Goals; K. Howarth, McGoohan

Turning up at the Racecourse as the only team at home due to all other home fixtures being reversed most of us were surprised that our game had survived the downpours. The returning Harry ‘the Cowboy’ Wilkinson regaled us with stories of the New World “San Francisco is nice” whilst we awaited a key to the clubhouse, the opposition and the referee all of which arrived but not necessarily in that order.

During the warm up we were trying to work out if Winchmore Hill 7s were having a good season or not given that they were only a few points behind us but having played a couple more games. Our league is still really tight and only has one club cut adrift at the bottom and one team out in front if they win their games in hand. All to play for.

Whilst trotting across the pitch after we had elected to kick up the slope in the first half it became clear that the relatively grassy pitch was going to cut up pretty quickly and really quite badly. Whilst we’d try and play football we knew it’d be a battle against both oppo and conditions.

From the off, Winchmore dominated the game – the midfield and attackers frequently changing positions and creating opportunities. If the Cowboy had claimed rustiness before the game it didn’t show in it as he pulled of a couple of fine saves from long range efforts and one from a kick on the edge of our box. On one of our few forays forward the impressive Horner managed to outwit a Hill’s defender giving the referee no option but to award a penalty. Up stepped McGoohan to fire into the bottom left hand corner. In his head. In reality, the ball sailed over the cross bar and wide and into a horde of cross country runners making their way round the palace grounds.

It may still be travelling now.

Our disappointment was added to when Winchmore took the lead – the Cowboy made a good sliding save from an attack but the rebound fell fortuitously for Hill’s right midfielder to side foot into the top corner.

At half time the riot act was read but in truth we’d played well enough to come in with  the lead and knew that we’d have the advantage of the slope in the second half. And so it proved when the skipper latched on to a driven cross from Horner for the equaliser. McGoohan quickly made it two after some build up play between Horner and McGahey and it looked like we’d go on to get a bagful but conditions made it difficult to see off the game. With tiring legs D. Howarth replaced McGahey and Sulemanji was replaced by Tabram who switched with McGoohan to go up top.

For the remainder of the second half the game was played out in our half but without Hill testing the Cowboy that much. Hill’s frustration mounting epitomised when their goalscorer squeeled “no wonder you win your home games with pitches like this” – the statement so stupid that no one evn humoured him. The team dug in to secure a much needed win which keeps up our 100% winning home record.

MoM – there were a few contenders for this week, Wilkinson had a great first half and kept us in the game, Donnelly marshalled the defence well and McGlogan made some great challenges but just in front of the defence Battams put in a terrier like performance and edges it.

Team; Wilkinson, Taylor, Kralik, Donelly, McGlogan, Horner, K. Howarth, Battams, Sulemanji (Tabram), McGahey (D. Howarth), McGoohan.

5th Team / Match Reports