Scorers: Wellman, Shaw-Morris
A trip to Ebogs is never going to be an easy game and this was no different. The conditions were not going to make things any easier, with a wet and shaggy pitch.
We started with Lloyd in goal and Fabb, Richard, Jonsey and Ziggy at the back with Jed and Nick reunited in midfield. Connor, Fraser and Denzel made up the attacking three with JJ up top.
We started well with some crisp passing and good movement and it was not long before we took the lead after an absolutely superb cross from Connor on the left with the outside of his right foot that put the ball into the no mans land at the edge of the area between keeper and defender who were both caught out by Denzel who sneaked in and poked the ball home. Brilliant start and we pressed further and should have extended our lead when JJ controlled a lovely cross beat the defender then scuffed the shot. We were totally dominating the game now with Jed, Nick and Fraser running the show. Ziggy and Fabb were pushing forward at every opportunity and Fabb should have extended his scoring run with a lovely volley after a sweet flick from Denzel, although he actually had time to take a touch to set himself. We had an even better chance when Ashley came on and he met a cross on the six yard box only to put it straight into the keeper. We continued to batter at the door and kept good possession. When Bogs tried to break out Jonsey and Rich were up to the challenge and cleared our lines. This though is AP 3s and if nothing else we know how to give the oppo hope. This was forthcoming towards the end of the half when we cleared our lines to the right only for their guy to send over a lovely cross that eluded everyone and nestled into the far top corner. Yet another head in hands moment came over me. Regardless of the freak goal we had dominated the half, played some great football and stopped Bogs from having a shot on goal. So how in Gods name were we level at the break!
Second half saw more of the same although Bogs pushed further up the pitch which meant we had to be quicker with our passing to avoid being closed down. They certainly created pressure on our defence without really making an opening. At the other end we were still creating openings especially down the flanks where we continually got behind them. Jed had one fantastic barnstorming run that took him into the area and just beyond their defender before being clattered but for some bizarre reason the ref waved away the penalty shouts which on the other 99 occasions would have been given. Gradually we imposed more and more pressure with Fraser covering vast tracts of the pitch as he backed up the attackers. With the arrival of the rain we retook the lead when Fraser was rewarded for his efforts with a run in from the right and then firing in a daisy cutter that zipped along on the slick surface. Their keeper totally misread it and managed to let it under his body and into the net. Now with our noses in front I felt we would score another and see off the oppo. But this is AP 3s and if nothing else we know how to give the oppo hope…….. have I already said that? Anyway Bogs got level with a very dubious penalty, was it in the area? Possibly. Was it a dive? Probably. Obviously they scored and we had to go again. Still we created chances with the best falling to Richard three yards out with the keeper to poke it past……..but like all great defenders he managed clear their line for them. Another head in hands moment. And so a drawn game, which in light of recent results was a plus.
We played really really well and how we did not win is beyond me and probably everyone concerned. The fact that Bogs did not have a shot on target from open play is a sign of how solid we were. Lloyd and the back four were assured and composed and rarely looked troubled. When there was trouble Jed and Nick were on hand to help and bring some calm to the situation. They along with Fraser were superb and make a formidable trio with an abundance of skill, graft and composure. Denzel was brilliant with an excellent finish for his goal and plenty of energy and great link up play. Connor, JJ, Ashley and Kurt were all involved with some of the great football being played.
It’s hard to decide if the result was down to bad luck, bad play or good oppo (that’s a silly one, sorry). So bad luck and bad play it is. Bad luck definitely with both their goals, bad play not really. The play was great it was just the final touch, but we can’t afford to dominate games so much but not put teams to the sword. This game should have been won before they got lucky. So this week we need to make sure that every opportunity is taken.
If Arsenal are Barcelona light, we are like Arsenal light and in both cases the manager spends a lot of time with his head in his hands rocking backwards and forwards like he’s in front of the Wailing Wall.