Molesey Juniors 3 Chiddingfold 1
‘And he smelled of curry …’
Will H, describing
the Molesey striker he was marking, who kept standing in front of our keeper
One of the glories of football is it’s
unpredictability. The best team doesn’t always win, sometimes you can snatch
an undeserved victory and, like life, you don’t always get out of it what you
put into it. And who would have it any other way?
Well, at 11.20 this morning, me actually.
Any neutral observer would agree that the boys deserved
at least a point out of this match, and could easily have won it.
In the first half particularly, the chaps were
magnificent. The concentration in training on passing and movement - not giving
the ball away easily, keeping possession - is really paying dividends. Warwick,
who has missed the last couple of weeks’ training, was really impressed at how
good the boys looked when they get going.
We got off to a very bright start, with Chidd applying
most of the pressure. We were first to the ball and tried to keep it on the
ground, not just hoof it up to our tall players, like Molesey. When they did
break clear, Molesey could never get past sweeper Rupert, who made one
especially brilliant recovery on five minutes, enabling in-form James in goal to
make a brave save at the feet of the Molesey striker. In fact James was always
reliable when called upon throughout the match, making several smart saves look
easy. He is also improving all the time at commanding his area.
The boys looked dangerous up front and on ten minutes
some great pressure down the left from Man
of the Match Will, saw him interact beautifully with Jonno and put a
magnificent cross across the face of the goal, agonisingly with no-one quite
close enough to put the ball away.
The whole of the first half followed this pattern, of
Chidd having good possession and looking most likely to score, with Molesey
pumping the ball up and over for occasional breakaways.
There is a real shape and sense of organisation to the
boys now, with Rupert coolly sweeping up at the back, the back line of Lewis,
John T (in full battling mode), Jonathan B and Dan – later joined by
Steve, Josh and Kirk – virtually impregnable, Eddie, Hassie and Will working
their socks off in midfield and Scott prompting Jonno up front.
Then, just before half-time, we got the goal we deserved.
A free kick from just inside the half-way line was lofted beautifully into the
box by Rupert, the goalkeeper couldn’t hold it and it was in the net, to
ecstasy on the Chidd touchline. 1-0 and we were in the driving seat.
We knew Molesey would come out strongly in the second
half but no-one imagined what followed – a mix-up in defence, under no
pressure, gifted Molesey the equaliser on about the second minute.
One-all and the boys were rocked back on their heels, but
grimly kept going and began to get back into the game. Most of the second half
was an end-to-end, gripping tussle with no quarter asked or given. Then, about
half-way through, Molesey counter-attacked from more Chidd pressure and lobbed
James, 1-2. They celebrated as though they had won the World Cup.
Now it was time to go for broke. Rupert was pushed up
front in a last fifteen minutes of risky, all-out attack. Jonathan B and Jonno
held together the back line in his absence, allowing John T to push up as well.
The chaps laid siege to the Molesey goal. A superb Will
cross found Kirk out on the left. He battled through down to the touchline and
shot from wide on the left for what would have been goal of the season. The ball
just skidded past the top corner.
Then, as the seconds ticked away, Eddie dribbled through
to the left of the Molesey area, crossed superbly across the open goal, straight
to Rupert who blazed the ball inches over the crossbar, to the agony of the
Then, as luck would have it, from what should have been
2-2, within seconds it was a cruel 1-3, when Molesey undeservedly scored on the
break. The boys still kept fighting and putting on the pressure, but there was
Although we were all gutted at the unfairness of the
result, it was a magnificent performance and showed conclusively that there is
no team in the Premier Division that we couldn’t beat on our day.
More important, the boys are really beginning to move up a league in the way they play the game and, at their best, are starting to look like Gilching and Send – the genuinely impressive footballing teams we have faced.