Redhill & District League Division One Saturday 10th December 2011
Warlingham “A” 2 Caterham OB 2
Wars come into the game top of the league but Caterham have only played 4 games and are yet to be beaten so a tough game looked likely. That’s exactly what we got.
The weather was cold but clear and conditions were slippery underfoot. Wars have a team packed with good footballers but could they do enough against a strong looking Caterham? The early exchanges were fairly even with an early Caterham free kick well wide and a shot from Lawson well over. After 7 minutes the marauding Brooko connected with a free kick and just headed over.
Wars were ahead after 10 minutes as they worked the ball out from the back to Ellis who slotted an excellent ball through to Manning who despatched with aplomb to make it 1-0.
It didn’t take long before Caterham were back on terms. Another free kick was launched to Wars far post where it found a forward completely unmarked who headed back across goal and the ball was bundled in. Wars defence caught half asleep and looking around at each other.
Wars were trying hard to play and first Tony Manning went close again after 18 minutes and then a good passing move between Lawson and Ellis was saved and the resulting corner came to nothing.
On 26 minutes the referee adjudged Rowe to have pushed a Caterham forward and awarded a penalty. A particularly soft one in your reporters view. Anyway justice was done as Mash stood firm and the ball brushed the outside of the post and flew away to safety.
Just minutes later and Robinson who had been excellent at the back over played and gave the ball away. The incoming shot was just about saved by Mash and the ball squirted over the bar for a corner.
Just before the half closed Ellis was upended and the resulting free kick was sent into the mixer. Lawson was the first to react as the ball broke loose and he hammered it into the top of the net to send Wars in 2-1 up.
Down the slope in the second half and all to play for. Unfortunately Wars never really got goin and the strength and size of the Caterham midfield were beginning to cause problems with Wars often second best both in the air and in the tackle.
With 58 minutes on the clock Mash had a nightmare scuffing his clearance straight back to Caterham who promptly equalised. The rest of the half was very frustrating and try as Wars did they could not get their passing game going and Caterham always looked the stronger and it looked on many occasions that they would take all 3 points but somehow Wars managed to hang on and in doing so also retained top spot with more than half the season complete.
Team: Mash, Robinson, Brookman, Rowe, Lawson, McIntyre, Vidal, Jarrett, Manning, Ellis, Tomlinson Subs used: Ashburn Sub not used: Fox
MOM: Despite the disappointing result there were some sound performances. Manning and Ellis all pace and movement up front. Lawson and Jarrett used the width well but didn’t get enough of the ball. Brookman and Rowe had strong games in a back 3 that was under a lot of pressure in the second half. Robinson was outstanding at the back and Caterham’s many attacks often floundered on his resolute defence and excellent reading of the game. Good to see him back to his old self.