Sunday, 7 April 2013

Welcome to Eversley and California, It's a Lovely Place

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Saturday 7 April 2013 at the Eversley Sports Association Ground.
Eversley & California 1 AFC Croydon Athletic 2
Combined Counties League Div One Cup Semi-Final
(Step 6)
511 on the lifetime list – chosen for me because it sounded interesting by Tweeter friend @cat_daisy.  That’s random enough for me on the day when most people use the same method for picking Grand National bets.
Pre-match preparation
Both teams placed in the top half of their league table.  Eversley & California are still in with a shout for the title, but that is probably unlikely now for AFC Croydon Athletic.
This match in one sentence
AFC Croydon Athletic took a while to get into their stride but two goals in quick succession just before the break proved enough.
So what?
AFC Croydon Athletic will play either Staines Lammas or Feltham in the final - their semi-final is played on Tuesday.
The drama unfolds
Thanks to the AFC Croydon Athletic website for help in identifying scorers.

E&C started strongly with Neil Williams posing a threat.  An early effort hit the side netting.  It took them 23 minutes to take the lead, however.  It was a soft walk-in goal for number 9 Chris Fox after the offside defensive line had been broken.  The lead was entirely deserved at this point.  1-0

I took three short clips in quick succession around the 30 minute mark.  E&C are in the yellow-and-blue.  The first one finishes with an offside flag - would it have been a penalty if onside, I wonder?  The others show Athletic getting into the game and starting to make Richard Shelley work in the home goal.

The visitors responded to the deficit and took control of the game with two goals shortly before the interval.  Daniel Cumber crossed from the right and it looped up and over the keeper to nestle in the net, not unlike a goal I scored for Selwyn College Third Team back in 1977-78.  I told everyone then that I meant it, and I trust he will do the same.  1-1 after 39 minutes

Alan Bidi-Lacadoug then smacked a shot in from a central position and the game had been turned round.  1-2 after 41 minutes and at HT

Within one minute of the restart, Neil Williams was bearing down on the Croydon goal again.  With the keeper beaten, his shot cannoned back off the post.  E&C put two subs up front but the second half proved to be a scrappy affair as Croydon sat back and looked for the break, and the home side got more desperate.  With 15 minutes left, they came close with this placed effort (by Jermaine Hamilton?) that went into the side-netting.  Generally speaking, the Croydon defence held firm.

I took a few more clips in the closing minutes.  In the last one, E&C keeper Richard Shelley came up for a corner and won the first header – but only a cynical foul stopped Croydon from breaking away to score.  The referee did not allow them to take the freekick quickly, which rather rewarded the defender despite his yellow card.  The result was not affected, though, and the whistle went a few seconds later.  Final score 1-2

The programme

Something random
Eversley & California is a new club name for 2012-13 – Eversley FC have formally merged with California FC, who are a youth football club taking their name from the California district of Wokingham.  Together with the cricket club they have developed a large and impressive site which is leased from an aggregates company.  It is a work in progress but will be a fantastic facility.

AFC Croydon Athletic is a “phoenix” club.  I last saw them in their previous incarnation going very well with a one-sided win at Ashford Town (as they were then) in Kent, three years ago to the day.  Then in 2012 their owner was arrested and eventually given a prison sentence for his part in a cricket spot-fixing scandal in the England v Pakistan series.  The club did not survive, and the new club plays at a different venue.
Hopping for Moorfields Update
I have double-checked the figures and can confirm that we are now running at 178 goals from 51 games at an average of 3.49 per game.  This was the 11th three-goal game of the season.
Mars Bar Watch 2013
Two standard 58g bars for £1.00 at the Shell petrol station on the A405 just off the M25 towards St Albans.  If you have the self-control to save one for later, this is the cheapest confirmed price of the season so far.
What Next?
Hitchin Town v Bedworth United at Top Field tomorrow evening (Monday 8 April) and, if the Yappmobile gets through its service in good time, maybe the Staines Lammas v Feltham semi-final on Tuesday.

No comments:

Post a Comment