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Croydon Juniors 7 (County Cup 2nd Round)
6th November 2005
‘You broke our washing machine.’
Another spirited performance from the
chaps against an excellent team on a mudbath of a pitch.
We played Croydon several years ago,
also in the County Cup, and lost 8-0 (Man of the Match James Owers if memory
serves) so we knew they were likely to be good. What we didn’t tell the boys
was that they beat Bookham 14-1 in the previous round.
From the off it was clear we had a stiff
challenge on our hands. Croydon were another physically huge team but also very
well organised and with excellent link up play, even in the mud. In spite of the
conditions it was also a good clean game with little niggling, dissent or bad
Inevitably the defence was going to be
under a lot of pressure and today they excelled themselves. Without captain Jon
B, Josh and Daryl threw themselves through the mud time and again to break up
Croydon attacks and joint Men of the
Match Kirk and Theo in central
defence were absolutely outstanding, retaining their composure under sustained
Behind them was the third Man of the Match Mike in goal, who made a series of impressively
brave and quick saves at the feet of the Croydon strikers, not to mention
several spectacular full length dives. Without those three playing at the top of
their game, the score would have been much closer to Bookham’s.
Hassie and Tom worked hard in central
midfield, with Will, Steve, Dan and Jamie in support, but against such large
players, it was a struggle not to be overrun.
It was 5-0 at half-time but there was no
sympathy for anyone tempted to give up and the coaches were enormously proud of
the way the chaps came out for the second half determined to take the game to
Croydon. The fact that they only managed two more goals in that half says it
The truth was we created enough chances
to score three or four goals on another day, and Scott led the front line with
typical verve, in spite of suffering the lingering side effects of the previous
week’s tackle. TK was a bustling presence as well, also struggling with a
vulnerable hamstring, and Anthony, who has advanced in leaps and bounds this
season, put himself about well in the second half.
Morale remained high throughout the
match, a great tribute to the boys’ spirit, to the extent that several of them
couldn’t resist the temptation to dive full-length into the mudbath around the
centre spot when the final whistle blew. In fact the kit was so incredibly wet
and grotty, that it literally took two hands to carry. More than that, Mike's
grandmother, who had the unenviable job of doing the wash that week, found that
all her efforts at doing the wash gradually were in vain – the washing machine
broke down (as indeed did Martin).