An even bigger test playing Old Hamptonians, who have won the AFC premier league for the past few years. No excuses as we had a solid team, good pitch and fair weather.
We had young Louie Remy starting his first game at right midfield in the first team and 17 year old Jardell Stirling on the bench ready for this large test.
The first half was dominated by the opposition from start to finish and we realised the difference between this opposition and the other games we have played this season.
The best we can take from this half was that we held it together and went in at half time drawing one all. We managed to score first against the run of play when Matt Roles chipped the goalkeeper from a deflection outside the box. The opposition equalised before half time and it was nothing more than they deserved.
Once again we needed to regroup and try to change things at half time, because we couldn’t carry on like the first half. And once again it seemed to work.
We came out in the second half a different team and everything seemed to improve. We scored two fairly quick goals, one a Geoff Hurst special coming down off the cross bar from Chaz which he guided in from a close range squared cross delivered by Gavin Sudell, and the second from the pass of the match back heeled by Chaz into Chris Morgans path where he slipped it past the keeper.
The score stayed at 3-1 for some time and the game started to get very tense with a few bookings from both sides as Old Hamptonians started piling on the pressure and showing they had no intention of giving up.
We battled hard and showed we could match teams at this level but the down side was too much arguing with the referee and the opposition. This definitely put us under more pressure. After too many free kicks given away just outside the box. It was only a matter of time before we shot ourselves in the foot once again.
Too much arguing before the free kick left us unorganised and the opposition took the free kick against a messy wall and in it went.
This made the game even more frenetic with the opposition smelling blood and came at us for the equaliser. Old Hamptonians have not been at the top of their tree for many years for good reason and it was with 5 minutes left that they got there equaliser.
All credit to our players that our heads did not go down, which was a massive plus to our “never say die” attitude.
With almost the last attack of the match we got a free kick which Chris Morgan took. He whipped in the cross, to be met by Chaz who looped it into the far post and scored the winning goal.
It was a great feeling because the opposition were the best we have played and we didn’t fancy another 30 minutes, especially after the last 2 Saturdays that went to extra time.
A statistic to reflect on is that Old Hamptonians have only conceded 5 goals in their league all season and we scored 4 on Saturday.
You can win games all different ways. This one was against the general run of play but shows if you stick in their anything can happen. It gave us the chance to have good spells and take advantage of them, which then leads to the self-belief that gives us the spirit to be a good and confident team.
This we will need as we are now drawn away to Polytechnic, probably the best amateur team in London which will show us exactly where we are at the moment! We will be doing it without a number of good players with injuries. Both our full backs injured this week, one with a sprained ankle and another with a pulled hamstring. Lets hope that they repair fast.
My man of the match reflects the game. As usual our goalkeeper Jack Robery, pulled off a number of saves which we all take for granted. This is the second week that Jack has had a massive influence on the game and is now being recognised and rewarded.