Match Report off Pete Bennett,

Rowley College 1 vs 1 Chawn Hill Church

Another epic encounter between these two well-matched teams, played in the best of spirits with both sides giving everything to try and win the game. What I call a proper game of football and just like our last two encounters (a 1-0 each way) nothing to choose between the two sides. We had Chris out so Clive and Mark paired up at centre back and played really well against our old mate Curtis who is always a handful. Shola and Ben Smith ran themselves into the ground in midfield and Josh who was my man of the match for a tireless performance, kept the pressure on up top.

They were the better side down the slope. We started slowly and Jamie had to make a good save with his feet and watch their centre back power a header over the bar from a corner. We played on the break and with decent intent but their goalie is a sweeper keeper (‘Ray Clemence’ is the reference for my generation) and three or four times good moves were nipped in the bud by decisive action. Jake got into the game 20 minutes in and show what a handful he is by a couple of pacey runs and a terrific shot touched onto the bar: also after losing the ball in midfield he chased back and put in the tackle of the game to prevent Curtis getting a shot off. Half time: 0-0 and for us the slope to come.

We were much more at it second half particularly after Matty and an influential Romeo joined the fray. Chawn did not relent either though and showed what a good side they are: Curtis brought a good save from Jamie and their young winger got in only to not quite find a clean contact on a bumpy pitch. We were playing decent football now and had the ball in the net but chalked off for offside (which it was). Steve and I were running the line: good for the coffers perhaps but in such a tight game it was not comfortable and I realise how lucky we’ve been to normally have three officials over many years.

This had 1-0 written all over it with the possibility of a mistake so plenty of tension but no let up of pace and momentum. 15 minutes left and we concede a corner and a powering header leaves us flat footed. Can we respond? Certainly: Clive runs forward from centre back to the right edge of their box, cuts back inside onto his left and delivers a gold star ball to the front post and Josh meets with his head. There were still chances both ends and Tom Certain had an impressive cameo but 1-1 was about right. All the best Chawn and to Cal who reffed it perfectly!

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