Redhill & District League – Division 1 30th January 2010
Reigate Hill 2 Warlingham 2
With few games escaping the freezing weather Warlingham travelled to Reigate heath to take on Reigate Hill. The pitch was surprisingly soft and clearly playable despite your reporter’s expectation that we would travel and then find the referee declaring the surface unsafe for football.
The pitch may have been soft and playable but other than that it is not the best place to be playing football and a scrappy game ensued from the first whistle.
Both teams were finding it hard to string any sort of passing game together and Reigate Hill were probably having the better of it clearly adjusting to the conditions quicker than Warlingham as you would expect. The first goal came after about 20 minutes and resulted from a free kick from 30 yards. Warlingham were very slow to organise and defensively were all over the place when to ball was played down our left and centred for the on running Reigate forward to slot the ball home. Warlingham players were left watching the result of their poor concentration levels.
The fact that it should never have been a free kick in the first place seemed to galvanise the away side who gradually worked their way back into the game. On 30 minutes the ball was slotted through to Warlingham forward Kevin Badcock who raced on to score in typical style. Half time came with the scores level at 1-1.
Warlingham, despite the conditions, were warning to the task and started to dominate play in the second half. However, against the run of play Reigate gained a corner following a miss kicked clearance from Hood. Again the Warlingham defence was found day dreaming as the ball was delivered into the near post and met by the Reigate forward who took the chance well beating Williams in goal with ease. Just who was supposed to be patrolling the edge of the six yard box to stop the near post corner is probably still being debated now!
Despite the set back Warlingham continued to dominate with Jack and Crunch taking over midfield and virtually doing as they pleased. Crunch in particular was making runs into the box and causing havoc as he arrived on the end of good balls from Connor and Kevin Day down the right side. Richard Wads and Lee Cupit were also seeing a lot of the ball down the left and it seemed only a matter of time until Warlingham again levelled.
Chance after chance came and went with Badcock blasting over, Crunch heading wide and shooting wide. Eventually after good work by Georgie Harris and Jack the ball fell to Crunch and he finally equalised, this time with ease.
The game continued in the same vein until the end and just how Warlingham didn’t get a much deserved win is beyond your reporter. Even the Reigate Assistant Referee contrived to keep us out with one outrageous offside decision shortly after Crunch had netted what we all believed would be the winner.
Still this represented a good performance and something to build on for the remainder of the season. A little more defensive discipline and the results will start to flow.
Difficult decision for man of the match but I think it has to go to Crunch who was instrumental in our dominance of the second half, scored the equaliser and should have put the game out of Reigate’s reach.