The Cobras continued their away travels on Saturday, this time travelling to the leafy surroundings of Witley to face Chiddingfold. A dry morning after the previous evenings deluge of rain welcomed the Cobras with the Coach quickly realising his mistake by not packing the ‘mountaineering’ ropes and harnesses they would need to deal with the slope on the pitch. This was definitely going to be a ‘game of two halves’.
A much changed Cobras welcomed back Archie and also Sam & Barney to the ranks. The Cobras still missing Kelsey ‘The Rock’ Covey, Midfield ‘General’ Ben G and Angus ‘Bite your legs’ Leete lined up with Captain Willem proving his leadership qualities by standing in again admirably at the heart of the defence. The game kicked off with Chid going for the throat from the very first touch, within the blink of an eye the ball was passed through the Cobras defensive ranks and bang 1-0 Chid, less than ten seconds gone ! Those still taking their seats in the stands had missed the early action already.
It looked like it could be a very tough morning, a big strong and physical Chid side dominated and used the slope to their advantage with their key player, number 4 pulling the strings and shooting from range at every opportunity. Chris proved his worth using every part of his body to keep the score line down. The Cobras defensive and midfield lines battled hard but could just not clear their lines convincingly with passes going astray and Chid immediately back on the offensive. Goals 2, 3 & 4 soon followed. Credit to the boys they still battled hard with Willem laying his body of the line on numerous occasions to keep the score down. A further Chid goal was correctly disallowed, however goal number 5 soon followed. Sam still working tirelessly in midfield showed some lovely touches and surging forward runs to try and relieve the pressure on the Cobras back line, however any breaks into the opposition half were thwarted by the ‘enthusiastic’ opposition linesman. Half time came much to the relief to all the Cobras and their supporters.
The Cobras re-entered the arena with fresh purpose and vigour hoping the slope would now prove pivotal in changing the direction of the game. Chris now tasked with leading the line up front, a four man midfield in place and young Barney now ‘between the sticks’, could the Cobras reduce the deficit?
Immediately the re-start got underway the Cobras set about reducing the deficit. Dan, Luc, Sam and Archie all seeing more of the ball of in dangerous areas, tackles were being won, passes completed successfully, this was more like it. Sam continued the excellent energy he had shown in the first half and the early ball to lone striker Chris was proving successful . Some good build up work found Sam free in the box and he calmly slotted the ball past the Chid keeper. Despite the challenge of the slope Chid still posed a regular threat going forward, breaking with pace. Fin and Marco bravely continued to foil the lightening counter attacks, and Barney proving a revelation in goal with excellent saves from close range and also at his near post. It was however just a matter of time before Chid added another goal to make it 6-1.
Undeterred Archie and Sam continued to work hard in midfield and look to release Chris ‘down the slope’, the Cobras were also getting forward in numbers and on separate occasions both Dan and Archie just unable to add the finishing touch to some excellent work from Luc and Sam. The Cobras in the ascendency continued to press and Sam broke free from the half way line beating a couple of players surged towards the penalty area and with a defender breathing down his neck he released an unstoppable cross shot from the edge of the box which found its way into the net, an excellent individual goal ! 6-2.
Some fresh legs brought Chid some renewed attacking purpose and numerous chances came their way with goal mouth scrambles and brave goalkeeping by Barney. Willem bravely clearing the danger on numerous occasions, however Chid were not to be denied a 7th goal, which was hard on the Cobras and Barney in goal, who had excelled on his Cobras debut.
Final score 7-2 Chiddingfold, a tough morning for the Cobras, however they showed great heart and determination in the 2nd half against a good Chiddingfold side who deserved their win. Well done to Sam and Willem for their awards on the day, thoroughly deserved.
We go again next week at Elstead.