Surrey Veterans Cup – Sunday 17th October
Warlingham Vets “A” 7 Cheam Rangers Vets 0
Warlingham Vets triumphed in this competition in the season before last having just missed out the season before. Our triple success in the late nineties was the basis on which we developed our highly successful Vets teams.
This season we approach the competition with new management and some new players and therefore a renewed desire to succeed.
Cheam Rangers were a bit of an unknown quantity but with players arriving for the lunchtime kick off from their involvement with junior football we had a strong side on display.
As early as the 2nd minute we were on the offensive with the Cheam keeper making a save low down to his right. From the resulting Nichols corner Fowler’s effort was saved but Benham finished at the far post.
Just a couple on minutes later Benham drove through the Cheam defence only to see his shot saved. Again the corner found Fowler who duly scored.
By now Wars were totally dominant with a frustrated Cheam doing little more than chasing shadows. The ball was being caressed around the park with consummate ease as Wars attempted to break the record for the consecutive number of passes without having a shot on goal.
The half continued in much the same vane with Cheam failing to make much progress into the Wars half of the field.
In the 30th minute the marauding Nichols, again forward from left back, had a shot palmed away for a corner and then yet again Wars scored from the corner kick. This time it was Otway meeting the ball with his head. The first period finished with great work down the Wars left involving Nichols and Benham with the latter delicately lifting the ball over the full back for Clements (B) to hit the cross bar. Clements had joined the fray to replace Fowler who had a slight twinge in his hamstring.
Over hearing the Cheam half time team talk they were clearly concerned about the impact Paul “Ginge” Courtman was having on the game and there game plan was to shut down his space and get to him quicker. They failed miserably as Courtman ran the second half and also managed to miss chance after chance!
As we got back into the action it was only 5 minutes and Wars were 4 up as Weeks manoeuvred the ball over his shoulder and whacked it in to the near corner, claiming the trickery was all deliberate! Weeks went close again after 54 minutes as Wars went route one with an Ashburn free kick travelling the length of the field and finding Weeks who lobbed both the keeper and the goal.
Play continued on as Courtman entered his period of missed sitters and Wars didn’t score again until the 75th minute when a Clements (I) cross was met by a firm header by Allen (on for Benham) which the keeper had no answer to. Wars 5-0
Again the flood gates opened and Allen scored twice more to seal his hat trick on 81 minutes. His efforts were helped by the Cheam keeper who for some reason dived clean over one of the Allen efforts.
Now at 7-0 down Cheam had a spark of life and managed their first shot on target after 83 minutes. Holtby who had been nothing more than a spectator was forced to get down smartly to his left to save.
That was it for the action and Wars will have sterner tests to follow. A perfect display of how to play passing football and one of the most one sided games I have seen for a long time.
MOM – First half Brian Nichols. Second half Paul Weeks. Overall Paul Courtman. Involved in everything with that lopping gate (formerly known as “pace”) taking him into every area on the field and setting up move after move as he dominated the midfield.
Team: Holtby, Nichols, Smith, Bell, Ashburn, Courtman, Clements (I), Fowler, Benham, Weeks, Otway Subs: Clements (B), Wilson, Allen – all used