Saturday 13th February 2010

SSEC Intermediate Division Two League

Fulham Deaf FC v CheamVillage
Warriors FC

After learning that Cheam Village Warriors ended Caterham
Old Boys’s unbeaten league campaign by winning 1 – 0 last weekend, FDFC were under
no illusions that we would be next on the hit list. Once again, all of the
squad players met up in the Earl Beatty pub for a team talk, due to two Academy
matches being played earlier on at FFC Training Ground.

Al-Sarraf, the Gaffer had a quick discussion with the
captain Jonathan Evans for team selection, in the usual absence of his right
hand man ‘Ironside’ Beedie, who was on usher duty at fellow FDFC member PJ
Lot’s wedding at Derby.

Al-Sarraf expressed how disappointed he was with the
performance against Nutfield last week, and urged to keep the team’s shape and
to keep the ball low and moving quickly across the pitch, in order to force
Cheam to chase the ball. He warned the team that CVW are our bogey team, as we
hadn’t beaten them in 3 attempts.

The Gaffer went with a
4-5-1 formation, with Kemp in goal. The back four consisted of Lampert,
McDougall, Evans and Vorster. Burns, Sellers and Gregory played as usual in the
middle of midfield with both Hogan and Willis operating as wing backs. The lone
striker role was given to Ailey.

In the first 15 minutes, CVW showed that they meant
business by attempting to outgun us early doors. However, FDFC maintained
shape, than the result was that very few chances were being created early on
for either side. FDFC’s passing game struggled to get going as Cheam’s constant
pressure game appeared to pay off. However, FDFC had the better of the chances
in the first half, with Hogan being cruelly denied by the post after turning
the right back inside out for the highlight of what was otherwise an erratic
performance for him. Credit must go to the Cheam goalkeeper for being able to
turn Hogan’s shot on to the post.

Then came the turning point
in the game. A sweeping move saw Sellers play Gregory in behind the Cheam defence,
and as he played the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper, he was clearly and
cynically fouled by the Cheam custodian. What appeared to be a stonewall
penalty and a likely sending-off turned out to be a goal-kick. Cheam certainly
had a lucky break there.

To round it off, Sellers
was booked for protesting about the decision, much to the bemusement of the
FDFC camp. The Gaffer was seen reaching out for his beta-blockers in a
desperate attempt to keep calm………even worse the whole of CVW camp totally agreed
it is a clear penalty! They were gobsmacked not to see us awarding a penalty by
the referee!

The CVW goalkeeper also
made solid saves from headers by Sellers, Ailey and Evans. Sellers played very
solid and bossed the midfield throughout the first half. However, the CVW
defence did well in keeping our on fire striker Ailey quiet. They must have
been studying our match reports and doing their homework!

During the interval, the
Gaffer expressed pleasure at how the match had gone so far, but urged FDFC to improve
the quality of the final ball and create further chances whilst keeping our
shape. He also demanded that we ignore the referee’s decision to turn down THAT
late penalty in the first half.

In the second half, the
play continued as it did in the first, with both teams cancelling each other
out. Suddenly, CVW popped up with a goal fifteen minutes into the second half,
when their right winger was allowed to put in a deep cross under no pressure at
all, which resulted in Cheam’s striker heading weak header towards goal.
Unfortunately, Kemp made a mess of his save and the ball cannoned off the
inside of the post to allow an onrushing Cheam player to follow up with a
simple close range finish.

In response, the Gaffer put
on Moore and Swift for Vorster and Burns and changed the 4-4-2 with Willis
moving up to partner Ailey. As a result, the game opened up, with Willis taking
advantage of an error in the Cheam defence to break through and slot the ball
past into an empty net after rounding the Cheam goalkeeper, who wisely decided
not to foul Willis.

Shortly after, FDFC could
have taken a lead if it Ailey was able to get on the end of Willis’ low cross
across goal after another FDFC attack. Sadly, it gave CVW a great opportunity
to counter attack quickly- their left winger was given too much room again to
put in a high cross. The FDFC defence did not deal with the ball sufficiently
well enough and a Cheam midfielder slammed in the loose ball to give them he
leads again.

FDFC still had time to find
another equaliser, only to be denied when the Cheam goalkeeper stuck a leg out
and saved from Seller’s fierce shot, which capped off a fine run by him. After
that, no further chances came and as the final whistle blew, FDFC has lost in
the league for the first time this season.

Sellers was given the Man
of the Match award for his high work-rate and physical ability in the heart of
midfield, which game FDFC control in that key area for large portions of the
game. The Gaffer expressed how disappointed he was with the team’s lack of
passion, hunger and creativity. The performance was totally unacceptable, and
full credit to CVW for closing us down quickly and disrupting our passing game.
We have to learn from this game and move on to our next clash, which will be
against the league leaders AFC Cubo.

Final score Fulham Deaf FC 1 – 2 CheamVillage
Warriors FC (HT 0 – 0)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Vorster (Moore 65), Evans,
McDougall, Lampert, Willis, Burns (Swift 65), Sellers, Gregory, Hogan and

Subs not used :- Harding, Sarraf