Thanks to the ever reliable Pete from Rowley College for his report on yesterday’s match against Clarendon.
Rowley College 2 vs 6 Clarendon
What a strange game football is! We thought we were up for today’s game and the WMCFL’s most consistent challenge, having proved that we have goals and energy and having been competitive in every game this season. Clarendon turned up in drips and drabs with Squadie and Roger on the car park, as we’ve all been at times, checking players in. At the very least this might have made for a sticky start for them but within seven minutes we had committed the most effective self-sabotage I have seen in many a long year. This ultimately unpleasant surprise came a little while after the confirmation that Clarendon had managed to tempt Matty Williams, our former centre back out of retirement. Though slightly taken aback let me officially thank Matt who in his two spells with us (11 starts, 7 goals) always gave total commitment to the cause and was a key member of the team that won the Division 2 championship without defeat (and included our only competitive win against Clarendon in the cup QF).
Matt and Roger did well enough today but more significantly they did a good bit better than our own defenders in key moments. By half time there was nothing to say but at each stage this was about mistakes rather than one side being so much better than another. Clarendon need no encouragement and they have no more consistent supporter of their skill, approach and attitude than me but today we effectively gave them the game while ironically for much of the time giving them a game. Despite Mark’s meticulous preparation this game was lost in four sloppy moments: two needless corners followed by a) free header followed by two non-challenges for 1-0 then b) disaster for Pidd from the inswinging corner: he helped it in. Seven minutes and a mountain to climb which increased when from their first proper attack they scored from a decent shot (though we should have blocked it).
The game then settled down and Matty Suff was just wide with a rasping drive. Half an hour in and it felt like a 1-0 game: CUE our second meltdown. First Savage scored a decent headed goal and then we lost all shape and purpose for five and conceded two more tap ins (properly poor defending). 6-0 by half time was beyond comment. Hayden came on and did well and our decision to hold back the talented Jack Guy for the second half was made to look foolish. Jack was excellent and at the centre of all we did well and better and making a case with Shola (he worked tirelessly) and Brad, who just gets better every week for our m-o-t-m. Winning the second half is no win at all but it’s better than more suffering.
We were more competitive second half and Jack and Shola were involved in Josh neatly finishing to keep his goal in every game run. Then Brad, who gets my m-o-t-m designation threw long and South who had returned from injury as a sub nodded in. Too little too late but plenty to learn. Pidd also made a couple of decent stops which will do him the world of good. Another difficult game next week. All the best as ever to Clarendon and thanks to Andy and his assistants.