Scorers: Dodimead, Firth
The penultimate game of the AP 5’s season was the battle of mid-table obscurity, with neither team having a great deal to play for league-wise. With Matt Piner deputising for the absent Andy Burwell as skipper, the 5’s were once again on time and ready to go. Both pitches were in a pretty poor state but the initial ‘better’ pitch had to be abandoned in warm up. After already losing 1 match ball and being advised that maybe shooting at goal wasn’t recommended, the other match ball was duly blasted over the bar and out out of bounds from a yard out moments later. Subsequently a quick pitch change meant that AP 5’s new ‘dynamic’ warm up had to be even more dynamic than usual.
The game started using the same formation (4-2-3-1) but with a largely changed squad, from the previous week Dodimead moved to the left with Firth taking the leading role. Straight away AP were on the attack, using both wings (and going downhill) early chances were created. As an AP corner game in it was partially cleared leaving Dodimead to call for the ball by using his name and slot the ball into the back of the net. Old Parks were rattled, more chances were coming for AP, with the Old Parks keeper forced into making a couple of smart saves. Still AP pushed on, and then came another chance, this time a long throw was not dealt with leaving Brad to call for the ball by shouting LEAVE IT to slot the ball into the back of the net. Appeals went up, the ref disallowed the goal for un-gentlemanly conduct.
Towards the end of the half Tom White had to come off with a thigh injury he picked up at the start of the game and was replaced by Wayne.
At half time Dodimead moved into central mid with Wayne moving out to the left, AP knew that defending would probably be the order of the half. Indeed the second half did require a lot more defending, Old Parks who were becoming increasingly frustrated applied more and more pressure down the hill. For the most part this was dealt with though, with Lewis and Saunders proving solid at the back. Corners and long throw-ins were dealt with until a fluke, a corner came in and the ball was flicked onto an AP defender cruelly ending up in the back of the net.
As both teams started to tire AP broke on the counter more and more with Wayne and Marek working hard down the flanks, Wayne set Brad free down the left, Brad cut inside and fired the ball into the top left hand corner. Was it a fluke? Was it deliberate? Did he use his name when calling for the ball? Nobody cared, 10 minutes of defending as Old Parks pressed for the equaliser. Once again the equaliser came by fluke, AP’s solid defensive line led the parks left winger with no option other than a pot shot and the resulting shot clipped off an AP head and landed in the back of the net.
2-2 the final score, games with hills will always mean a game of two halves but the nature of which the Old Parks goals came will leave them definitely feeling the more fortunate of the two teams.