Match Reports - February 17th onwards

REPORTS - 16 SEP TO 30 OCTOBER 2001

REPORTS  FOR  NOVEMBER - FEBRUARY 16th

 

Chiddingfold 1 v 5 Kirdford (Friendly)

16th February 2002

I think it’s lovely the way they let the other side go through. It’s so polite and well brought up. I’m proud of them.’

Naomi Taylor

A hugely disappointing result against a much strengthened Kirdford. The boys hadn’t played a competitive match for at least four weeks and it showed. They seemed half asleep for long periods and reverted to the curse of Chiddingfold – hesitating in defence, allowing the opposition to take the initiative. They were 2-0 down before they knew what hit them and, what was most frustrating, when they did get themselves together they were easily the match of Kirdford.

John T, after weeks of pestering, finally got his chance to play upfront and did well enough to be given another go. He linked up well with Scott  , Kirk O and Man of the Match Carl S in midfield. Birthday boy Dan, too, tackled hard and pushed effectively out of defence when given the opportunity and centre back Anthony M did well despite having been out clubbing until 3am the previous night.

It was a shame for the boys to lose their unbeaten Friendly record but they always looked dangerous going forward and, on another occasion, would expect to win comfortably.

MATCH REPORT by Malcolm

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Woking Cougars 2 v 3 Chiddingfold (League) 

17th February 2002

That was just the best birthday present ever!

Coach

What a match! A thrilling, pulsating, nail-biting performance from the boys – full of incident and drama; the most exciting match of the season and a richly deserved result against a team who looked completely shell-shocked afterwards.

And what hurdles we had to overcome! No Jonathan Bk, no Jonathan Bt, no Josh T, no Lewis J, no Dan, no James O. Nick C not fully recovered from a bad cold. Ross L not having been to training for weeks. Theo (12 the day before), Charlie and Will  having got to bed well after midnight. No substitutes! Just the bare eleven boys against a team who beat us 7-1 before Christmas and who had played 11, won 11. (And the coach was feeling a touch fragile from his birthday party the night before.)

The only good news was that the NEW KIT has arrived! Great excitement in the changing room as protective paper was peeled off the numbers, socks were taken out of their packaging and the new sponsor’s logo was revealed. True, the kit didn’t exactly fit everyone like a glove. In fact Hassie had room to open a B&B in his shirt. But it’s obviously going to be a lucky strip for the chaps.

The boys attacked from the off and almost immediately Ross positioned himself beautifully on the end of a low through ball close to the goal line - but shot agonisingly wide. The strike force of Ross with Hassie, Will, Nick  and Rupert  were on fire, tackling hard, passing beautifully, keeping possession and always looking to break. Woking couldn’t live with us and we shot into the lead with two superb Hassie goals in 10 minutes.

The parents were ecstatic, cheering the boys on, and Woking were starting to argue amongst themselves.

After the opening 15 minutes or so, though, they started to come ominously back into the match and our boys were forced to back pedal. At this point the defence came into their own. Marshalled by the redoubtable John T, with Charlie alongside him and Theo and Chris B protecting the flanks, they fought and fought, tackling ferociously, clearing quickly and cleanly and exuding defiance with every move.

Behind them, in an unfamiliar sweeper’s role (an inspired suggestion by coach Julian), Man of the Match Scott raced to plug any gaps which appeared. Like a demented hornet he homed in on any Woking striker threatening to break through and took the ball off them or at least made such a nuisance of himself that the others had time to regroup.

And aren’t we lucky with our goalkeepers? To have Theo and Carl both in the League squad (not to mention occasionally James) is beyond most coach’s wildest dreams. As usual Carl was solid as a rock and at one point pulled off one spectacular reflex save at close range, high and to his right, when a goal looked certain.

Woking kept coming, however, and they’re a big, strong team. Agonisingly, in the last 5 minutes of the half, they pulled both goals back and the second half loomed threateningly. Would the Woking juggernaut take over as our boys tired, as it had earlier in the season?

No! I can’t tell you how impressive the chaps were in the second half. They were under intense pressure for long periods – the ball hit our crossbar twice – but the defence played out of their skin and attack after attack was repelled. The parents nerves were shredded, voices were completely hoarse and, to a neutral, it would have been a fabulous game to watch.

Incident followed incident. One of their players handled the ball in his penalty area, everyone saw it quite clearly – everyone but the referee and the linesman. To their enormous credit the boys kept their concentration and got on with the game – and they always looked dangerous on the break.

Now it was end to end, with the chaps desperately trying to keep the ball in the Woking half. Now our hearts were in our mouths - Woking had split our defence and were through on goal. The striker smashed the ball just inside the post, their linesman, standing nearby, was literally calling out ‘Great goal!’ – and there was Theo, flinging himself to his left to push the ball round the post.

Wave after wave of attacks were broken on the Chidd defence – now with Carl on top form, when suddenly, with only 3 or 4 minutes left to go, the ball was passed out of midfield – and there was Rupert racing from the half-way line with only the keeper to beat. We could hardly bear to look as, cool as a cucumber, he smashed the ball into the net and wheeled away like a Spitfire doing a victory roll. The parents erupted – the coach disgracing himself by doing a Barry Fry and racing the length of the pitch whooping -  and when the final whistle blew  - heaven! Sheer heaven!

When the boys play like this, they could beat anybody.

MATCH REPORT by Malcolm

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Hampton Hawks 7 v 2 Chiddingfold (League double-header)

24th February 2002

Want some brandy in that, Malcolm? I always need some

David Stevens, having just given the coach a cup of his coffee

Sheer purgatory. Illness and holidays decimated the team – five of our regular first team were missing – and for the second week running we had the bare eleven.

In spite of this, this was a match we could easily have won. Hampton applied some pressure early on but the boys gave as good as they got and Scott, again playing sweeper, efficiently mopped up everything that came through. After about ten minutes Hampton went one up with a nothingy goal out of nowhere and it wasn’t long before Hassan, yet again running midfield and always looking likely to score, got a smashing equaliser after a lovely through ball from Carl S.

The pitch was very small, so big clearances were the order of the day – it was a the quickest way of putting Hampton under pressure – and their goalkeeper looked vulnerable whenever we threatened. After about twenty minutes we went a goal down from a flukey shot in off the woodwork, and then another just before half-time, but it was a very even match which could have been going either way and the parents always felt we could win.

The second half started well, with a superb long-range strike from Carl, which completely deceived the goalkeeper and floated into the net, 3-2. The boys battled away – it wasn’t much fun in the mud and rain – and the back line, including Man of the Match Harry J. making a very welcome return, seemed to be coping well with the Hampton strike force.

Even when we went 4-2 down we always felt we could get something out of the match – Theo Ward kept us in it with one particularly fine block – but in the last ten or fifteen minutes the boys’ began to hesitate around their box, not taking responsibility and everything fell apart.

With ten minutes to go we gave away a silly goal, 5-2. Heads went down, the Hampton forwards poured forward, we pushed Scott up front in a desperate attempt to pull a goal back but the collapse continued and two more goals were handed to Hampton on a plate.

  Six points thrown away and, in the words of the Hampton coach – ‘bit of a shock result, that.’

MATCH REPORT by Malcolm

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Chiddingfold 9 v 6 Ewhurst (Friendly)

2nd March 2002

‘IT’S OFFSIDE, LADIES!’

Centre back John T. whilst trying to bring his wildly cheering team mates back to reality as they celebrate a disallowed goal.

On a brisk and initially overcast March morning (Here we go again. Ed), Chiddingfold boys again entertained Ewhurst for the third meeting between the sides this season, both previous occasions resulting in handsome wins for our boys.

Chidd were without three regulars - Greg K up front, Daniel M. in defence and James O. in goal.  All three positions were ably filled by Ross L. up front, with Patrick M. (Daniel’s younger brother) and goalkeeper Johnny S. making their debuts.

Ewhurst were a couple of players short, and were offered the loan of several of our players - they had the sense to make use of Chris B., Jonathan Bk., Rupert  and Charlie.

The first half started quietly, and it was not until about ten minutes of good pressure from Chiddingfold that the first goal resulted - an own goal in which John T had a big hand.

Shortly afterwards Ewhurst equalised, and clearly they were not in a mood to be the pushover of earlier matches.  However goals from Jonathan Bt., a fine half volley from Kirk followed by a second goal from Kirk after a good one two with Hassie, put Chiddingfold into the lead.  Ewhurst kept coming back and scored a couple in quick succession, but Scott then struck a shot from distance which somehow managed to trickle into the net.  Shortly afterwards John T knocked one in from a good pass across the goal.

Further goals followed in the second half. Ross had got two, one being a knock in from the edge of the six yard box, another a good shot from the edge of the area.  A final goal was another Scott effort, slotted in beautifully after good teamwork.

Johnny had a busy time in goal, the Ewhurst attack being sharpened by their Chiddingfold additions.  Ewhurst managed to knock a commendable six goals in, but the final result was never in doubt.

Refreshingly, all the players contributed to this match, Carl  again putting in a committed performance, Simon H. and Patrick playing commendably well for under age players, Josh  feeling his way into the match after a return from a long period of injury, James W. performing solidly at left back despite having to contend with Rupert’s pace down the wing, and Hassie, Theo and Kirk all working hard in midfield throughout the match.  In particular, Anthony M. had a great return to form in the attack and was once again the solid and reassuring player that he had been in the earlier part of the season.

Joint Men of the Match - Kirk O. for his first two goals for the Club and Anthony M. for his fine all round performance.

MATCH REPORT by Malcolm

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Chiddingfold 6 v 2 Horsley Youth

3rd March 2002

‘I really hope this team can stay together – if they do, they could win everything’

Mohammed S.

Awesome. Really, really impressive. After last week’s disappointment, the boys played some of their best football of the season, tearing Horsley apart in sweet revenge for the unfair 4-5 reverse we suffered early in the season.

Looking back, it’s clear that the chaps really began to come together as a team in the 7-1 defeat of Windlesham just after Christmas. They then sent shock waves through the division by leading Send 3-1 until nearly half-time (Send had conceded 4 goals all season); completed the double over an outclassed Sunbury; deservedly took 3 points from Woking, who had played 11, won 11; even with a below strength team could have beaten Hampton last week and now, with most of the squad back and raring to go, played with the passion, skill and commitment of champions.

The level of fitness compared to Horsley was excellent – the boys were running end to end right until the last - but it was the passing and movement, out of defence through midfield and surging into attack, which was wonderful to watch.

All the boys played magnificently. Carl S. in goal was as solid as we’ve come to expect but, most importantly, kept his concentration through the long periods of inactivity. Scott is a revelation as a sweeper (yes, we know you’re great up front as well!), adding speed to the defence who visibly grow in confidence knowing he is behind them. He also got a super goal immediately after being released to go forward, demonstrating once again the tactical acumen which has made your coach a legend in his own imagination (ED.-forget it Malc,, Man U re-employed the existing guy!)

The back line were magnificent. Centre backs John T. and Jonathan Bk. are quite a double act, tackling like demons, knowing when to commit themselves, covering for each other as they take it in turns to push up – and one day soon John is going to score the goal of the season from the edge of the box. Chris B. must be on triple Weetabix every morning, as he has added a large dose of aggression to his game, Theo has grown in maturity and authority on the pitch and Josh T., off ill for some time, is gradually regaining the power and intensity that made him last year’s Player of the Year. Charlie H., too is improving by the day and all of the defenders love to pass and push forward when they can.

But against Horsley, it was the movement and skill of the midfield and strike force which was a joy to watch. Man of the Match and forthcoming Southampton FC trialist Hassie  must have covered every blade of grass on the pitch. He tackled, kept possession, took people on and passed unselfishly, as well as scoring a super goal for good measure and the way the boys exploded into attack was thrilling to watch. Nick C., Rupert H. and hat-trick hero Jonathan Bt. (OK four goals if you include the one he ‘stole’ from Rupert!) were simply wonderful. They passed on the ground, had some sublime touches and bamboozled Horsley at will.

In truth, the score could have been doubled as the shots rained in and around the Horsley goal. There’s lots of improvement to come, lots of things to work on in training, but over the last few weeks the boys have shown the potential to be a very, very special team.

MATCH REPORT by Malcolm

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Chiddingfold 6 v 2 Horsley Youth

3rd March 2001

On a day when I should of been playing in a match myself, the annual comedy show that I love to do for charity, I chose instead to come watch the Chidd lads for the first half and then shoot off to my own game,

The opening ten minutes was a well fought affair and both sides were looking good enough to score. Having lost 4-5 to Horsley at their own ground having initially been in a comfortable position and cruising for a win, there was more than a considerable degree of vendetta in the air.

With some considerable effort and not without good play from Horsley, Chidd's attack team started to apply the pressure on Horsley time and time again. Sure enough, Chidd went 1-0 up. Then 2 more where added and the game seemed to be sewn up at 3-0 to Chidd. Then the old alarm bells began to ring as Horsley, who deserved all the credit for not giving in, came back with two very quick goals to make it 3-2 at halftime.

The halftime team talk took on a completely different air to what was intended. Malc's chosen theme of Renaissance Art was quickly rethought and the boys where basically given a verse or two of Wagner's 'Ride of the Valkyries'. This did the trick as the second half, though still tense, had Chidd looking the more comfortable team when on the ball.

The eventual scoreline of 6-2 was as about a good a reflection of the match as you could ask. Horsley certainly didn't give up, but Chidd did do everything right in the second half to provide a more than pleasing result.

One thing I have been more than impressed with all season and worthy of a mention here is the back-up 'staff' of the U'12s. We are all humbled by Malc's dedication, enthusiasm and increasing depth of tactical mastery and this is further supported by fellas such as John, Julian, Ian, Peter on the training pitch and game sideline. It is hard to argue that this input from the parents I am sure has helped to see an ever improving Chidd this season.

And of course there is our band of loyal supporters. It is really pleasing when you go to an away match and find you have a bigger attendance than the home teams. May the enthusiasm both on and off the pitch continue.

Oh, and as for shooting off after the first half to my own game,, not a chance !! :)

MATCH REPORT by Lionel

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BYFLEET BOYS 5 v 1 CHIDDINGFOLD (League)

!0th March 2002

‘This is a different game, isn’t it? It’s not football, it’s ping-pong’

Barry C.

Whoever said 'size doesn’t matter' hadn’t seen Byfleet’s Under-12’s at home.

Possibly the most frustrating match of the season, in which our boys, clearly the more talented team, were never able to play football because of the size of five or six of the Byfleet team, combined with the postage stamp of a pitch.

There must be something in the water of Byfleet to produce boys of the size of their players, several of whom were as big as 16 or 17-year-olds. Our boys could have made up for this with sheer skill, but the very small pitch (exactly the same size as the adjacent mini-soccer pitch we used to play them on)  meant that there was no space – in particular, room on the wings - for them to put together the wonderful passing which had decimated Horsley the previous week. End result, a congested midfield in which the ball boomeranged back and forth with no discernable pattern or thought and no time to create space.

In spite of this, the boys were only a goal down at half-time. In fact of Horsley’s five goals only one was a decent strike, a terrific free kick into the top of the far post well into the second half. With the boys pressed back for much of the game, the other goals were down to defensive slip-ups, unlike the goal we scored - a super Hassie shot following a mazy Jonathan Bt. run from the half-way line.

Inevitably the Byfleet boys tried a series of long shots throughout the match – they only had to step outside their own goal area to be within range – but goalkeeper Theo was the equal of them all. Southampton triallist Hassie was everywhere as he tried to get the game flowing and Man of the Match Carl S. hardly put a foot wrong in the unfamiliar left back position. Josh T., too, gave a superb example of unflagging determination and commitment.

Overall the boys played well – but the coaches are really looking forward to the return match.