A really good performance from us today and if we didn’t quite get what we deserved it was not for the want of trying nor was it independent of Charlmont’s determined resistance. Andy’s side are one of the best organised in the Division and as Mark remarked before the game ‘they can all play’: they also have a potent goal scorer. We saw all of this today in what was a really competitive game but we also have all these qualities and for most of the match we were on top.
Once again we showed our team spirit and the depth of our squad: four potential starters were missing but we still pitched up with three subs. And carrying on from the second half last week we were straight out of blocks and into the attack. Fowler was excellent early doors and had already forced an early corner by the time his dangerous cross was finger-tipped out to young Tom Cartin who cooly slotted home. We continued to play in an attacking style, effectively with a front five cohering around Ben and Christie while also offering a solid defensive line led ably by Matt Williams and protected by Clivey.
This was Clive’s game today, revelling in the involvement he got playing holding midfield. He was absolutely at the centre of everything with endless energy and two great feet, breaking things up and moving things on for 90 minutes. A splendid performance.
We were 2-0 in twenty minutes when Tom turned provider sliding a perfect pass into the channel for Sammy to slide it expertly home. Though Charlemont had a couple of goalmouth scrambles and plenty of attacking intent, it looked likely we would score more. However a moment of real quality just before half time gave us something to think about. We conceded a free kick just outside the box and Jamie Holder thumped it over the wall and in off the bar in the top corner of the goal: unstoppable and brilliant!
The second half was not dissimilar with waves of our attacks breaking on their rearguard (the centre backs were excellent). They largely played on the break on one such break our inability to take a chance to clear the ball led to a disappointing equaliser. Yet still we came (though perhaps not enough was on target). Josh who was excellent again perhaps came closest when he had a rasping drive cleared off the line. By this time Haydon was on and Christie and Ben Fowler were causing more headaches. And with time running out both sides thought they could win it and almost did pretty much in injury time. Firstly an uncharacteristic bit of sloppy defending from us let their lad in but under pressure from Lee he pushed it wide then Ben Fowler’s surging run to the byeline cut back a dangerous cross which was almost forced over the line.
Good to see ref Steve Cartwright again! He and his assistants kept the gamer flowing and in order. All the best to Andy and his lads!