Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Needing More High Drama at Highmoor

Position at kickoff
Huddling together for warmth at a goalkick
Taken accidentally but an arty bonus!
Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Monday 19 November 2012 at Palmer Park
Highmoor Ibis 0 Binfield 3
Hellenic Premier League (Step 5)
Ground 494 on the lifetime list.  A Monday off work so I was able to take on a midweek hop with a comfortable journey to the eastern outskirts of Reading.  Plenty of ‘hoppers in attendance for this one.
Pre-match preparation
Not much comment in the local press.  League table and the lack of a home win so far this season suggest that Binfield will expect to take the points.
This match in one sentence
Binfield took the points but two late goals gave the scoreline a more one-sided slant.
So what?
Binfield are now third in the table and Highmoor fourteenth.  However, the latter have played more games than some of the teams below them and they will be looking over their proverbial shoulder.
The drama unfolds
The refreshments were being served in the athletics club hut which, on my arrival, had the depressed atmosphere of a dentist’s waiting room with Mars Bars, and my appearance seemed to make no difference.  However, soon the Monday hopping fraternity were swopping tales of derring-do and then a home official came and read out the teams to us.  We sat quietly with our notebooks of various shapes and sizes, speaking only to query the spelling of Theophanides.  I took up a place at the back of the very comfortable main stand, standing next to a “No Standing” sign.  I am such a rebel sometimes.

The early part of the game was, shall we say, undistinguished.  The tempo of the game in these athletic stadia venues is always staccato.  (Can you have a staccato tempo?  Musicians please advise.)  Periods of intense activity are punctuated by waits while the ball is retrieved from the long jump pit or the 3000m hurdle water jump, and it always seems to me to be very unsatisfactory.  I watched the trains go by on the adjacent main line, and made an early note that I would not report that there was a female referee, as it is irrelevant.  Oh.

Here is a clip from about 20 minutes in, and Binfield are employing the long throw tactic.  There’s a half-chance at each end and that is as interesting as anything we had seen so far.  Highmoor are in blue.

The aforementioned Adam Theophanides, in the home central defence, almost gave us a comedy own goal but his keeper, Daniel Smith, reacted sharply to grab his header.  The second clip has a Highmoor corner and a Binfield break, and comes from the half-hour mark.

I have kept clip 3 in this week of Zlatan Ibrahimovic only because it features an as-yet-unidentified Binfield player attempting a bicycle kick.  The game faded to the interval, still a goalless stalemate.  0-0 at half-time

Binfield started the second half well.  A cross delivered from the right came off the bar and fell safe.  Then Smith did well to block a shot, though it was straight at him.  Binfield started to look the more threatening.  They broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute.  Seb Bowerman caused problems on the left wing and Highmoor allowed him to do the same again a minute later.  This time his cross eluded the defence and several Binfield attackers were queueing up to finish.  James Suarez got the final touch.  0-1

I recorded, and deleted as being too tedious, several more clips after this.  It took till the 83rd minute before Binfield made the game safe.  The ball broke kindly for Carl Davies as he burst through the defensive line but he got round Smith and had an easy finish.  0-2

Here is a late clip to prove I was still awake.

The third goal came in stoppage time from Garry Sergeant.  Job done.  Binfield will be happy with a three-goal away win I think.  Final score 0-3
The programme

Something random
News is in via @thecoldend that Rye United (see previous post) have lodged a formal appeal to the FA concerning the tie at Amersham.  Today’s draw has produced South Park of the Combined Counties League as the next opponents once the appeal is resolved one way or the other.

My visit to Binfield was before the days of this blog (a 3-1 win in 2008-2009), but I saw Ibis earlier this season, in September at Marlow – you can pick up the post from the tag cloud on the right.  You will see that there too I reported that late goals had given their opponents a bigger win than the balance of play suggested.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
111 goals in 31 games, and a three-goal game.
What Next?
A Pot Noodle on the way home to be brutally honest.  I might try and get to an FA Vase replay on Tuesday evening if I can finish work promptly.

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