I have to admit, I have a lot of time for Norsemen. I am a fan of their blue shirt/red socks combo but more importantly, they are actually my main literary influence for my weekly ramblings. Lee Carlin forwarded me a match report of theirs a couple of years back, in a game where they took us to the cleaners. Not only did they give us more credit than we probably deserved but they spent large parts of it taking the p*ss out of each other. It made me chuckle.
Anyway, it was a big game on a cold day at The Racecourse. The sort of day where you were destined to take one on the thigh the first 5 minutes. Only goal difference separated the teams with one loss apiece. I could chuck in some sort of cheap reference about ‘expecting fireworks’ but to be honest, it was a bleak day and the pitch had gone a bit Jumanji with all the rain. We were looking to build upon the result and performance at Crouch End and lined up in similar fashion. Lawrence ‘Googlewebs’ Fernee came in for Kieran O’Leary who was out with a hamstring injury.
It was a bright enough start from our perspective, despite our ongoing net issues. Lots of headers which draw applause despite not achieving much. That usually points to us being at our best. I am really good at these, which is why I am captain. There were plenty of foul throws as well. If there is one way to make loads of people lose the plot on a Saturday afternoon just do a foul throw.
Our first chance dropped to Lawrence after a top delivery from Andy. Possibly still contemplating the existence of Harpenden (he has refused to believe that it is a real place), the ball got caught under his feet a little. We were industrious and possibly should have been a goal to the good on the balance of play. Norsemen weren’t creating huge amounts from open play but we were just giving them shed loads of free-kicks in good areas. They also had a centre half who was quite small but could jump ridiculously high. I told Lee to ‘get up early’ against him. Tactics. We defended most deliveries pretty well but we can’t keep giving them away week in week out, it’s bonkers.
0-0 in a half we probably shaded. It wasn’t a game where there was much passing as such, but we were doing ok. You felt we might just nick it if we can kept things tight. Norsemen put us under a bit of pressure early in the second and wasted a couple of opportunities. We looked lively enough on the counter, their keeper made a top save from Andy.
Defensively, as with last week, we were decent. The only caveat was Lee getting megged and their winger calling it which was fine because it was pretty funny. Stu was solid from crosses and actually pulled a save out the top drawer late on. A skidding header was clawed out brilliantly to preserve the clean sheet. He celebrated by getting so smashed in the Old Queen’s Head that his eyes were in different postcodes.
So, a pretty short match report that. Tricky one for me really, as there weren’t many ‘highlight reel’ moments. I love Tom Thrale tackling people in puddles but it doesn’t make for great reading. Another positive performance, if a scrappy game. Norsemen only came down this season and will certainly be in the mix for promotion. Shame we couldn’t have pinched it but I don’t think either side can argue with a point. Couple of cup games coming up and we are certainly moving in the right direction.
AP : Pennycook, Carlin, Patterson, Egan, Thrale, Gunyon, Brown, McVeigh, Nicholau (Munero), Fernee (Adjekwei), Kelly (Webb)
MOM : Solid at the back but I can’t give it to myself……..however deserving. I will give it to Mark Mcveigh, who is an all round class act and no longer baffled by the concept of Strawberry beer.