Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Draw of the Seaside

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 4 August 2012 at The Rush Green Bowl
FC Clacton 2 CRC 2
Eastern Counties Premier League (Step 5)
I am here for ground #466 on the lifetime list and my first of the 2012-13 season, launching Hopping For Moorfields
Pre-match preparation
This is the first round of matches of the season in this league.  CRC are the initials of Cambridge Regional College and are in effect the reserve and development side for Cambridge United.  FC Clacton are the relaunched Clacton Town, but some bits of evidence of the club's previous incarnation are dotted around ...

This match in one sentence
An entertaining and fair score-draw in a match that improved as time went on.
So what?
Much too early to say – mid-table respectability for both sides at the moment!
The drama unfolds
In tentative early exchanges, CRC forced and then wasted an early corner and Clacton’s Darren Bethell clipped a shot over after a flick-on from a long throw.  The visitors took the lead from the penalty spot after 11 minutes, Bobby-Joe Taylor driving his shot low to the right as Ed Wootten dived the wrong way.  0-1

Here is a scene-setter clip, with the “Bus Shelter” stand on the right.  FC Clacton are in the white-and-blue.

FC Clacton gradually settled into the game.  CRC keeper Aaron Benstead made a fine save high to his left to deny Bethell and then a driven low cross from Aaron Condon fizzed straight through the six-yard box from the left.  Nothing much else happened of note in the first half.
0-1 at half-time
Bonus for planespotters - the ground is on the landing approach for a local airfield
Early exchanges of the second half were even but uneventful except for a turned-down penalty appeal for the home side.  However, they got one just after the hour when Benstead flapped at the ball and was adjudged to have fouled the attacker.  From my position in the Bus Shelter at that moment, it looked a soft one.  Bethell stepped up to tuck away the shot in the left corner. 1-1

Both sides went for a win and the last 20 minutes were end-to-end and entertaining.  Benstead kept the scores level with a reflex save and then CRC took the lead with 12 minutes to go.  Wootten stretched to push away a cross from the CRC right, but it fell as a tap-in for Ryan Cooper.  1-2

Wonderfully, straight from the restart, substitute Lee Clowsley played a crossfield ball for his brother and fellow sub Jake.  Jake’s first-time half-volley clipped finish was the goal of the day.  2-2

CRC finished strongly and hit the same post twice in the closing moments, once in each of the final two clips.  The ref blew to stop the game after the second, mistakenly believing that the ball had gone out, so there was a confusing restart from a dropped ball out at the wing.  A Question of Sport can have this for a “What Happened Next?” clip if they wish.
Final score 2-2

The programme

Something random
You can soon find out what happened to FC Clacton in The Fake FA Cup here:
Hopping for Moorfields Update
4 goals scored, no Dutchmen met, no farm animals visible, so £5.60 added to the value of the pledges.  Estimated end-of-season total stands at £489 so far, but if you wish to make a pledge email me at headyapp(at) or message me @GrahamYapp on Twitter.  A penny-per-goal pledge will cost you somewhere between £2 and £3 after around 60 games at the end of the season.  Here’s a link to my son’s blog which helps to explain why Hopping For Moorfields is happening this season:
What Next?
Definitely Sleaford Town v Holwell Sports next Saturday for an FA Cup tie (see recent posts to find out why!), but I would not rule out a midweek hop, so follow @GrahamYapp for details!

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