Surrey Intermediate Football League
Keens Park Rangers Ressies 6 Tongham Reserves 0
Goals: Vic Hamilton 3, James Nixon, Sammy Bristow
Man-of-the-match: James Nixon
The ressies maintained their tremendous form at Fortress Pyrford this week with a comprehensive win over Tongham. That said, as flattering as the scoreline looked, it really could have been double figures given what was an utterly dominant display from a team blessed with youth and experience.
The experience, for the most part, was embodied by James Nixon who rolled back the years in what was a deserved man-of-the-match performance. Given Vic’s hat-trick, you have to feel sorry for him (and his old man Nige who generously stumped up a beer for all the players). And yet, Vic really could have notched five, or even six, on his own had the early chances been put away.
Typically, when faced with a home team squandering numerous chances in the early exchanges, Bar Manager El Boy was spawning kittens and approached me, after another good chance went begging, to ask if “it’s not going to be one of those days is it”? Bravely, I said “of course not”, but the ressies continued to squander a plethora of chances, including a free header from Vic after which El Boy made a point of catching my eye.
Mercifully, the visitor’s defence was breached soon after strong play from Crouchy found Sammy on the left wing who cut inside and unleashed a terrific shot inside the far post. The relief wasn’t especially palpable, yet more chances were wasted until Sammy turned provider to Watto, who then found Vic at the edge of the box. On amazing form this season Vic then flicked the ball inside the defender for Nico to run on to and lob the keeper from close range.
The third – which finally put El Boy’s mind to rest – came soon after following dogged persistence from Vic who refused to give up on what ought to have been a lost cause. Indeed, it ought to have been had the keeper not taken his eye off the ball and presented Vic with a tap-in despite conspicuous efforts to haul him back.
The half-time teas consumed, the second half was equally ‘strong and sweet’. Again, chances aplenty were wasted, but there was – despite a brief period of opposition dominance – only one team in it with Vic heading a corner in from close range before the youthful referee gave a second yellow to their substitute for (seemingly) booting the ball into the school unnecessarily. Equally unnecessary was the snapping of one of our ‘respect rope’ posts in the aftermath.
All the subs on, the numerical dominance (and fresh legs) certainly showed. But more chances were wasted by the new faces until Toby pinged a cracker inside the top corner after Pogo in goal proved his powers of concentration in making a good save from close range.
We couldn’t quite fathom the rationale, but the visitors persisted in playing out from the back. With a wholly youthful eleven now on the pitch this didn’t really help their cause and Vic’s hat-trick came from a corner needlessly conceded by a defender under pressure.
No match is ever a stroll in the park, as you make your own luck through hard work. That said, the ressies really warrant their place at the top of the league as this week’s victory means their points total has already exceeded last season’s total with five league matches still to play.
Now the real work starts. Especially if El Boy is going to lead everyone astray in the King’s Head as he did this week!