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Match Report - 1st XI v Cambridge Heath

Match Report Cambridge Heath 2-2 Old Stationers

A trip to the home of Sunday league beckoned for us this weekend as we took on Cambridge Heath in the SAL. A welcome fairly short travel to an away game, which is becoming increasingly rare for us.

The game was always going to be tight having played them a couple of weeks ago and winning a close encounter 1-0. We started brightly, in our new 5-3-2 shape, looking to avenge our first loss of the season last time out against Old Blues. A small, narrow pitch meant time on the ball was at a premium, but we were playing percentages well and looking dangerous nicking the ball in advanced areas through the high press. After a couple of decent chances from corners we made one count. Power snuck in round the back stick to meet a corner on the flush with a guided left peg volley which found its way in via a slight deflection. A couple of other decent moves were cut short by some dubious refereeing and we went into the break 1-0 to the good.

‘Start quickly’, ‘next goal crucial’ and ‘make first challenge a big one’ were all statements mentioned in the HT team talk. They worked a treat as we conceded within 30 seconds of the restart. A freak cross/shot from the left somehow managed to squirm in to the bottom corner of our goal and bring CH level. The game then completely changed on its head after Ansell was adjudged to have committed a foul which drew a questionable reaction from the CH players with one of them pushing him in the face and another leaning in with a head (which ansell gave him a peck for his troubles). Rightly, the ref dismissed the CH player for the strike to the face, but also baffling gave Dave two quick-fire yellows, one for the foul and one for being assaulted? Odd.

The game actually became better with both sides down to 10 as there was a bit more time and space on the pitch for our creative players to get on the ball. Jamo managed to find Elsey making a good run in from the left channel and he finished well one on one with the keeper.

We were further reduced to 9 men temporarily when Wattsy got sin-binned for asking the ref ‘What’s the difference’ between a stone wall penalty for us not given and a soft foul given for them in a dangerous position 30 secs later.

We dug in deep, but succumbed to a sucker punch a couple minutes from time after an extremely controversial goal was awarded to CH with the Stationers players adamant the striker was a country mile offside when he finished.

Under the circumstances; with torrential rain, Hackney Marshes pitches, and players dismissed, the point does not look bad at all on paper but certainly felt like a game we deserved to win.

Next up for us is Kew (H). COYS.

Team: Perry; Phillips Jacko Power Watts Brad; Jamo Elsey David; Seany Matt

MOTM: James Phillips. Set the tone early with some committed challenges, defended well and got forward at every opportunity.

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