Mike was off on his travels in the uplands today but in touch with the game by the wonders of technology!
For those of us who have been in WMCFL a good while, a game against Chawn Hill will always be a big game. When we arrived a quarter century ago they were the dominant team, winning leagues and competing for everything and did so for a good many years. And that connection to the glory days still stalks the touchline in the form of Steve Knight who is currently doing a decent job of bringing Chawn back to the top table with a mixture of good young lads and familiar faces. Whether they are helped by their home pitch, which resembles a farmer’s field with posts, I don’t know. It looks like the pitch from the seminal British film Kes!
We were without Mark(flued up on the bench) as well as Clive and Stanton but exceptional efforts from Matt Williams, Barber and little Lee meant we maintained a strong starting eleven with Sammy Nelson leading the line and Christie dropping into midfield. We started well on a difficult surface and created a series of openings: Sammy, Ben Smith and Benna all missed one on ones. Chawn too though were at it and took the lead when Bedders powered in an excellent back post header from a corner. They then had a dominant twenty minutes and missed a couple of proper chances while we struggled a little with the conditions. However we were very much in the game and had the wherewithal to create chances with the two Bens, Fowler and Smith (man-of-the-match for me) looking particularly likely. I think it was Olly though who helped on the crucial through ball and Sammy who did everything right: chased on, steadied himself, drew the keeper and slotted it home. Half Time 1-1.
We were better and more dominant second half, more assured at the back (as usual) and playing more football in the middle where Christie was the organiser and Ben and Olly the energy while little Lee held things together. We began to exert pressure and missed a couple of chances. Young Tom came on and looked good and we ultimately sent Fowler down the middle as he provided the greatest threat though not before the game had turned in a moment. First Chawn, who never give up , seemed sure to retake the lead but with Lee stranded Barber miraculously cleared it off the line and then to rub slat into wounds Benna’s last act out left was to spot the keeper off his line and plant a lofted drive from 20 yards and wide into the far corner. New signing Brett came on and did well and thankfully Benna ran on to score his second and make the game safe, though Chawn caused us problems to the very end.
All the best to Steve and his lads and to an inexperienced ref who kept his head when not everything went right for him. We all have to start somewhere.