Goals – Manu, Hubbard, McLoughlin, OG.
This was a game that always had the threat of being a nightmare. We beat Cars in the first game of the season, but since them they had put together a good run and were second in the table. Added to this, we were missing regulars Fabb, Andy, Sly and Frazer – In came Jase in goal, Andy at left back and Sir Harrington Wilson who took a break from making it rain in the strip clubs of Warwick and Canada Water and did us a favour by coming in to play at short notice. Finally, despite arriving in good time we found our train cancelled and then the following one massively delayed, which gave us about a 5 minute warm up before starting the game.
We started tentatively on a firm but bobbly pitch. We tended to try and over play in foolish areas, and because of this invited Cars on to us. We also were a bit half-hearted, with a few players not putting in the required effort! Needless to say we went 1-0 down – a ball down the right saw Andy out of position and the ball fired across – Jase was able to block the first shot but the ball was hammered in on the rebound amidst the static defence. Things could have got worse as we were fairly poor in the half, being pulled all over the place. Jase made a fantastic save from a fizzing volley to keep us in it.
We equalised on the half hour when we switch Les and Dan. Sir Harrington put Les away who skinned the full back and finished a low drive (despite claims that it hit about 7 players before it went it, this was most definitely Les’s goal. Honest).
We did not use this as the launch pad we needed in the game – in all honesty, we were a bit ropey in the first half, and the whistle was welcomed when it came. Harsh words from skipper Macca ensued, with the Gaffer being slightly more constructive in his instruction.
We started the 2nd half much brighter and were forcing the play. We started going back to doing the easy things, and were making far more time for ourselves on the ball as we began to master the difficult pitch. We had a flurry of corners, and with about 20 to go one was headed clear to the edge of the area where it was met by Mike Hubbard with an absolute bozzler of a volley – it was so powerful that the keeper was not able to dive until it had hit the net.
After this Cars came at us, but we held firm – their corners were particularly good and we had to be on our guard to clear them. Macca also made an excellent last ditch tackle after Simmo got skinned on the right.
We were given new impetus when Bruce entered the fray on the Left for Dan Wilding. With 5 to go we put the game beyond doubt when a rather tame Bruce freekick was dropped by the keeper and Macca was able to poke in from 3 yards. A 4th was added a minute later when the oppo Skipper hammered home from 18 yards.
All in all a good performance – particularly in the 2nd half when we really dug in. The score did flatter us though a little. However, it was nice to end the league programme of 2012 with a win which puts us right back in to the promotion mix.
MOTM – Sir Harrington – very much hoping we can tempt you back to play more often!