Another Week, another trip to South London. When we arrived at Hayes a Wilsonians 3’s player acted as our Sherpa Guide to the ground, which was a good job, as Janno was leading us off to West Wickham’s ground.
We had several new faces in the 2’s this week with Jason, Kier and Dan coming in from the 1’s and Dan Jones finally making it into the team after weeks of frustration with injury. Wilsonians have a really nice ground, and their pitch was wide and had a great surface. We started well with our normal pressing game. Ben carved out a half chance within the first minute when he skinned his fullback and flashed a ball across goal. Disaster struck however, as Ben had to come off after about 15 minutes when he twisted his ankle when turning. The manager, the team and even Ben himself all blame Mark Carter for this for arriving late, and not giving Ben time to warm up – Mark, you are on a warning! Dan O came on to take on the right wing.
We dominated the first 30 minutes or so, with Skips having a header cleared off the line and German unable to shuffle his Djimi Traore feet enough to bang in the rebound. However, the referee was making some increasingly odd decisions – usually against us. Wilsonians took the lead in bizarre circumstances. Skips won a tackle and played it off the oppo, but the ref gave it the other way. From this, they forced a corner which was whipped in and Smudge and German got in each others way, with the ball whipping straight in. For the rest of the first half we did not help ourselves – arguing and moaning with the Ref’s every decision just managed to turn him further against us.
At half-time the Gaffer told us to stop moaning and carry on playing football. For the first 15 of the second half, we failed to do both – moaning and bitching at each other and the ref. This really needs to stop – it is self-destructive and undermines confidence. On the hour mark, Janno made way for Dan Jones, who looks absolute quality.
However, after 10 minutes on the pitch he injured himself, and by this time Skips had made way for Nugzy, so he had to hobble around and carry on. We were effectively down to ten men, but this did not stop Moruzzi or Simmo feeding the ball to him continuously – intelligent play lads!
Kier was absolutely destroying his fullback over and over again, but we failed to find him, channelling everything to the right hand side. For the last half hour, our football was good, but we were failing to create clear cut chances. By our normal standards the final ball was very poor, which is surprising considering the players in the squad.
With 5 minutes left we deservedly equalised, with the best move of the game. German played a great ball into the channel for Nugzy to chase on the overlap. He squared the ball back to Kier who swung a ball into the box where Dan Hunt controlled the ball, but instead of shooting laid it wide for Sam who hit an absolute bozzler past the keeper who had no chance.
For the last 5 we were very gung-ho, going for the win, and it was only a good reaction save by Smudge that preserved the point. All in all, a performance where we huffed and puffed, did not play amazingly but certainly deserved at least a point. Wilsonians are a good, strong organised team, and not many clubs will go there and leave with something. We then out-stayed the opposition in the clubhouse, pumping money into the Wilsonians coffers (5 jugs at £21 each – no wonder they have such good facilities!)
From now until the end of the season, we need to play every game like a cup tie if we are to make good on our outside shot at promotion. Fittingly, this starts next week with a cup tie at home to HAC in the quarter finals of the AFA Cup!!
Man of the Match – No one individual stands out, but excellent cameo’s from Pete Nugent, and the 3 Dan’s!
Team: M Smith, McLoughlin (Nugent), Simpson, Egan, Moruzzi, Jannece (Jones), J Smith, K O’Leary, Morris, Carter (D O’Leary), Hunt.