Hersham 7   Chiddingfold 0 (Friendly)

 

28th November 2004

 

‘It’s their entire first team; we recognise them all!’

Rupert

‘Even Warwick would have been better than that ref’

Mike Oatridge

 

Amazing. This was a first for all of us.

Two weeks previously we had deservedly drawn with top of the table Hersham, a result which clearly stung them. Then they asked if we would like this friendly for our ‘B teams’, the idea being to give a good run-out to the players who hadn’t been playing regularly for the league teams. We duly rested six first team regulars and seized the opportunity to give a game to players like Reece  and Ross , who hadn’t had the games they deserved – and Hersham turned up with an unchanged side from the one we had played a fortnight earlier!

Reece had to come off injured after five minutes and we conceded a goal shortly afterwards but Jamie G, given responsibility for leading the midfield battle for the first time, did good work, while Daryl  covered well in defence. Overrall though, we were just overrun. On a postage stamp of a pitch, we stood watching the ball, giving away possession and the midfield were continually forced back, inviting pressure onto the defence.

Mike in goal kept Hersham at bay, with one particularly fine push around the post after they were put through – by us! – but our challenges were half-hearted, we were defending far too deep and 90% of the play was in our half.

True, in addition to being stitched up anyway, we weren’t helped by a truly awful referee, provided by, and friends with, the Hersham boys and it was no surprise to find ourselves a further two goals down by half-time, one when we gave the ball away yet again, one a free header.

Grimly on into the second half, with joint Man of the Match Jonathan Br firing on all his captain’s cylinders. Around this time Ross had to come off with an injury and we found ourselves down to nine men for a time, after joint Man of the Match Rupert  was studded. Hersham offered us a couple of their boys but we all agreed we’d rather lose 15-0.

Then Hersham got an excellent fourth goal but Josh  unluckily put the ball wide when one on one and Mike continued to pull off some remarkable saves. We weren’t doing that badly, in spite of the referee.

Hersham got a flukey fifth when the ball rebounded from one of Mike’s clearances, and six from a foul throw soon afterwards. In spite of the scoreline, they still argued over every offside, whereas we held our back line exceptionally well.

The final goal was gifted Hersham by a poor throw-in from us but, by this time, the supporters couldn’t care less what the score was and we trudged off home vowing never to get caught like that again.