Saturday 22nd
January 2011

Intermediate Division Two League

Fulham Deaf FC v Real Holmesdale FC

The Whites welcomed an in-form Real Holmesdale team to Motspur Park for
the inaugural match between the two sides. Real Holmesdale, despite having been
in existence for only ten years, have had much recent success, achieving three
successive promotions in a row leading up to the 2010/2011 season, and are
currently on a ten game winning streak in SSEC Intermediate Division 2. The
FDFC team knew that they were up against a stronger proposition than last’s
week’s opposition, Sporting Bahia, a point that the Gaffer drilled into the
players before the match. The squad announced for the match was identical to
last week’s match, with the one change being Remi Sellars coming in for Ben
Lampert, who had emigrated to France for the weekend.

The early phases of the game were dictated by
a high tempo, with attempts to achieve an early breakthrough being repelled by
both defences, until ‘Del Boy’ Hogan once again sold a dummy in the box and
found a willing buyer in the shape of the Real Holmesdale centre back, who
brought him down to earth for a penalty. Hogan stepped up and despatched the
penalty with the minimum of fuss to grab his 15th goal of the

However, FDFC’s celebrations were cut short
soon after when Real Holmesdale equalised with a freakish goal from long range,
their central midfielder hitting a long effort, which curled and dipped past
Kemp in the FDFC goal. The nature of the goal was such that the FDFC team did
not know whether or not the goal scorer really meant it. Soon after, Hogan had
the chance to put FDFC back in front, but failed to apply enough power to his
shot, which was well blocked by the Real Holmesdale custodian.

Kemp was soon brought into action, parrying
away a goalbound shot from the left flank, which was smuggled away by the FDFC
defence. The Real Holmesdale winger once again broke through on the left hand
side of the defence, only to see his driven shot deflected to safety by Evans’
last gasp slide tackle in the box.

Soon after, some delightful interplay between the FDFC midfielders bore
fruit as Gregory slotted in a well-weighted pass in behind the opposition
defence for Willis to run on to and tuck the ball away past the ‘keeper.
Boosted by the goal, FDFC finished the stronger of the two sides at the half
time mark, which ended with FDFC deservedly holding a 2-1 lead.

During the half time talk, the Whites management expressed their
satisfaction with the defending and the quality of some of the play. The Gaffer
urged the boys to maintain their performance in the second half, and keep
applying pressure on them when they got the ball and to quickly counter-attack
if the opportunity arose.

The Whites continued to defend solidly in the second half as Real
Holmesdale began to push players forwards. A couple of chances fell to FDFC to
make the game safe; however, the Real Holmesdale ‘keeper dealt with these
easily enough. The game remained delicately poised until ten minutes to go,
when soon after Harding came off for McDougall at the heart of the White’s
defence, Real Holmesdale equalised, after a central midfielder fired in an
equaliser from thirty yards out, having dispossessed Swift in the build-up.
However, the defence were partly culpable for the equaliser, having stood off
the man in possession and allowed him the time and space to shoot.

Undeterred, the FDFC management maintained their composure and told the
players to their heads up and stick to the game plan. FDFC had a number of
chances to win the match, which was then settled when Swift cut inside from the
left and fired in a shot that came off a defender and beat the Real Holmesdale
keeper at his near post. Clearly, the threat of dead legs after the match for
giving away the equaliser spurred Swift on to make amends, and make amends, he
did. With minutes left, Arnold replaced Gill at left back and the Whites hung
on for a 3-2 win, despite suffering a couple of further scares.

The Gaffer’s beaming smile at getting a crucial
three points shocked and scared the players, being a rarely employed tool on
the sidelines. When the players had recovered from the shock of seeing their
Gaffer happy (for once), it was announced that Remi Sellers was the man of the
match, having the bossed the game in central midfield for the full 90 minutes,
although it had to be said that it was a good, solid team performance.

FDFC now have another big game next week, away against Claygate
& Ditton who have gone through the season unbeaten, in what promises to be
a tough challenge and a test of the team’s new found desire and consistency.

Final score Fulham Deaf 3 – 2 Real
Holmesdale (HT 2 – 1)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Gill (Arnold 88 mins), Harding
(McDougall 80 mins), Evans (Captain), Monksfield, Swift, Sellers, Gregory,
Wylde, Willis and Hogan