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How did we not win???????...[ Yet again!!!]

Dave  Sunday, March 03, 2002  16:49 GMT

Above, middle: Martin 'Rambo' Tuck...Man of the Match.


Firstly, sorry about the lack of a match report for last week. Here is a brief summing up: Despite a shortage of players, we competed superbly well against that supposedly rough lot from Parkstone. Despite going two goals behind, we battled back and scored when Phil smacked home a penalty. We continued to have all the main chances, hitting the woodwork twice, their keeper made some great saves and we missed our usual easier efforts. So, we lost 2-1 but the spirit shown was excellent and we deserved at least a point.
Onto todays match....due to the fact we played so well last week, I chose to keep the same starting eleven, meaning the returning Pires and Younger had to settle with a place on the bench. Maybe a brave decision but it was later vindicated.
After a scrappy opening few minutes, we soon settled down and started to play some good stuff.
Handley were not able to threaten us at the back and Jamie was being found more and more down the right.
It wasn't long before we took a deserved lead. Phil was finding space on the left as well and it was his through ball that found Shaky free up front. His first touch wasn't great and we thought the chance was lost but he managed to keep control and charge on a few yards before unleashing hell on the keeper...a fine shot finding the corner of the net.
We had all the play at this point and a couple more chances were created but we again weren't quite ruthless enough.
We did go two up soon though. Phil again picked the ball up on the left and spotted Jamie free on the right. His cross field pass maybe should have been cut out by the left back but it went all the way to our speeding right winger. Jamie ran on, drew the keeper and slotted home in style, 2-0.
I still don't recall a Handley effort at this stage and we could have been out of sight soon after. Jamie found himself one on one with keeper and, while he did beat the helpless custodian, his shot came back of the foot of the post.
We were playing very well at this point but a slack piece of play saw Handley pull a goal back out of the blue.
Matt gave away a needless throw in, then I didn't get tight enough on their player from that, and he was able to cross it to the far post, where Jez maybe could have been tighter too. The player's shot was point blank but it was a deflection that took it past the helpless Gree.
Handley then had their best bit of the match so far but again, rarely looked like breaching our defence. H-T ; 2-1
Despite the fact we had our subs straining at the leash to get on, we stayed the same into the second half.
Our play was flatter than in the first period but we still looked rock solid at the back and felt very comfortable.
Chances created by us were not as frequent as before but we still held most of the posession. The turning point came midway through the second period. Jamie started to feel some cramp and had to go off. This meant re-arranging the team, with Shaky coming to centre back, me to right back and Matt to midfield. Also, Glen came onto the left and Phil went up front.
This certainly affected us, as Pires found it very hard to get into the game and without Jamie and Phil in midfield, we weren't able to find the front men so easily.
Disaster struck just after the midway point in the half. Rambo was slighlty harshly adjudged to have fouled their attacker just outside the box, centrally. Gree lined up the wall as well as could be expected but their bloke proceeded to slot the ball over the wall and into the top corner of the net. It was a great goal.
At this point, we looked a bit downhearted and Handley stepped up the pressure. We held our nerve though and withstood them with ease most of the time. The best effort from us was a free kick from Phil, 25 yard out. He bent it over the wall and towards the bottom corner but the keeper scrambled across the goal and palmed the ball away for a great save.
Younger came on for a tired Manager about ten minutes from time and put in a couple of crunching tackles. One of his fairest prompted their lad to throw his toys out of the pram!
The final whistle went soon after and we had thrown away two much needed points. It was a very flat second half but you have to say that we played well overall. What it boils down to really, is our inability to score more goals when we are on top. Jamies' shot against the post was unlucky but there were other, easier chances that have to be put away.
We are down to the last three games of the season now and at least two are very win-able!! So lets think towards next week and get it into our heads that we are going to win!


MAN OF THE MATCH: Like last week, there were a few contenders. Jamie was superb throughout, scoring one, hitting the post and working hard. Tank tackled like a rancid whore; Andy Long played like, well, Andy Long. The defence as a whole looked comfortable for just about the whole match; Phil set up both goals; and the front two worked very hard. My Man of the Match though, went to MARTIN 'RAMBO' TUCK. In only his third game for us, he has become a big influence at the back. I don't recall him missing a header and rarely missed a tackle.

NEXT WEEK: A huge game away to Devomet. Just above us in the table, it is another must win game if we are to gain a bit of respectability in the final table. Please meet at Tesco to leave at 9.30am.
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