A much improved performance and a needed three points got the 8s season back on track.
Captain Jack Parsons lost the toss for the 8th consecutive game but to APs surprise the visitors opted to play against the gale force wind in the first half, giving the home side a boost. The 8s needed to get back to goal scoring form and immediately put Old Parks under pressure with a succession of corners and a couple of near misses – Croft with a header, and Parsons, both tested the visitors keeper early on. Even Jamie Roberts went close with a wind assisted effort that had the Old Parks goalie scrambling to stop a certain goal.
Against the run of play a short back pass was intercepted by the Old Parks centre forward who then put the visitors ahead. Without letting their heads drop AP continued to keep the ball on the ground and were rewarded soon after when the outstanding Dave Potter equalised from a tight angle after good work from Waldrum and new signing Mike Sneddon. AP continued to try and play football and full backs Dan Ware and Will Dudmish both showed good composure when joining in the play on either flank.
The second half was a tighter affair and a second defensive error led to Old Parks taking a 2-1 lead with 25 minutes remaining. Again the home side’s heads didn’t drop and instead they raised their game and dug deep by competing for every ball and showing far more composure in possession than in recent weeks. With time running out Olly Tolcher took advantage of some hesitant goalkeeping to pull AP level, but they weren’t finished there. Substitute Ditmir proved a threat with his pace and had a shout for a penalty waved away, before Tolcher then held off a challenge and hit his second goal the into the bottom corner with 5 minutes remaining for the winner. 3-2.
A better performance from the 8s, with the excellent Pete Croft’s link up play and passing making a huge contribution to the team. Another mention must go to Will Dudmish, who showed great composure at right back by starting off many of the home team’s best moves – always looking to play the right pass.
MOM has to go to Dave Potter though, who not only battled away in midfield throughout, but also opened the scoring after the recent 8s goal drought. A very important goal.