Chiddingfold 2   Bookham 2 (League)

 

17th April 2005

 

‘At least it keeps us ahead of them …’

Lionel Cozens-Smith

 

An absolutely crucial game against the side closest to us in the league in terms of background and achievement. We had to at least draw to stay ahead of them in the ‘new’ league table, following the split into Premier and First Divisions.

We didn’t start well, almost gifting Bookham a goal in the first minute – thankfully captain Jon Br was on hand with an amazing clearance off the line. But soon the chaps got themselves together and Rupert  was unlucky to miss when one-on-one with the keeper, after Jon Bn had set him up nicely. Jon was in good form and shortly afterwards cheekily nicked the ball from the Bookham keeper and shot just wide.

Back at our end and Mike saved bravely at the feet of the Bookham attack, but overall we were looking very strong, with Man of the Match Eddie running everything in midfield.

First blood however went to Bookham, who went 1-0 up with a terrific header from a corner on 20 minutes, but it wasn’t long before we equalised – seemingly from nowhere Rupert battled into the area, stumbled from a tackle (but to his enormous credit didn’t go down) and pushed the ball past the keeper, 1-1.

Then the lead swung our way – Rupert broke clear again and slotted the ball to his strike partner Jon Bn who made no mistake, 2-1, looking good.

Daryl  at left back was on fire, showing a great eye for the flight of the ball, and, whenever we did put ourselves under pressure, Mike in goal was alert, at one point brilliantly tipping over a crafty goalbound lob. Half-time.

The second half opened with a rare booking – the opposition’s number 12 – and Bookham started to put the expected pressure on us. The boys weren’t fazed though, and pushed back into the Bookham half, with Eddie driving us forward. Rupert let fly a blinding shot which the Bookham keeper saved brilliantly and then Jon Br was forced to come off after a typically brave clash of heads.

Still we fought on, in spite of a couple of inexplicable refereeing decisions, and then, with five minutes to go, we stood off a Bookham attack, giving them way too much room to advance, and it was a frustrating 2-2.

With seconds to go, the boys got the ball in the net but the referee, probably quite rightly, blew up for a foul, and we had to settle for one point.