Sunday, 17 August 2014

A Game of Gust-a-Minute at Holyport

Hopperational details
Date & Venue
Sunday 17 August at Summerleaze
Holyport 2 Abingdon United 2
FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Ground 541, the third FA Cup tie of the weekend, chosen as the shortest journey distance-wise if not time-wise due to the dreaded M25 western section.
Pre-match preparation
Both clubs play at Step 5 in the Hellenic League, and neither have a win.  Holyport’s league campaign has started with two defeats and Abingdon have one sole point from a draw and a defeat.  But (all together now…) THIS COUNTS FOR NOTHING IN THE CUP.
This match in one sentence
Abingdon were ahead but eventually had to settle for a replay, as the rain stayed away but the wind gets the assist for Holyport’s crazy equaliser
So what?
The aforementioned replay is on Tuesday evening.  The winners will have a home tie against Egham Town.
The drama unfolds
Sam Jones tapped in after a well-worked move down the left to give the home side the lead midway through the first half.  1-0 after 23 minutes

Suddenly the wind seemed to pick up and playing conditions became trickier.  It was blowing sideways across the pitch towards the dugouts.  I was on my customary lap of the perimeter and at the other end when Anaclet Odihambo equalised for United just a few minutes later.  1-1 after 29 minutes

I took my first clip and the effect of the wind on a cross led to a fumble by the home keeper that needed a last-ditch clearance.  Holyport are in claret and green.

Abingdon adjusted to the conditions better at first and substitute Graham Edney was unlucky when he hit the bar.  1-1 at half-time

The visitors took the lead with Odihambo’s second goal, a really cool finish when the defensive line was broken.  1-2 after 52 minutes

Steve Davis almost scored unintentionally for Abingdon when the wind turned his cross into a shot, but it played an even bigger part in the equaliser.  Thomas Kaill sent a freekick well wide of the goal, quite deliberately I would suggest, and the vicious curve deceived the keeper for the kind of equaliser I last saw in the Faroe Islands!  2-2 after 77 minutes

My second clip shows Davis trying to repeat his set piece feat from a little closer – he hits the angle of post and bar and maybe it was fair enough that this game ended all square.  Final score 2-2

Ground Pix
This is a lovely location for a fine afternoon – if you visit, make sure you have a look at the map because this ground is tucked away at the end of a track, through a cricket club, if you follow the satnav route.  It is worth it.

To be fair, this was straightened very soon afterwards by a level-headed club official!
Pic showing location of Scooby Tree (see below)

Match Pix

Management expressing "I Don't Believe It" through the medium of dance

Something You Don’t Get in the Premier League

1. Teams emerging from the woods to take the field ...
2. Scooby Trees (I love this tree)
3. Red Kites overhead
4. Convolvulus
Goalkeeper Top Colour Stats
Honours even between the grey of Holyport and the blue of Abingdon United.  Updated points table to follow next week.
Soapbox Section
Not today.  I am soapboxed out.  I will just say that this is fast becoming my favourite weekend of the whole football season.
What Next?
Watch @GrahamYapp on Twitter for details!  Maybe a midweek replay or two, but nothing next Saturday due to a family function.

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