A Point to Prove!
By Richard Holmes
Further progress from the vets.
Following our last outing comeback, the vets were in good spirits and ready to start where we left off. The Gaffer made an appearance and set up a 4-4-2 formation with Scrap stepping up into centre midfield and Matty and Andy starting up front. Bloxham started well, as usual, with Andy and Matty causing the defence some trouble but we needed to change history and make a good start count, which happened today. A corner from the right bounced around in the box and deflected to Gary's left boot which dispatched the ball into the back of the net. Ilmington had made very little opportunities against an bouyant Bloxham but they did have men in midfield, creating runs through the middle, looking to break open the defence.
Ilmington's chance did come with the back four playing the offside trap that became irrelevant when the midfield runner took it himself and broke through for a one on one. Scott stood tall and saved with his feet to keep us one up but the warning signs were there. It was a free kick just outside the box that gave Ilmington their equaliser. A deflection off the wall wrong footed Scott and the game was level.
The warning signs were there, with runs from Ilmington's midfield but we couldn't get our shape to deal with it and Ilmington took the lead following a run and low shot from outside the box. It wouldn't be fair to say it had been coming but we needed to deal with the extra men to have a chance of getting back into the game. We did have a couple of chances, before the half time whistle, with a swift move putting Gary into a one on one situation. Sadly the keeper did well to put it round the post. The second chance came from a corner that Knaggsy flicked on but the ping pong went Ilmington's way and we went into half time 2-1 down.
As always the half time talk was a positive one, with gaffer bringing out the water bottles for his tactical talk, to sort out the midfield concerns. Communication and attitude couldn't be faulted and it was important the second half belonged to us. We were dealing with the extra man in midfield now and the attacks were more threatening from the sky blues without testing the keeper too much. A free kick was awarded to Ilmington, on the edge of the box, but it came to nothing this time and they only really troubled Scott with a corner that was tipped over the bar. Going into the last 10 minutes and it was Bloxham asking the questions. Space was opening up on both sides of the pitch with crosses coming in that just couldn't be put away. With minutes remaining men were being committed forward at every opportunity and a freekick from the right hand side made it's way across the box before being put out for a throw in. As the throw in was launched into the box the ref pointed to the spot following a two handed shove and Matty grabbed the ball, placed it on the spot and slipped it past the keeper for a well deserved equaliser.
2 great performances on the bounce have been rewarded with 2 draws, as we head into the final few fixtures. The target now has to be the 3 points!