This weeks match report compiled by Gary Hodgson
Well the trip to Ivy Legends starts with a bit of a shock with Colin Wharton
pulling out at the last minute with a wrist injury, much mystery surrounds the injury, and lots of speculation about its cause, but man living on his own with a bad wrist !!. Make your own mind up!!
Anyway a squad of 14 named for the game but a last minute disappointment as Julian Austick
is delayed at work So won't make the game, this sees Keith promoted from the bench before the game starts and that turns out to be a trump card for the Vets as Keith goes on to have an inspired game.
No recognised keeper today so Shaun dons the gloves, back four of Conk, Seppy, Russ and Dibsy, midfield 5 of Nigel Wilson
, Nigel Austick
, Phil Barber and Keith, with Alan sitting in front of back 4 and big Dell upfront, with Gary H and John King
donning the subs coats.
In the warm up Seppy looking a bit tentative on his bad calf, has the look of a lad warming up for the Paralympic games but hopefully as the tightness wears off he will be fine.
We kick downhill with the slight breeze behind us in the first half so we need to get our noses in front if we are to win this one.
A very humid and hot morning so making the ball do the work is key in these conditions, not something we normally excel at, however we get off to a great start with lots of passing between our own players, yes our own players!!!! With passing moves between 4 or 5 of our own players....
The ball is played with great effect down our right with great passing and moving between Conk, Nigel A, Phil and Keith, great stuff to watch and as ever whenever we get the ball to Dell he always looks a threat.
The Vets opening goal is not long coming a great cross field pass from Nigel A sees Dell take great control about 10 yards out at the far post and lashes it effortlessly past their keeper, a great reward for some good play.
The Vets good footballing start continues however we do get carried away at times, a couple of incidents to report, clearly Keith's great start getting to his head as a great ball down the channel from Conk is drilled directly behind Keith, in true Ronaldo style he attempts to jump over the ball as it passed him so he can continue his surging run, however his timing was a bit out and he ends up jumping about 3 times before the ball actually passes him!!! Alan then joins the fun by attempting a ridiculous "poxy flick" which completely fails and he looks a right prat but worse still sets up a good attack for the opposition ( to make matters worse Alan's son Jack yells to us that he goes ballistic if one of his payers at Coxhoe tries such antics)
Anyway back to the footy our domination continues and a second goal cannot be far away as we have plenty of the ball and are defending well when they do get the ball.
Second goal comes after about 25 minutes with a "Beckamesque" like free kick from Dibsy on the left is swung deep to the far post where my MOM Keith knocks a great ball back in for the simplest of tap ins for Dell, 2 0 Vets great play and dominating.
We continue to create good half chances but fail to capitalise, the talk on the line is we could do with a third as it's going to be a tough second half.
As the first half wears on we start to drop deeper as we try to defend our lead and at times end up with both Alan and Phil sat in front of the back four, it's easy to say from the line but it simply encourages the opposition to push more people on, it's a trap better teams than us fall into!!!, we manage to survive a rough 10 minutes of at times desperate defending but credit to the whole team we keep them out.
Slowly but surely we get our shape back getting Phil a bit further up the pitch and we see the half out comfortable at 2 0, but will it be enough ????
Gary replaces Seppy at half time and a good call from John warns the team not to drop too deep this half as they will attempt pot shots at Shaun with the aid of the slope.
We start the game well in the second half however it's clear the opposition are going to put us under a lot of pressure during this half. We keep our shape well with Nigel Wilson
and Dibsy getting more work to do on the left in this half as the opposition push on, but right across midfield the guys work hard helping protect our lead with Gary and Russ cleaning up when needed and only long range shots get through to Shaun who handles everything really cleanly today.
However it's fair to say that whilst we are under lots of pressure we still manage to create a number of breakaway chances and with a little more composure we could have increased our lead. One such occasion saves a number of players from goof of the day as a great move involving Dibsy, Nigel W, Nigel Austick
and Keith results in a great chip to the post where dead eyed dick striker Dell stands unmarked, a slight dilemma for Dell, does he head it in or tap it in with his left, right, or for that matter any other part of his anatomy!!
We all brace ourselves to run up and thank Dell for another great hat trick when he inexplicably elects to try a diving header, his chin scrapes the floor and he somehow manages to put it past the post!!!! The man is human after all!
This clearly spurs on the opposition as they start to play through us, Kingy comes on to replace a flagging Conk (who to be fair has just come off nights! well done Conk) John immediately tries to steal Dells goof of the day with his first three passes down the line straying well out for throw ins, has he got two left feet with those new boots!!!!!
As the pressure builds Seppy comes back on for Russ, who has had a very steady game not putting a foot wrong today, if we thought Seppy looked a bit stiff before the game started he looked like Rigor Mortis had set in when he came back on !!!
Perhaps his lack of mobility was on his mind as he failed to get close enough to his man on the edge of the box who slotted in past a hapless Shaun from the edge of the box, to be fair as a team we had let them run too far with the ball in that move we need to pick up our game and push them out a bit more. 2 1
As our minds wander back to last season where we were done in the last minute here playing on the same pitch, the same way, against the same opposition, we need to pick the pace up and ensure this is not to be one of those days where we fade towards the end of a game and throw away an hour of great work.
To be fair we all buckle down and defend a bit higher up the pitch with pot shots at Shaun handled well and crosses in dealt with reasonable comfortably. We continue to create chances with Dibsy, the two Nigel's, Keith and Dell all going close and we are only thwarted from winning the game easily by some great saves from their keeper
Then finally with 3 minutes to go we get the rewards we deserve, another good move prompted by Phil (another MOM candidate) and Nigel A, Dell gets a powerful shot in which the keeper parries well and the ball drops to Keith who slots into the roof of the net with great confidence (he has clearly remove red from his 50 metre hurdles in the first half).
We see the game out comfortably and record a great 3 1 win, but I think the management will be more pleased with the manner of the win , some good football played and no bickering amongst ourselves or with the opposition
Off to the pub Alan puts a late bid for goof of the day by getting lost again, after getting lost on the way to the ground despite Colin's great directions and a Sat Nav, but thankfully for Al, Dell has it sewn up for today.
Russ reintroduces the fines tin as we debate how much Colins fine is for a self-induced wrist injury!!!
Everybody leaves in a good mood after a good win looking forward to first league game next week and an early chance for revenge for last week’s cup defeat