Saturday 29th
January 2011

Intermediate Division Two League

Claygate & Ditton FC v Fulham Deaf FC 

Fulham DFC emerged from
a tough encounter against Claygate & Ditton FC with a share of the spoils
after a hard-fought nil-nil draw, with few clear-cut chances for either side.

Buoyed by their win
against Real Holmesdale on the Saturday before, the Whites were looking
forwards to extending their unbeaten run to four against a Claygate &
Ditton side who are yet to be beaten in this league so far. Martin Willis,
taking over managerial duties from the Gaffer, who was otherwise engaged in
various pubs and bars up and down the Emerald Isle, announced an identical
line-up to the preceding week’s match. As a side note, Daniel ‘Del Boy’ Hogan
ducked and dived his way into FDFC’s century club, making his 100th
appearance for the Whites.

Claygate and Ditton were
the quicker to adapt to the cold conditions and dominated the early exchanges,
although chances were at a premium, thanks to a determined FDFC defence.
However, FDFC were dangerous at times on the break, as Claygate almost found to
their cost when Willis collected a ball from Gregory and fired a shot against
the inside of the post, only to see the ball spin back out to safety.

Claygate also had a couple
of chances in the first half, with a marginal, but correct, offside decision
going against them when a set piece routine came off. Soon after, the Claygate
forward fired over from close range after FDFC failed to clear their lines for
once. FDFC gradually worked their way back into the match and the scoreline at
half time (0-0) reflected the dour nature of the game, where defences were on

In the second half, both
teams remained unchanged and a continuous arm-wrestle ensued, where both sides
had half-chances but were not really able to trouble both goalkeepers. Indeed,
Kemp looked increasingly assured in goal, saving well from one long range
dipping shot. Claygate’s other chances were smothered by FDFC, whose midfield
and defence combined well to draw the sting out of Claygate’s attack.

On the other side of the
field, Claygate’s defence were busy showing why they posses the best defensive
record in the league, with Hogan and Willis unable to make the decisive
breakthrough, with half chances falling for Sellers (from long range) and Wylde
being the sum total of FDFC’s real attacking chances.

The referee eventually
called time on a rare 0-0 draw for the Whites. Both teams played their part in
an intriguing battle in good spirit, with very little in the way of major
flashpoints. Credit must go to both sides who displayed solid effectiveness,
and especially the Whites, given their defensive travails in the first part of
the season. Kemp, who played a key role in achieving FDFC’s second clean sheet
of the season, was given the man of the match award for a performance between
the sticks that got stronger and stronger as the match went on.

That said, the result
was a strong team performance, where all players, regardless of their form,
continued to maintain shape and to make life as difficult as possible for their
opponents. This bodes well for the rest of the season, starting with another
tough match against Merton Abbey on Saturday 5th February.

Final score Claygate & Ditton FC 0
– 0 Fulham Deaf (HT 0 – 0)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Gill (Lampert 65 mins), Harding,
Evans (Captain), Monksfield, Swift, Sellers, Gregory, Wylde, Willis and Hogan