After a disappointing result last week it was crucial we bounced back with a decent performance against a side one place above us in the league. For both teams it was pretty much last chance saloon for our promotion ambitious. I was concerned we might struggle for goals with two of our regular strikers out and that turned out to the case. It was a game that both sides had opportunities to win and it was played in a good spirit.
The first half started evenly with Winchmore getting a couple of decent chances only to be denied by some solid goalkeeping from Ryan. As the half wore on our midfield started to dominate possession with Roman and Jack winning a lot of the 50-50s. Danny was carrying a real threat down the right and John was showing his pace and strength to scare the defence. When those two combined midway through the half I thought it was in, with Danny getting to the byline and cutting back John muscled in front of his marker at the near post but the ball squirmed wide. At the other end we had a scare when the Winchmore striker managed to beat Ryan in goal to the ball and take it past him, fortunately he carried it a little too wide and he could only put it in the side netting. Still on the whole the defence looked solid and was working well together as a unit. We were exerting the most pressure and for a 15 minute spell were camped in the Winchmore half. Just as the game edged towards half time AP grabbed the lead. Some great work down the left by Chris and Robin and a decent ball into the box let Danny steal in and tap it home from close range, 1-0. It was a deserved lead for our efforts.
The second half got underway and no sooner than it had it was 1-1. We let our concentration slip and a Winchmore punt down the middle led to our defender (who don’t worry John shall remain nameless) kicking air while the ball trickled through for their forward to tuck home. We were back to square one, and it seemed to lead to further uncertainty at the back with several complete misses that I’m sure Jamie will blame on the bobbly surface! Fortunately we got away with them and again came back at Winchmore. We had several decent chances, with Terry and Jack getting themselves into decent shooting positions but not making the keeper work. Dan S made some probing runs despite injuring his ankle at the end of the first half and a few good balls into the box were repelled with good defending. As hard as we tried clear goal scoring opportunities where scarce at both ends, and both sides keepers restricted us to one goal a piece. In the end we were disappointed not to find a winner, but it was probably a fair reflection on the game.
Danny Hunt gets man of the match this week, showing pace, skill and good link play as well as getting himself on the score sheet.
A big shout out has to go to Dan Spencer, who tore ligaments in his ankle and as a result has probably played his last game for AP as he moves down South at the end of the season. A singer, songwriter and all round creative type, Dan has shown enthusiasm and dedication to the cause in his first season for AP. His pace and movement up front has caused problems for opposition defences and he has added some goals to help us (and the 7s) out. We wish him all the best in the future. Buy his new single – out now!