It’s a tough job after a championship win to get the lads up for the next game. You can warn them the opposition will be doubly keen to take points you now. Everybody wants to bring you down to the ground, quite rightly. But that’s the limits of coaching, you can prepare the lads but you can’t get out there and do it for them!
We know Caversham are a decent side, another team who’s position on the table belies their quality. They came out organised and up for it and sure enough got an early goal. Going 1-0 down seemed to be the splash of water in the face the team needed and we arrived back in the game via an Ash Watson goal to give Ash his ninth goal of the season.
We took the lead minutes later when the industrious Ethan Gall laid a defence splitting pass for Cam Thoms to get in behind to get his ninth of the season as well. The race for second place in the golden boot behind Burgie was now well and truly on.
With the wind behind us, Ethan and Justin Flaws were now looking to get the ball out quickly to our wide-men from winning the seconds in the middle of the park. Ollie Sutcliffe moved inside to striker and playing close to Thomsy managed to get him through for our third of the match and Thomsy’s tenth of the season.
Conceding another goal from sloppy defensive errors (from my perspective but from Phil on the opposite bench it’s was a blinder) brought the game back to 3-2. There’s only one effective way to deal with that kind of scoreline in this grade and that’s to keep looking for more goals. Which is what Skipper Paddy Koppert did. Always combatitive he put his full back under extra pressure and kept winning the ball high up. He was rewarded with our fourth just before the break (also his seventh for the season).
A couple of changes at half time with crowd favourite Rhys Quarrel joining the attack and Elliot “EJ” Jenkins coming on in the middle of the park.
Caversham also jigged things around at half time and both sides contained each other for most of the second half. Faced with the option of a defensive substitution at 70 minutes or an attacking one, we plumped for Aaron Burgess. Having Burgie on the field gave the lads a lift in self-belief that his presence brings to the team, plus all his experience and canniness forced Caversham to be more cautious in going forward. This was instrumental in our fifth goal. A well taken strike to Justin ‘Judda” Flaws. A fitting end to the season in which Judda has been ever present in midfield.
Thanks to Chris Wright (and helper) from Football South coming down to present the Fletcher Cup to Skipper Paddy and the lads. It’s been a great competition this year with the race for second place still up for grabs, none of the wins were easy and on the day any of the teams could take points off each other.
POD – Lance Woods ( runs the game beautifully from the back)