After 2 convincing wins in our first couple of games this season, we travelled to Oakfield for what was certainly our sternest test yet. Before the game and as we waited for the kit (good work Nana, Les and Mike, just the 45 minutes late for the meet!) a few of the older heads were discussing how we had never even got a point from Old Parks, and normally get a hammering. We were determined that this was not going to be the case again.
We started well, and I think Old Parks were slightly taken aback by our better style of football to what they have experienced in recent seasons. The first 15 minutes or so was certainly stalemate, with both teams looking comfortable passing the ball in their own half – The Skips was having a decent battle with the Parks right winger (who had the measure of him early doors), but we more than held our own, especially on the flanks when Les started running at his fullback. We took the lead on about 20 minutes from a lovely passing move of about 12 passes which was finished beautifully by Mikey Hubbard curling in off the post.
However, this lead was short lived as Old Parks equalised when a low cross squirmed out of the reach of Stimp for the untracked OP to tap in from 3 yards. This saw a slightly dodgy period where I think a mixture of the bright sun and creeping doubt saw us turn rather scrappy. We soon regained our composure however, and Bruce had a strong penalty shout turned down when he was bundled over in the box.
At half-time, we spoke of the need to keep working and keep believing. We also made a change with skipper taking himself off for Nana to pin back their fullback, and Frazer dropping back to left back to keep an eye on their lively right winger.
The second half had less incident, with us stinging the keepers hands a couple of times, and a dubious chance for Parks when their striker was a good 3 yards offside but blazed over. I think the ref made up for this when he gave AP a foul when Simmo ran into Frazer and cleared him out. In the dying seconds, Bruce had a chance at a snapshot which second sub David did well to block – otherwise it was going in! However, I think both teams ended the game relatively happy with the point.
This will be one of the hardest places for teams to come this season to leave with a point and a disciplined performance was pleasing. We remain top of the league, but this means little at this point in the season. Onto the next challenge of BB Eagles – turn up on time please!
Team – C Simpson, McLoughlin (Kadua), I Simpson, Jeater, Fabb, Hancock, O’Leary, Manu, Shaw-Morris, Hubbard (Dakurah), McMeekin.
MOTM – Les Manu – full of running and tied the oppo in knots.