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Chiddingfold 0   New Haw 5


13th November 2005


‘I can’t take any more of this. I’m going on to sort things out.’

4-0 down and a determined Jon B. storms onto the pitch. And promptly gives away a penalty. 5-0.

One of those days.

The manager’s carefully laid plans had to be re-jigged before kick-off when he was told that crucial midfielder Tom D was forbidden to play because he was behind on his coursework (does Alex Ferguson have this problem?).

We were already without star striker Scott (dodgy ankle) and when ‘TK’ had to come off after twenty minutes (pulled hamstring), captain Jon  towards half-time (twisted back) followed by Theo (pulverised goolies), a bit of a pattern had begun to emerge.

In truth New Haw deserved to win, although not by five goals. The dreaded complacency had crept in and the boys played as though they expected to win, ie without any of the drive and spirit they had shown the previous week against Croydon.

New Haw on the other hand really went for it from the off, putting the defence under sustained pressure for long periods with a succession of lofted through balls (they hit the upright after a lovely breakaway early on). But thanks to Mike in goal and determined work from the back line the goal stayed miraculously intact for the first half hour.

It wasn’t all one way. We created several chances, some of which were gilt-edged but the ball just wouldn’t go in. Jamie in midfield was particularly effective early on, together with Man of the Match, the indefatigable Hassie.

Overall though the first half performance was pretty woeful. We constantly won the ball only to give it away and invite pressure. New Haw headers often went unchallenged and we seemed unable to string more than a couple of passes together. We were lucky to only go in 2-0 down.

The second half was much better, with Dan showing some welcome passion and Will putting himself about as well, but too many good players were absent and, when we went three down, there was no way back.

The boys did keep plugging away, to their credit, and in fact could have had at least two goals if we had taken our chances - Jamie was particularly unlucky with a stunning shot from 25 yards which went millimetres wide. But we didn’t and, as coach Ian Jones said, ‘we could have played for another twenty hours and the ball wouldn’t have gone in’.

At least it didn’t rain.