By Richard Holmes
The season starts with a point.
Having had the first game of the season called off, our first game was at home to Kineton, a game that has always been a competitive one. The dressing room banter was as we left it last season and it felt good to be back. Scrap took on managerial duties and went with a 3-5-2 formation to give us an attacking approach and we started the game positively making the most of the 3 in the middle of the park and space created out wide. It was a game of few real chances throughout and was largely about which midfield could create the opening. The first opportunity came from the Kineton keeper failing to keep hold of the ball with Brooksy close by putting the pressure on to try and find a way of pushing the loose ball over the line. The keeper did just enough to get the ball back in his hands and the half chance was gone.
Half way through the first half Teezer picked up the ball on the left, played it inside to me who managed to find a way to the edge of the box, where the ball was cleared for a corner. The resulting corner gave us the lead as Scrap came through the pack to bury the ball in the net. Scott had very little to do and the next opportunity came at the other end as Gary passed the ball out wide to Brooksy who's deflected cross found Gary, who, from a tight angle, saw his shot deflected out for a corner. The first half finished 1-0 having had a fairly comfortable half for Bloxham.
The second half saw us playing wind against, giving us a new set of challenges but it was as you were with the majority of the play in Kineton's half, without having any real shots to speak of. The opportunity did come in the end as Brooksy jumped for a header and was clattered from behind, winning a penalty. A few mortgages were lost as Matty stepped up and had his penalty saved and we had to go again, looking for the second that would have sealed a win.
A few changes in personnel came about with Kineton having to put an injured player in goal and Bloxham providing a debut to Rich as well as bringing Ian and I back on. Unfortunately it was my lack of concentration that led to some schoolboy defending, finding myself on the wrong side of the striker who spotted Scott off his line and used the wind to loop a shot into the top corner and we were back level having largely dominated the game.
We weren't quite finished and Ian had the best of the remaining opportunities, running on to a ball over the top, prodding it past the out rushing keeper but unfortunately also wide of the post. Not through lack of effort we had to settle for a draw and take the positives from what was otherwise a great performance and building block to move on from.