It’s always good to see Brian and Phil, their mix of enthusiasm and grim humour is something those of us who have been at it a while all understand. They always make you very welcome but their team never give you an easy time of it (perhaps the most unpredictable team in the wmcfl). They also seem to have an endless store of ‘proper’ footballers (Dennis Bailey and Darren Moore come to mind) and we were greeted on the car park with Brian and one of the Chambers twins (James I think) or as Mark identified him as “that lad who used to play for the Albion”. He played at the back for them and well within himself and showed his class by never giving the ball away and having a great attitude throughout.
What he made of the first twenty minutes of this game doesn’t bear thinking about because on a slippery grassy pitch in the pouring rain neither side offered much quality. We had kept faith with those who beat Chawn last week with Christie and Craig up front in an attacking formation and had plenty of intent without creating much. Then approaching the half hour we scored a poor goal which at least changed the game and everything after this was better. On the surface it was a goal scored by Matty Williams direct from a free kick from 30 yards however ‘pitch and put’ was a better description. Matty chipped it in and none of our players managed to touch it but neither could their keeper.
Solihull then had their best spell and put plenty of pressure on us before half time but we’re a good defensive unit these days. With three quality players on the bench we expected different from the second half and got it. Firstly young Tom Cartin, for me our man-of-the-match, drilled home a beauty as we began to play football and impose ourselves. Clive and Ben Smith came on to add fluidity and the chances followed: Matty Stanton had an effort well saved as did Christie from Olly’s cross and Craig continued to menace. They too had their moments but we were resolute.
Finally we welcomed Ben Fowler back from coaching in the states and he capped a cameo performance with a lofted drive for 3-0 and even had time to hit the post. Thanks to the referee and his Dad who stepped in last minute as a stand-in lino and all the best to Brian and Phil and the Solihull lads.