Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Stalemate in Sawbridgeworth

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Tuesday 16 August at Crofters End, Sawbridgeworth
Sawbridgeworth Town 0 Basildon United 0
Essex Senior League (Step 5)
#405 on the lifetime list
This match in one sentence
An even and entertaining first half-hour and a rough-and-tumble last fifteen kept the spectators interested enough in this stalemate.
So what?
Still early days in the season of course but the visitors will be happier with their away point – all four of their points have come away from home.  Sawbridgeworth’s first three league fixtures have been at home and they only have two points to show for their efforts at the moment.
A random invention that would have the same impact on my personal happiness and well-being as watching this match
An intelligent aglet with stress sensors that lights up one day before the shoelace is going to break thereby allowing time for a visit to one of those strange key cutting and shoe repair places in the High Street where incomprehensible transactions are shouted above the noise of rotating carborundum discs in an atmosphere of glue fumes.
The drama unfolds
Here’s a scene-setter clip to start with, as the sun dropped below the horizon for a beautiful non-league crimson sunset.  You don’t get those in the Premier League.

There had been a sensational start to the game which gave no clue of the goal drought to follow.  Basildon’s midfielder Alberto Pinto unleashed the first dipping and swerving shot with only seconds on the clock, and it pinged back to safety off the post.  The hosts should have scored too after 7 minutes, but a good block by ‘keeper Tony Dean saved the day.

Both teams occasionally gave the ball away from short clearances as they tried to build from the back, but no forward managed a shot on target from the resulting chances, and the game settled into a stalemate, but with enough attacking intent to keep the neutral happy.  Basildon looked slightly more dangerous in the first-half and here’s a set-piece.

They had two corners in quick succession on 26 minutes.  The first was touched away to safety by home ‘keeper Lewis Mackay and the second was well defended as the ball pinged around in the area.  After that, the game fizzled out rather until the interval.  0-0 at half-time

After the break, Sawbridgeworth had the better of the early skirmishes and gradually imposed themselves on the match.  The best chances came from set pieces though a glancing header from Harold Craston from Harry Rubbins’ driven cross would have been a great goal after Matt Waldren had won the ball in midfield.  However, Basildon got themselves back into it, and for the last twenty minutes the game could have gone either way.  Both teams missed the target with shots, and in the end the score was fair enough.

These clips are from the second half.


Notice how the player who has been fouled gets up straight away and lets the ref do his job!  A yellow card was duly given.

Final score 0-0
Tough call – both sets of central defenders did well but the best of the eye-catcher moments came for me in midfield.  Sawbridgeworth captain Matt Waldren seemed to be in the right place at the right time more than most and Basildon’s Alberto Pinto and Gleavalena Wtuwaku also had good games.
A snippet from the programme

I’ll give a hopperplug for a charity event that was promoted by a programme insert.  On Friday 16 September there is a sponsored starlight 5-mile walk in Bishop’s Stortford in aid of St Clare Hospice, and details are on
What I learned today
Crofters End can be added to the list of grounds where aeroplanes can be watched if the game gets tedious – it was on this evening’s takeoff flightpath for Stansted Airport.  Also, it’s not just me, linos are getting younger.  Finally, orange shirts with red shorts MUST be some kind of style crime and I trust there is an obscure 1833 Act of Parliament that someone can dig up to deal with this.
What Next?
I have the bug again and I see there are plenty of fixtures on Wednesday evening – watch my Twitter feed @GrahamYapp for any decision!

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