THE LAST HAUL HOME.

8th March 2004

With the first part of the season now complete and the division split between Premier and First (ridiculous isn't it), it's maybe a good time to take a look at how the system has worked out and where we can look to set our sights on ending up.

If the division hadn't split and things had remained as they were, it's not unreasonable to expect Chidd to have ended up around about where they are now, i.e. 5th. Indeed, the one thing we had going for us at the half way stage is we are quite merrily in contention for any place between 3rd and 6th, especially when we are only 4 points behind third placed team Horsley A and there would still be 33 points to play for. 

We have shown on several occasions just how well we can play having twice run division leaders Molesey in closely fought games. In the League Cup we had them beaten at half time only to see them come back and win in the second half. Even harsher was in the league game of the 7th March where we lost 3-1. Again, not only were we winning at half time but positively looked like going on and mastering the match. Sadly on that day a weak equaliser following one of those communication breakdowns which are bound to happen occasionally and do so even in Premiership and then a goal against the run of play left us chasing the match to draw. Moseley's 3rd goal resulted from Chidd's out and out attack in the dying moments, leaving us exposed at the back. Despite the result line, the match proved that Chidd have what it takes.

There was something to be taken from the game at 2nd place Hersham as well. Hersham are not as technically gifted as Molesey yet have a way of battling for the ball. What they lack in skill, they make up for and excel in doggedness. Again, we may have looked the better of the sides for spells of the game and certainly we were unfortunate to have succumbed to some dubious decisions. We had a direct free kick which went straight in but was then ruled 'offside'.. excuse me, where did the interfering with play occur from that?. I don't think Hersham were lucky to have won the game, they were after all, on the day the better team. What was evident is when we play well and remember our training we slice through opposition with ease creating chance after chance.

Thus, we could of looked to challenge for that 3rd spot in the division and had a reasonable chance of it.

The reality is that it's now unlikely. It's not impossible but having lost to Molesey yesterday and Horsley beating Teddington we now have to face reality. We are 6 points behind that 3rd spot with only 12 points obtainable from the remaining games.

Mind you, it's not that we couldn't do it.

First of all we have to look at the form guide and jog our minds as to the teams we have yet to face. We have played the best team and duly lost. This at least means the remainder won't be as good whilst still reminding ourselves they aren't exactly pushovers either.

We have beaten Horsley A convincingly already this season. Now I for one wasn't there on the day so I don't know what was and wasn't it all about. Horsley A beat Molesey, the only team that did so far. Manager Bob of Molesey suggested he was short of his best players on the day. Even so, Horsley have shown they are worthy of their 3rd spot by virtue of results from other games. To beat them again will be a must.

Hersham I'm sure will again be an uphill battle to win. But we know them now and that is something which gives us an advantage. Why? Because most of the teams we play rely on being bigger physically and also, though it may sound unobvious, have much larger squads to select from. Chidd is a small club but what we lack in size, both in numbers and physically, we make up for in intuitiveness. 

The best example I can relate to for this is from last season. We went to an away game mid-season and played Byfleet Boys. Their pitch was very small, the proverbial postage stamp and their lads greatly outsized us. But we knew once we had seen them and having had a few months to contemplate the return game, that on our own much larger pitch, that we were fitter than them and that we played much better technically. All the scheming worked out. On the day of the return match we outplayed them and they had to chase the game from beginning to end. It was a close fought game but one we never looked like loosing once we had played our trump card. A shrewd bit of brain power :)

Hersham could well be in for a shock, I'm not going to suggest they are the same as Byfleet but they could well be surprised at us next time we meet.

Bookham I feel we should beat. They caught us on an off day last time and despite that only just squeaked a win. If we go out to play with our good heads on we really shouldn't have a problem.

Lastly then is Teddington. Here is a team that started the season slowly and gathered momentum. I think we went to them not expecting what they were capable of. One thing is for sure, the next time we will be up for a much harder game and I think Teddington will give us one. They were after Molesey one of the teams I felt had 'something' after watching them play. They kept good shape and played defensively. The first 15 minutes of the game we gave them a very hard time and it has to be a credit to them that they stopped us from scoring at least 2 goals. Having soaked up the early pressure they then turned to the attack and caught us hopping, running outright winners at 5-1. It was a very demoralising match for Chidd. The team spirit broke down when things went wrong. Instead of looking to help one another get into the game, we turned on the self destruct button. Players bemoaned one another,,, the most sure-fire way of loosing a team game is destroy the team spirit ,,, and coaching staff went into a bit of denial that we were really loosing to this 'outfit' such as was the surprise of what Teddington were doing.

Next time out I think the Teddington game will be a different affair. We showed in the early moments of the first game we can put pressure on them but we know they are a going to be a tough nut to crack.

With it being such a tight group and hence results could be, and will, going any way, we will do well to finish 4th and exemplary to finish 3rd.

 

HOW WILL IT ALL PAN OUT ?

 7th Feb 2004

Looking at the how the final part of the season may well pan out. It's not easy to predict who will be in the final 6 but it will be incredibly difficult for us to not qualify. The following is pretty in depth and a bit involved, but shows just about all the possible variations of what could happen and also what is likely to happen.  

For those unsure what is happening with our league, a quick explanation. The GSDL felt that we didn't have enough teams for two U'14 divisions for the whole season and equally they felt there was to many for just one division. Wrong or right, it was decided to run one division first off. All the teams would play each other and then the division would be split in half. We have 12 teams altogether, so when the split comes, there ends up with 6 in each division.

Keeping up so far,? Good, then we'll proceed.

Once the top six teams have qualified, there points total will be altered. Instead of having ALL of the points they accrued thus far, only the points they have attained from playing teams who are also in the top six, will count. The example of this is we beat Staines 8-0. Staines will end up in the lower division so the points we gained from that won't count. However, we beat Horsley A and as they'll be in the top 6, those points go into our total.

Got it ? Good, then forward we will go.

******************************** 

Molesey                 these 4 teams are confirmed through to top six

Hersham

Horsley A

Bookham               

Chiddingfold          1 game to play - Goldsworth Park

For 6th spot - 

Horsley B   - 1 game to play - Hersham

Teddington - 1 game to play - Goldsworth ; 22nd Feb 04

Claygate     - 2 games to play -  Staines ; 8th Feb 04 /  Bookham ; 15th Feb 04

New Haw    - 1 game to play  - Horsley A

Goldsworth - 4 games to play  - Chiddingfold / Teddington / Molesey/ Abbey  

If Chidd lost to Goldsworth in the final game, then Chidd would still come at LEAST 6th. Only if Claygate win both their last games would we come 6th,,  not impossible as Claygate have Bookham and Staines left to play.

If Claygate beat Staines and Horsley B loose to Hersham, Claygate could be 6th

For Horsley B to qualify, they must beat Hersham and all other contenders loose.

Teddington must beat Goldsworth and then rely on other results to qualify. They also would need Claygate to win one game,,, even then, goal difference is crucial.

New Haw must win last game v Horsley A, and rely on other contenders all loosing.

Goldsworth must win 3 out of 4 last games to stand a chance of winning and then others to loose. Could beat Chidd,, if they win all last 4 games for 5th spot.

CONCLUSION.

On current form, Chidd really can't NOT qualify for top 6. They do need to beat Goldsworth to make sure of 5th spot. Even if they loose, they will still likely end up 5th.

6th spot is tight. Any of the above contenders could possibly get it. Horsley (13pts) wont likely beat Hersham, Claygate will end up on at least 14pts if they beat Staines. Thus Horsley B are out.

The crucial match is Teddington v Goldsworth Park. Form suggests Teddington to win but it really is hard to call.

Therefore, 6th spot is between Teddington and Claygate

Teddington goal difference is better (by 1) than Claygate (who have to play Staines and Hersham). At the end of the day, it depends on how many goals Claygate score and let in, in their final two games. Tough call.

My bet is Teddington will go through on goal difference. 

WHERE WE WILL STAND IN FINAL SIX

Team       Played Points

Molesey     5        12*

Hersham     5        12

Horsley A   5        9 

Bookham      5        6*

Chiddingfold 5       3

Teddington   5       3

* assuming Molesey beat Bookham

If on the other hand Claygate make it to final 6

Team       Played Points

Molesey     5        12

Hersham     5        12

Horsley A   5        7

Bookham      5        9*

Chiddingfold 5       6

Claygate       5       4*

*  assuming Bookham win their final game against Claygate

Ideally, it'd be nice if Claygate get through and not Teddington, and in doing so, Claygate beat Bookham. Not impossible, Claygate narrowly lost 3-2 to Hersham and drew with 0-0 Horsley A. If that happens, then it the Horsley A, Bookham, Chidd and Claygate are separated by one point.

 

UPDATE - 8th Feb

Staines pull a surprise out of the hat and draw with Claygate, 1-1. This is Staines first point of the season and even though we beat Staines 8-0 earlier in the season, personally I thought they looked like they should have done better as they showed some flair in areas.

Importantly, what this means to us is we are now assured of qualifying for the top 6 and likely to end up 5th. If we beat Goldsworth Park by 10 goals or more and Bookham loose there two remaining games, we could end 4th.

The other event rising from this result is that the 6th spot place is more open. The favourite must still be Teddington as they have lowly Goldsworth Park in their final fixture. Claygate, Horsley B and New Haw respectively have to play Bookham, Hersham and Horsley A in their final games.