Another goal would probably have killed the game off but Rowley kept battling and equalized through Christie McKenzie. There was still time for Amblecote to hit the post and for Rowley to have chances of their own.
This was a hard-fought game against a good bunch of lads, but a draw was probably a fair result in the end. Good luck to Amblecote for the rest of the season.