Saturday, September 15, 2012

Game 6: Laverstock & Ford 1.3 Team Solent (Wessex 1) 15.09.12

With industrial action leading to a planned excursion to Carlisle being cancelled, it was an unexpected opportunity for a local game today. I haven't been to Laverstock for a while and since my last visit the club have been relegated,changed their manager and replaced their playing squad.

I arrived at the ground just before kickoff and picked up a programme that was included with admission. It had less content than previous offerings but was still a reasonable effort.

The game kicked off in bright sunshine and Laverstock took an early lead after five minutes. A dribble through the middle was unchecked, allowing the midfielder enough time to line up a low shot from outside the area that flew past the keeper.

Team Solent equalised after 36 minutes when Laverstock failed to clear their lines. An attempted clearance was deflected back into the area by a visiting player and he had time to place a low shot under the keeper and in. Just before the end of the half it was 2.1 to the visitors from a similar incident. Laverstock made another mistake with a clearance and a firm shot beat the keeper from close range.

The second half was light on clear chances and it wasn't until the 84th minute that Team Solent extended their lead with a breakaway goal. Laverstock had pressed forward for a cornerbut lost the ball. A good direct pass allowed one of the Team Solent players to race into the Laverstock half unchallenged. He took the ball into the area and placed a shot wide of the keeper and covering defender - a well taken goal. There was almost time for a fourth goal when the Laverstock keeper spilt a corner. One of his teammates cleared the ball off the goal line before Team Solent could react.

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Game 5: Parley Sports 2.2 Wareham Rangers (Dorset Prem) 08.09.12

After a sunny morning in Swanage I drove in the opposite direction to the bulk of the traffic away from the coast and towards Bournemouth Airport. Skirting around the edge of runway, I soon found myself parking up at Parley Sports.

I wandered around the clubhouse and found someone selling programmes and admission for a donation. The pitch was behind the clubhouse and someone had parked their moped next to the pitch by an opening in the handrail. I wondered if it was the referee planning a quick escape but just before halftime one of the spectators moved it next to the clubhouse.

This was the first time that I've seen Wareham Rangers play as they were promoted into the league last season. In their first two games they had a win and a loss and they soon found themselves a goal down. In the 6th minute a Parley player dribbled the ball round three defenders before smashing a shot into the top corner. Wareham thought that they scored an equaliser in the 30th minute but it was disallowed for offside. Parley's defence was breached shortly before halftime so the last man took it upon himself to bring the Wareham player down. A straight red card resulted but Wareham were unable to take immediate advantage as the freekick from outside the area flashed just past the post.

Parley's keeper wasn't particularly tall but his reactions made up for his lack of stature at the start of the second half. A Wareham corner found an unmarked player in the centre who headed towards goal, only to be denied by the Parley keeper pushing the ball up and away with a strong hand. He got flattened by a team mate a few minutes later but before Wareham reacted the referee blew up to stop the game. There was a covering defender and the game eventually restarted with a dropball.

Parley came close to extended their lead on the hour. One of their players broke away with the ball and dragged it round the keeper. His touch was heavy and this forced him wide, allowing a defender to get to him and get a tackle in tackle before he could shoot.

Wareham were getting frustrated with the referee's decisions as they felt he was favouring the home side. Three yellow cards appeared in quick succession for verbals when the referee chose not to play the advantage.

It looked like 10 man Parley would hold on for a win until the 86th minute.A Wareham player sneaked the ball from the last defender and took a shot. His effort was deflected out by the keeper but fell to the onrunning Wareham player who whacked it in.

The lead lasted less than a minute. Parley took the ball through the middle as Wareham switched off. No defender moved in time to cover and Parley's low shot beat the keeper at the right post. The supporters and players by the clubhouse celebrated as if they had done enough to win the match.

We were into the last moments of injury time when a Wareham player was brought down in the area. The referee pointed to the spot and the penalty was converted to give the visitors a point. An exciting finish to the game!