Last week’s rollercoaster started and ended on a high, this weeks edition was the opposite! As the team assembled in the changing room 1 hour before kickoff eager to get on the pitch for the pre match warm up, something and someone was missing……..the kit and it’s temporary custodian, Derek! To pass the time, Harald sniffed his shin pads, Rich stretched his bare torso and the rest of us just wondered what the f*#k was keeping the kit! Eventually it arrived with 15 minutes to go before kick off. Our pre match warm up consisted of just about getting onto the pitch in time for kick off and the lack of a proper warm up was repaid with an early goal from Vamps which I still maintain was 2 yards offside.
Similar to last week’s performance, we were 1-0 down after ten minutes but this week we got back into the game earlier. Our reaction to their goal was a good one, Spencer switched with Nathan to accompany Rob up front and Nathan got stuck in on the left wing with himself and Harald controlling that side of the pitch. Anthony, Rich and Ollie began to dominate in the middle and put some good balls through to Rob. The ref deemed him to be offside each time though but the positive was that we were dominating the exchanges. Rob even commented on their defence that “They haven’t a clue what they are doing at the back here lads, keep playing the ball through”.
Even though the stats on the league table prove different, our first goal came from a bad mistake from their defence and some really clever awareness from our front two. Vamps attempt at taking a short free kick was intercepted by Rob. Vamps cried to the ref who waved play on. Rob crossed to Spencer who made a great run and finished to bring the game back to 1-1. Vamps surrounded the ref for about five minutes in true Chelsea style before taking the kick off and were completely unsettled by our goal until the half time whistle sounded.
We started brightly in the second half carrying over our momentum from the previous 25 minutes and dominated most of the exchanges. We put Vamps under all sorts of pressure and suddenly the league’s best defence was picking the ball out of the net for a second time after Spencer finished from 18 yards. We pushed on from the kickoff in search of another and were playing with confidence but Vamps settled and started to get their foot on the ball. With 25 minutes remaining, they scored the equaliser. With the game even and both sides enjoying a good 50/50 battle, it could have gone either way. Vamps were up to their usual dirty tricks, not shy with elbows and dangerous tackles which the ref seemed to ignore. We probably showed them a little too much respect during this period. We allowed them to make a good run without putting in a challenge until the final one which resulted in a free kick just outside the area. The free kick was finished well into the top corner and even though we battled hard for the last ten minutes, we could not get back for an equaliser.
On a positive note, we played some great football against the league leaders and were very unlucky not to get a result. There is a great spirit in this team and we can bounce back from this result.
The AP 6th XI would like to congratulate Mr & Mrs Chirac Shah on the birth of their daughter Indira born on Monday morning. Fantastic news, great to hear mother and baby are doing well….and of course the proud father too! Well done mate!
Team: James Goodrum, Chirac Shah, Derek Graham, Mike Myers, Harald Krefting, Ollie Edge (Wayne Rose), Anthony Shaw, Richard Fryer, Spencer Brooks, Nathan Mellows (Jack Dudmish), Robert Blade.