Saturday 1st November 2008

SSEC Junior Division One League

Worcester Park “A” FC v Fulham Deaf FC


On a day of poor weather with constant rain, we knew it was going to be a difficult game against Worcester Park “A” but we knew that there will be no excuses as both sides play on the same pitch and in the same weather! Prior to travelling to the away game, which happened to be around the corner from the Fulham FC Training Ground, players were sent for treatment with FDFC’s physio, Nisha. It was interesting that in spite of being so near to Manor Park Recreation Ground, we had in fact never played there since the establishment of FDFC! How strange!

FDFC Manager, Ayad, admitted that the preparation was not that good prior to the kick off, with some players staying behind at the camp whilst having treatment and some players were at the away changing room. It was difficult to issue the team talk in the changing room when not all players were there to listen. The team line up was announced in the changing room as usual. Worcester Park manager asked Ayad to sign the registration forms of their new 3 players on the day in order to give them permission to play. 

The pitch looked excellent but very wet with heavy rain bothering us! At the beginning of the match, it was very disappointing to see most players being caught asleep as the opposition bombarded us with counter-attacks. This surely paid off for them as we quickly conceded two goals in the first 15 minutes with poor defending to blame. It was a kind of wake-up call for all the Fulham lads and we attempted to play some decent football. Despite having decent chances, we could not put the ball in the back of the net due to either poor positioning or poor finishing, which let us down and made things difficult for ourselves. As the half went on, almost all of Worcester Park players were behind the ball! 

At one stage, Pafe Palata received a ball from right winger Daniel Waller and he twisted and turned round the opposition centre half and approached towards the goal and beat the other centre half but unfortunately he met up with Alex Bovino which caused confusion between them and resulted in Bovino shooting wide of the right hand post when it seemed easier to score.  Ben Lampert had a great chance to score if it wasn’t for the post that blocked Ben’s 25 yard curling effort.  The rebound fell kindly to Waller, who blazed a great chance over the bar from 5 yards out when again more composure would have led to a simple finish and goal.

A little while later, Lampert received a decent pass from midfield and beat two defenders all the way from the halfway and attempted to chip the ball over the lying goalkeeper but he mishit the ball and it bounced off the goalkeeper legs.

Five minutes before the interval, skipper Beese collected the ball from Lampert and switched a delightful ball to the right handsides into the path of Waller, who beat two opponents sweetly crossed the ball over to the far post where Bovino wa son hand to head superbly into the top left corner to pull a goal back.

At the interval talk, it was 2 – 1 to Worcester Park.  Greg Beedie, the FDFC Assistant Manager expressed his anger towards the stunned Fulham players at how badly we played in defence and especially how we kept losing the ball in possession during the first quarter of the half. Beedie had a quick conference with Sarraf about a substitution that was needed at once during the halftime and both agreed to it. Jonathan Evans replaced Pafe to play in central midfield along with Beese and Bryan Moore moved upfront to partner with Bovino.

In heavy rain, the second half started. Right from the start of second half being played, Fulham were quickly controlling the ball and dominating the second half for a long time, only to be frustrated by missing chance after chance as we attempted to equalise. The ball kept flying over the bar, going wide of the post, and when it was on target, the opposition goalkeeper appeared to be equal to every shot we put in.  

We had many corners but kept failing in attempting to score a headed equaliser. We totally controlled the second half and kept attacking and attacking all the way to the end of the match and finally the second goal came for us from Waller who attempted cross from the right flank that somehow sailed over the goalkeeper and ended up in the left hand corner of the goal to earn Fulham a late equaliser with two minutes to go.

Sarraf was a dejected man for failing to win the match and also failing to break the club record of 9 consecutive winning games. It was a massive blow to drop two points which is very expensive and he ordered the team to make sure that did not happen again in the future. The two early goals conceded gave us an uphill task to win the game and we simply failed to capitalise on the many chances we had to score. We lacked the killer instinct and creativity to enable us to score a simple goal! We have a lot of work to do in the next 7 matches up to Christmas. It is an imperative for us to win the next match in style and put some winning confidence back in the squad.


However, Daniel Waller deserved to be awarded the Man of the Match for his assistance in setting up the opening goal and scoring a long cross-cum shot that went in!

It was a great disappointment that the match against St Johns was called off and will be postponed to a new date, to be confirmed later.

Fulham Deaf 1st Team have no match this weekend due to GB training weekend in Glasgow and will play away to Crescent Rovers “A” in the 2nd round of SSEC League Cup match on Saturday 15th November.

Final score Worcester Park “A” 2 – 2 Fulham Deaf FC (HT 2 – 1)

FDFC Line-up :- Danson, Burns, Harding, Sarraf, Tang, Lampert, Beese (Captain), Moore, Waller, Bovino (Morally 75 mins) and Pafe (Evans 46 mins)