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Bookham 3   Chiddingfold 0 (League)

25th September 2005

Manager - ‘Bad day at the office.’

A pretty horrible game to watch, on a bumpy postage stamp of a pitch which made it very difficult to play football. Until Bookham got their first goal shortly before half-time, it was an evenly matched game; after that, the chaps lost confidence and the second half was much more of a struggle.

We started brightly enough. Mike in goal had to be brave early on but after five minutes Scott, Jamie, Steve and Hassie combined well to set up a dangerous looking attack. Bookham were up for it as well and we had two lucky escapes shortly afterwards, with captain Jon making the first of a series of crucial tackles.

On fifteen minutes we pressed up, the majestic Theo lobbed beautifully over to the right for Steve to race down the wing and put a sensational cross over only for Will to smash the ball just over the bar. Would have been a terrific goal.

With the slope and the sun against them it wasn’t easy for the boys, but they were showing some of the old inconsistency in going for headers and making life difficult for themselves as a result. In truth though, Bookham weren’t a great team and we should have done better. Both sides continually gave the ball away and failed to get any fluidity in their passing.

It was a truly scrappy game to watch, one which could have gone either way, so it wasn’t that much of a surprised when Bookham burst through into the box on about the half hour mark and gave Mike no chance, 1-0.

Just before half-time, Mike pulled off two extraordinary saves in quick succession – both full-length reflex saves from thunderbolt shots from the edge of the six yard box. Even without the other top-notch saves he made throughout the game this would have won Mike Man of the Match.

At half-time, with the slope and sun now in our favour, there was every reason to be confident, but early in the second half we had a very lucky let-off when Bookham shot over the bar in front of an open goal and the boys just couldn’t get out of their own half. Sure enough Bookham went two up with a cracking shot from the edge of the area – but the scorer was completely unmarked.

Despite grimly battling away, the back line of Daryl, Kirk, Josh, Theo and captain Jon were under continuous pressure. The midfield dropped back to help, which of course meant there was no-one to clear the ball to when we did win it.

Up front Scott threatened sporadically and Steve looked dangerous, but the area between centre circle and opposition penalty area was so constricted that through balls either went straight to the Bookham keeper or to the Boookham defenders, who were quick to close Scott down in numbers.

Heads went down even further when Bookham made it 3-0 and the rest of the game was really about hanging on. Scott did threaten on a couple of occasions but overall it was a game best forgotten.

Work to be done on Tuesday!