Saturday 2nd October 2010

SSEC Intermediate Division Two League

Ashtead FC v Fulham Deaf FC

After significant concerns over this fixture going ahead in the aftermath
of some heavy rain during the week, it was with some relief that the clash with
Ashtead was announced as still going ahead. The Gaffer, Ayad Sarraf, in
particular was looking forwards to the warm hospitality of Ashtead and their
manager, Geoff Douglass.

FDFC were aiming to reverse a recent run of three games without victory
and to kick start their stuttering forward line. However, things did not get
off to a good start when the gaffer was once again abandoned by his right hand
man, who chose to escape for a romantic weekend in Venice to celebrate 25 years
with the old ball and chain. To round things off, the Gaffer had to deal with
yet more absences due to injury, as Club Captain Jonathan Evans and Oliver
‘Chunk’ Monksfield were both ruled out with thigh and ankle injuries
respectively. On a more positive note, Bryan Moore, Jacob Willis and James
Arnold were all welcomed back after recent injuries to strengthen the Whites.

The Gaffer opted again for a 4-4-2 formation, with a back four of Vorster
(first start this season), Harding, Moore and Rumney (first start this season).
The midfield consisted of Swift, Lampert (Captain), Gregory, and Wylde, with
Hogan and Bovino pairing up in attack.

The Whites started brightly, with some good movement, which almost had
its reward when Gregory broke through and beat the offside trap. However, his final
touch was too heavy and was comfortably collected by the Ashtead goalkeeper.
Soon after, Bovino got his name on the score sheet, blasting the ball into the
top corner of the net from outside the box, thanks to good work from Gregory in
closing down the opposition and winning the ball back off the Ashtead defence.
A second goal soon came, after a cross from Swift was fluffed by the Ashtead
goalkeeper and rolled to Hogan. ‘Del Boy’ Hogan looked up and chipped a cross
into the far post, where the ball was met by Wylde, who rose highest to nod in
from close range.

The lead could have been cut to one soon after as an Ashtead counter
attack was brilliantly repelled by Kemp in the FDFC goal, making himself big to
deny the Ashtead forward a goal from close range. This proved crucial, as FDFC
scored soon after, with Hogan beating the defence and centering in a ball for
Bovino to slot into the net.

Any notion from the Whites that the game was over was swiftly disabused
when Ashtead twice hit the crossbar late on in the first half, as they applied
pressure from set piece situations and out wide. However, the Whites managed to
hold on to their lead until half time.

At the
interval, the Gaffer urged the team to lower the attacking tempo instead of
wasting the ball with too many one touch moves, and to close down much more
quickly and cut out unnecessary fouls to ensure that Ashtead did not find their
way back into the match.

When the
second half restarted, an edgy start was soon put to one side when Wylde hit
his second of the match low and from close range following good work from Hogan
and Bovino.

The Whites
soon went 5-0 up after Wylde completed his hat-trick as his deflected
close-range shot trickled over the line after a period of attacking pressure
from the Whites.

In between
all of these goals, Hogan and Gregory somehow contrived to miss several chances
between them after being put through one to one, with none of their efforts
going on target. Another goal soon came as Wylde fired in his fourth or the
match after picking up the ball from Lampert and driving into the box. Just the
defence finally managed to close in, Wylde found the time to fire in a shot
across the Ashtead goalkeeper, which the opposition custodian could only get
fingers to as the ball went in.

age began to tell as he called for his Zimmer frame. The Gaffer happily
obliged, bringing on Arnold in his stead. Soon after, Ashtead got the goal
their play deserved, when a corner was half cleared to a midfielder, who hit a
fine low shot outside the box, which cannoned off the post and fell kindly to
another Ashtead player, who knocked the rebound into an empty net. FDFC should
have defended better initially and should have reacted to the rebound quicker,
but this did not detract from the fact that Ashtead deserved at least a goal.

response to this was to score further goals; with Willis (who came on for
Bovino) tapping in after Gregory’s shot was initially parried by the Ashtead
goalkeeper. This was soon followed by Gregory, who finally managed to get the
goal his performance deserved (if not his finishing) when he was played in once
more and this time he made no mistake, firing in a hard low shot into the
opposition corner of the goal. As he celebrated, Gregory realised afterwards that
the majority of the supporters had gone back to the clubhouse to escape the
rain. And thus a rare shot on target for Gregory went unremarked by most of the

The final
substitution was Oruovo who came on for Rumney who sustained a sore rib. Wylde
soon added in a ninth, after flicking a low cross into the far corner of the
net to equal FDFC’s goal scoring record for the most goals in one match, with
five against his name for the day.

Hogan then
picked the ball up on the right flank, beat two players and fired a low cross
in which Willis met at the near post to give FDFC what everyone thought was the
10th goal of the match. However, this was mystifyingly disallowed
for offside, despite the cross having come from the opposition’s dead ball
line! Perhaps the linesman didn’t want to see double figures creeping into the

As the
dust settled on the match, the Gaffer was very pleased to bag three valuable
points and praised the players for a much better performance in the second half
especially with their first touch and use of space when attacking. Once again,
Geoff Douglass demonstrated his good sportsmanship, giving the gaffer a free
pint to celebrate the result with.

Without a
doubt, the Man of the Match has to go to Wylde who had an excellent game in his
right midfield role, working hard both in attack and in defence. Gregory and
‘Del Boy’ Hogan were left wondering what might have been after the hatful of
chances they spurned between them….

Final score Ashtead FC 1 – 9 Fulham Deaf (HT 0 – 3)

Line-up :- Kemp, Vorster, Harding, Moore (Arnold 70 mins), Rumney (Oruovo 85
mins), Swift, Lampert (Captain), Gregory, Wylde, Hogan and Bovino (Willis, 75