Charlwood vs Loxwood Vipers Garth O'Mara
Marco and Willem had been transferred to the Vipers for this game and it was good to see Willem saunter in just before kick-off with all the enthusiasm of Gareth Bale being pulled away from a golf course to train with Real Madrid J
Special mention to the injured Sam Vettese who turned up with his Dad to support the team! This showed great team camaraderie but also possibly that Di wanted some shelves put up in the house so Marco may have found an excuse to escape?
The game started at a good pace with play shared 50/50. From the off Sebby showed his strength and calmness in the centre of defence. Also, from the off the Charlwood #19 showed a lot of skill, with some excellent twists and turns on the ball that was a feature throughout. The wind blew up quickly and also became a feature of the first half as did Jody running from the halfway line on the end of long balls with his afterburners in full flight.
George was kept busy but remained a safe pair of hands, his commandment of the area and constant encouragement demonstrating why he had been presented the “players player” award prior to the game.
The 10th minute came and very importantly Jeremy returned from Costa Coffee with a full round. Not only a nice selection of Cappuccino, Lattes, Teas etc but also some pastries…. the bar has been set. Now back to the footie……
In general, the passing from our opponents in the middle of the park was causing issues as they demonstrated some very neat passing around our midfield. However, the cleverness of some of our through balls from Willem to William, Sebby to Jody etc continued to threaten. The move of the half started with Sebby pushing the ball to Jody, who less orthodox for him pulsated up the right wing. A cross to Charlie bought a chance that was saved by their keeper and Raff was unable to convert with the goal gaping – were the Vipers to rue that missed chance?
New crowned "Coaches Player of the Year" Cody, Sebby and Harry J continued to battle with a very skillful Charlwood attack and covered each other well during multiple attacks - who again were being well marshalled George on a number of occasions who denied a number of chances.
Marco came on for Raff in the 22nd min and only a minute later the pre-match awarded "Parents Player of the year" Jody scored with a trademark run from midfield, perfectly timed to avoid the offside trap. He saw off a resolute Charlwood defender and pushed it into the far corner which left their keeper no chance. Time to see out this half!
Raff replaced Willem in a tactical change and only 2 minutes later William pushed the ball through to Jody and it looked to be a carbon copy of the 1st goal until some brilliant defending by the Charlwood number 12 fairly bundled Jody off his stride. In the last couple of minutes there was some excellent pressing by the Vipers led by Charlie in particular who created enough urgency to pressure a corner and then a second ball given away to provide Sebby with a long-range effort. Vipers had finished the half on a high and a and tactical chat was welcomed.
The 2nd half started with the players in the same formation and some very incisive commentary from William Fielding who noted that as he was on the right wing this half would be better “because Dad I will hardly hear you shouting at me”. If only the Amazon All of Nothing team had been present for this scoop!
Charlwood started the 2nd half extremely strongly and scored in the first minute. Very skillful (this word is becoming a trend) play by the Charlwood #77 bought a save from George which was rebounded out but he was left no chance with the follow-up.
A busy few minutes ensued for George who had a couple more good saves and came out of his area twice creating hearts in mouths moments on the sidelines but George had timed them well. Upfront the Vipers continued to threaten. Charlie had a deep free kick that tested the keepers ability to hold onto the ball and then he slotted the ball through to Jody who again was denied by good goalkeeping.
The quality of the 2nd goal Charlwood goal in the 37th minute couldn’t be denied. #77 skipped past our defenders in a Maradona-esque style to poke the ball past George. Heads were dropping shortly after as it looked like Charlwood had scored again however VAR stepped in and ruled it offside – my eyes say that the Vipers got away with one!
The clock turned to 41st minute and William got a surprise. It turns out that Paul can shout loud enough across the pitch for his son to receive some encouragement and support from the coach J
#19 troubled our defence and Cody repelled a couple of attacks. Raff was starting to impose himself upfront and bought a decent save from the keeper after a decent turn in midfield created the chance. The ball bobbled loose but neither Jody or Charlie could get themselves in the right position.
5-minutes of what can only be called sleeping then killed off the game. In quick succession (the 49th and 53rd minutes) the Vipers were caught ball watching or not quite alert as Charlwood who seized on the chances to turn the game from 1-2 to 1-4.
To be fair, with 7 minutes remaining this could have turned very sour but the boys picked themselves back-up and toiled. Charlie was to epitome of this and headed the ball strongly from midfield and then followed it up by pushing through the defence to get himself one on one with the keeper and confidently poke the ball past their keeper with his left foot.
The game finished 2-4 which was a fair win for Charlwood but an excellent test for the Vipers who have shown a massive improvement already on last season and competed toe to toe against a very talented side for 55 mins of the game.
Onwards and upwards….
The match players and coaches awards went to Harry J and Charlie respectively.
Final word goes to our giant of a keeper a and players player of the year George.....