An away draw against an improving Littlehampton Town
The linesman proves to be flag happy
Writing a match report when you haven't been at the game might lead to some inaccuracies. I was in Manchester taking my daughter Annie, to see the University, where she is thinking of studying psychology which is a worry as she may work out her Dad has huge psychological problems in that I am addicted to football. As my wife Jill said to me the other day how long have we been together to which I replied 'I think it's 30 seasons.'
As Annie and I were wandering around the campus I was aware of a slight vibration in my groin every few minutes, which was causing worrying looks from other fathers, but of course it was 'whats app' informing me of the running events of our match against Littlehampton.
We recently beat the Marigolds in the cup but knew today would be a different proposition as they have acquired a couple of new players, including Jack Langford who used to be an Old V, and they could also play a couple of players who had been cup tied, dan Boswell for instance. Kev Keehan told me the Littlehampton Town pitch was in very good condition so congratulations to the ground staff as a few games had been postponed around the county.
The first message I received from vice chairman Steve Matthew's was 'Just had a certain goal disallowed.' 'Followed by '1-0 down, gifted them.'
There was a general consensus from both teams and committee members that one of the linesman was not up to scratch which wasn't helped by the fact he was laughing quite a lot. Maybe material for Annie's first dissertation. Joe Keehan scored a perfectly good header timing his run clearly a metre onside when the ball was crossed only to see the Linesman's flag raised aloft. The ref relies on his linesmen and Phil Surlis can't be blamed for disallowing the goal if he wasn't observing that part of the play so it was cancelled out which is frustrating. Joe Keehan was having a particularly good game running the midfield and creating lots of opportunities.
However, Littlehampton took advantage of a mistake by Arnie, who thought he was auditioning for the 'Nutcracker' as he peformed did a pirouette on the edge of our area, slipped over allowing Lawrence Edwards o take full advantage. We responded well and from a corner Ollie Stevenson scored his first of the season with a solid header to make it 1-1.
Arnie then made amends for his earlier mistake by scoring a 25 yard cracker which again the linesman tried to disallow but after a long discussion Phil Surlis, maybe conceding in his own mind their was doubt about the linesman's judgement on the earlier decision, let the goal stand.
Our lead didn't last long We conceded almost immediately as Dan Barden lost his marker allowing Edwards to equalise and get his brace. Kev felt it was another sloppy goal to give away so was disappointed to go in 2-2 at half time.
The second half is notable for the number of yellow cards that were shown and a red for Dom Hemblade who reacted badly to a strong challenge by leaving his foot on the Littlehampton players leg. A straight forward decision for the ref to make. The linesman continued to dumbfound our players with some interesting decisions which led to some frustration on the pitch from both sides and one moment where Kev got booked in a moment of mistaken identity.
Tom Bradford made a couple of outstanding saves which meant the score remained 2-2. All in all it was felt a draw was a fair result and i'm sure an improving Littlehampton will take points off our rivals.
Our squad for the day: