In our 561 competitive games to date, goal-less draws (the rarest of Amateur football results) have come along only seven times, the last ten years ago (versus Clarendon). Little surprising then that I’ve forgotten what one feels like, but also that I’ve been involved long enough to know that today’s game never felt like a nil-nil despite the lateness of our winner. This rather was one of those blood-pumpers which ended 15 seconds from the whistle with extremes of jubilation and despair precisely because by then both teams were convinced there would be a winner and by a single goal. I can only thanks Wolves and Perton for making this a full-blooded and entertaining encounter in which both sides tried to make chances and score goals.
We were back to a bare eleven (missing Mark, Craig, Matt, Clive, Stew and Macca) with Leon arriving at half time. New boy Lance Perry had an impressive debut in a Rowley performance that carried no passengers. At the back we were excellent against a really dangerous Wolves’ front line with Lee again an unsung hero in often difficult conditions for a keeper. Right back Joe was perhaps our man of the match. Ben got a knock early on which set him back for much of the first half but played through it to ultimate effect. Nathan and Christie and Sammy and Hunter were purposeful and tidy.
Wolves had the better of the early exchanges and created a couple of good chances. We then got ourselves into the game and started to play our football but lacked a final ball. This was already a properly competitive game run well by referee Dean Allison. Both defences were playing well.
Second half the game got even better with both teams playing their part in a cracking end to end game. They had the benefit of a swirling wind and kept our keeper busy while we added Leon to provide a different option up front. We started to create chances as they did. Fact is there was always going to be a goal and as we entered the last fifteen minutes both teams went looking for it and the chances proliferated. The watching became agonising.
Then came two moments which might have suggested it was not to be our day. First Hunter rose beautifully to nod in Leon’s corner only for it to be ruled out for a push (by someone else). Then Hunter and Leon combined perfectly but Leon couldn’t quite force it home. They too had a couple of sharp efforts saved. Finally (with 15 seconds left) great work on the break set up a final chance for Ben who drilled in a great winner. All the best to Wolves and Perton!