Fulham Deaf 1-1 Claygate & Ditton
Intermediate Division Two League
Fulham Deaf FC
v Claygate & Ditton FC
The Whitesâ€™ next opponents, Claygate & Ditton FC, finished top of the Kingston & District
Football League Premier Division last season and achieved promotion into the
SSEC Intermediate Division Two. FDFC had history against this team, having
drawn twice with them previously, with scores being 2-2 and 0-0. Claygate &
Ditton FC started well in beating Real Holmesdale 3-2 and Croygas Phoenix 5-1
in their opening league games, so FDFC knew they were in for a tough game after
the disappointing loss to Brockham last week.
The Gaffer, Ayad Sarraf, had
communicated with his right hand man Martin Willis via email regarding the team
line up and was ready to announce the team. Unfortunately, once again another
player arrived so late that forced the team line up to be re-shuffled. The team
line up was announced in the changing room, with a 4-4-2 formation set. Sam
Kemp starts as a goalkeeper along with a back four consisting of Harding,
McDougall, Evans and Gill. Both Hogan and Wylde were to operate as wingers,
with Lampert and Swift playing in centre midfield. Willis and Bovino were
charged with getting the goals upfront.
The referee, David Holmwood, arrived
very late, resulting in kick-off being delayed by 25 minutes. When the match
eventually started, Claygateâ€™s tendency to play the ball around their back line
was punished by Willis, who pounced on a centre backâ€™s mistake and rounded the
goalkeeper to give FDFC an early lead.
FDFC continued playing good football,
with Hogan, Willis and Bovino missing chances to give the Whites a cushion in
the match. Sadly, in the 25th minute, Willisâ€™ game came to an end
after sustaining a twisted ankle. Oliver â€˜Chunkâ€™ Monksfield replaced him, going
in at right wing, with Wylde partnering Bovino upfront. Soon after, Bovino
could only head the ball wide in the box after being set up by a decent cross
Soon after another chance went begging
when Wyldeâ€™s close range shot in the box was blocked by the defence, and fell
to Bovino in the six yard box. Instead of shooting straightaway, the striker
chose to pass the ball to Monksfield, who was unable to get on the receiving
end of the pass and a great chance to go 2-0 up before half time was wasted.
During the half time talk, the Gaffer
expressed how delighted he was with the teamâ€™s defensive system in keeping the
opposition at bay, although he felt that we should have taken our chances
better in the first half.
When the second half restarted, it was
clear that Claygate had stepped up a gear in their performance and were
desperate to get an equaliser. However, the Whiteâ€™s defence were mainly equal
to the task, with several blocks and interceptions denying the Claygate
forwards a clear shot at goal. The siege was occasionally lifted when the
Whites were able to attack on the counter, but such chances were not converted,
despite being in promising positions on occasion.
Substitute Andrew Oruovo, having
replaced hard working Bovino with quarter of an hour to go, had the opportunity
to score and decide the result, but mishit his shot straight at the goalkeeper
to give Claygate a significant let-off. This proved to be the defining moment
in the game, as Claygate put Gill under pressure one more time by placing a
long ball over his head in the right hand channel, from which a corner was
forced. On the first corner, Lampert missed the inswinger at the near post, but
the Claygate forward had his header blocked by Evans for another corner. This
time, no mistake was made as Claygate managed to conjure up a far-post header
to equalise and give his side a share of the points.
Ayad, the Gaffer, was very
disappointed with the teamâ€™s final ball in the attacking third, but urged the
boys to keep their chins up for next weekâ€™s match against Ashtead.
Captain Evans deserved to be rewarded
a man of the match for some superb and committed defending, covering exposed
positions on both flanks and playing safely for the majority of the game.
Final score Fulham Deaf 1 â€“ 1 Claygate
& Ditton (HT 1 – 0)
FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Gill (Rumney 80 mins), Evans
(Captain), McDougall, Harding, Hogan, Lampert, Swift, Wylde, Bovino (Oruovo 75
mins) and Willis (Monksfield 30 mins)