Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Avondale 9 - Croydon 8 (26th April 2010 Surrey Div 1)

Had this been a ball game played in a suburban garden the Avondale team would have spent most of the game knocking on the neighbour’s door… “Can we have our ball back please?”. It’s surprising how high a polo ball will bounce if it’s propelled at ‘Bond-like’ velocity. Ball traction was definitely an issue too and some of the usually slick control was absent.

There was disproportionate amount of whinging at the referee. He was a late draft after the designee failed to turn up, but both teams have suffered considerably worse refereeing performances, and as proceedings approached a gentle simmer he had the authority and confidence to cool things down and to silence the mutterings before they became anything more.

While Croydon did not really ever look like winning this game, Avondale failed to convert many of their opportunities and the score remained close throughout. Avondale defended well in the second half, keeping the shots from the arc and Croydon needed to find the corners and they did not have enough quality on their shots to score consistently. In attack the home team failed to keep the width required to allow their hole-man time on the ball. As ever the accurate sniping of Jacobs and the occasional Bond thunderbolt kept the score ticking along and there were a couple of good team efforts on passing breaks. But when all’s said and done it’s just about how many goals you score and Avondale had to hold onto possession in the last two minutes to secure the win. Far from a classic, but a good, close, entertaining match for the modest crowd of 42,377.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

OMW 9 - Avondale 10 (Surrey Reserves 7th April 2010)

This was the first match of the new Surrey "Reserves" league. The natural divide caused by the gap in standard between the first teams of Avondale, Sutton and Croydon and the remainder of the original Surrey first division proved unbridgeable. The answer is perhaps this device of playing a league where these three clubs put up teams of second team players plus up to three first team players....

On the showing tonight it should work. It was a close game throughout with Avondale threatening to string together some consistent play from the start. The visitors did manage several well organised attacks, but their shooting let them down and their usually reliable homophonic goal scoring duo have yet to hit form.

Having trailed by a goal three times, OMW rallied well in the second and third periods. With some help from the Avondale Captain, who finding it hard to score in the oppositions goal managed to take his own keeper by surprise with a flick shot from short range, OMW started the final quarter two goals ahead at 8 - 6 and looked to be in control of the game.

Avondale seemed to surprise even themselves in the final quarter and began to hit the target, scoring 4 unanswered goals before OMW responded early in the last minute. In the absence of a shot-clock, possession would guaranteed a win, but Louis eschewed such negative thoughts and finding himself in the opposition half and unmarked went for glory... and shied his effort several meters high. OMW broke and with only a few seconds remaining were unlucky to end up with one of their weaker shooters close but wide of the goal. The resulting lob, under pressure, never looked like beating the somewhat lacklustre old keeper and Avondale ran out winners by the single goal.