Tuesday, 28 August 2012

... Madly Crawley (Down) ...

The signage has not yet caught up with this season's name change for the club.
A goalkeeper, and a 'plane landing at Gatwick.  The comma is important, even though there could be a goalkeeper on the 'plane for all we know.  But then I'd need the plural, so best not to ask.

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 27 August 2012 (3pm) at The Haven Centre
Crawley Down Gatwick 3 Dulwich Hamlet 1
Isthmian League Division 1 South (step 4)
I am here because Crawley rhymes with Horley, where I was unable to go at 11am because of the latter’s FA Cup stalemate with Leatherhead.  At this stage it is a rhyming couplet, I suppose.
Pre-match preparation
Crawley Down and Dulwich are nominally top and second in the league with two wins from two.  Crawley are out of the FA Cup but Dulwich through to the next round, but those Saturday outcomes are clear enough to mean this fixture goes ahead and I am not searching for more teams ending in –ley.  Joy.
This match in one sentence
Better finishing and scoring at the right time were key factors in bringing about a home win in a match between two good, strong and skilful sides.
So what?
Crawley Down stay top on goal difference from Folkestone Invicta who jump over Dulwich who drop to third in the fledgling league table.
The drama unfolds
Crawley Down's defender Jack Page lasted all of two minutes before turning an ankle.  The first action of his replacement Tom Graves was to clatter Ellis Green but the freekick came to nothing.  Here's a scene-setter clip.  Crawley Down are in red.

The first goal of the game was this header by Gabi Odunaike.  It was rather against the territorial run of play but Hamlet had been in the habit of leaving space at the back.  1-0

The first chance to equalise came soon enough, but this direct freekick from Dean Carpenter was over the bar.

Jamie Cade should have put the home side two up from Luke Blewden's pass from the left into the six-yard box, and ten minutes before the interval Odunaike presented him with an easier one from the same direction.  No mistake this time, and the lead was protected until the interval.  2-0 at half-time

Dulwich started the second half with plenty of attacking intent.  Craig Richards chopped down Nyron Clunis after 52 minutes - Anthony di Bernardo initially saved Carl Wilson-Dennis' penalty but the striker just got to the rebound first.  2-1

The initial penalty was saved but rebounded just enough to allow the follow-up score
Dulwich centre-back Josh Turner then missed a free header - it was to be the first of several spurned chances.  However, Crawley Down restored their two-goal cushion soon enough - the defence was breached and Ross Morley, right in the centre, had an age to decide where to place the ball.  Phil Wilson got a hand to it, but to no avail.  This was the killer moment as it turned out.  3-1

When Wilson-Dennis controlled a high cross superbly but then poked the ball over the bar with 20 minutes still to go, you suspected that this was Crawley Down's day.  Peter Adeniyi scooped a shot over too and in the end the visiting challenge rather faded away.  Final score 3-1
The programme

Something random
Brilliant to bump into the Sarf London bloggers @ThePigeonStands who have, like me, been involved in this season’s work of fiction that is The Fake FA Cup.  See our mutual friends at therealfacup.co.uk for details.  Having spotted that they were there through live tweeting, I was initially worried that my "man with specs and blue rucksack" self-description in response might not be distinctive enough with so many bank holiday hoppers on the loose.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
Another four goals to add to the tally.
What Next?
M23/M25/M4 towards Henley Town who have helpfully created an evening kickoff to allow a Bank Holiday rhyming triple.

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