Surrey Intermediate Football League
Keens Park Rangers Ressies 1 Worplesdon Phoenix Ressies 2
Man-of-the-match: Vic Hamilton
The saying ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ certainly applied this weekend, as the ressies slumped to a home defeat having swapped venues with visitors Worplesdon.
Storm Ciaran’s effects notwithstanding, the writing was on the ressies wall even before kick off when Sammy had to withdraw with a sore foot that may interest ‘Injury Lawyers 4 U’. Nonetheless, it was still a decent squad and the early signs looked promising with the ressies dominating possession.
Man-of-the-match Vic seemed to be everywhere, but the breakthrough came following some great play by Oscar who held the ball up, turned and got a cross in that the defender headed into his own net. A rather bizarre goal, it proved a prophetic event as, from this point onwards, the ressies – despite creating innumerable chances – never really looked like scoring for themselves.
After a shot from Oscar hit Vic in the chest, and almost wrong-footed their keeper, there was almost a goal of the season contender after some extremely crisp first-time passing cut through the visitors, only for Oscar to volley Vic’s cross over the bar.
Thereafter it was a case, as AC/DC once sang, of a ‘Touch Too Much’ when a first-time or earlier shot would have at least tested the keeper. Indeed, as far as the supporters were concerned, their defenders were making more ‘saves’, with one of Vic’s clearly making contact with the covering defenders arm, but not deliberately so according to the referee (somewhere near the centre circle).
All this profligacy inevitably proved costly, and they scored an easy tap in after some slack defence allowed a shot that rebounded kindly off the post leaving Leighton, and a desperate defender, stranded. Although conceding isn’t normally an issue, this week it seemed as if everyone had put their boots on the wrong feet or, given Seamus’ new haircut, Samson-like, lost their footballing Mojo.
It wasn’t pretty to watch and the reluctance of the supporters to head out for the second half was telling, no matter the changeable weather or how good the tea / beer was. A hardy bunch, out they went anyway. Sadly, the song remained the same and the ressies were fortunate not to go behind early after a very sharp finish was flagged offside.
We did create chances, however, but first Oscar and then Toby put good chances over the bar. Manager Liam had seen enough and turned to his rather aged bench for inspiration swapping Seamus and Toby for Sam and Nico who immediately livened proceedings among the supporters (well, Gazza) who were discussing a sweep for the time it would take for him to get his first booking.
Regrettably, they took the lead with a free header at the far post before he could get involved with a decent shot from distance that went a fraction wide. With the ressies seemingly unable to trap a bag of cement, the visitors really ought to have extended their lead had an easy chance not been put wide.
A game they should not have been losing, the ressies did try and up their game. In doing so they fell victim to an increasing number of cynical fouls that resulted in the referee brandishing a number of yellow cards. One free-kick after another from distance didn’t have the supporters too excited as ‘special teams’ man Watto had already gone off. But they kept coming and Vic hit the bar from all of 30 yards only for Sam to put his header from the rebound over the bar from close range.
A passage of play that summed up a frustrating afternoon, the lads will no doubt bounce back. Just need to put those boots on the right feet next week.