Home News Prestwood Fight Back To Earn Draw Away to Chesham
Prestwood Fight Back To Earn Draw Away to Chesham PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 14:35

Chesham United Clarets 2 v 2 Prestwood Colts

On reading the score line this match looks like 2 points dropped by the Colts as opposed to one collected. However, with the side trailing 2 v 0 and only 10 minutes to the end of the game, we can argue that Nick’s two goals in the closing stages secured an important point.

The pre match briefing in the small cold changing room focused on the state of the pitch. The first thing we said to the lads was that the undulating, muddy and bobbly surface we were about to play on was regrettably not the ideal scenario to play our quick passing game. Instead, the focus was to intercept and then play as many quick long balls as possible and get the opposition defence turning. The second thing I mentioned is we had never lost wearing the sky blue shirts. With 10 minutes to go and no real sign of us getting a clear breakthrough I was wondering whether this rallying call was instead going to prove a curse.

The first half was a niggly affair. Strong tackles, firm headers and plenty of huff and puff but very few moments of quality. With the sloping pitch a record number of throw ins had to be taken due to the ball, aided by a blustery wind, continually running off down the hill. On top of this the players kept finding doggy parcels all round the pitch for the home manager to deal with. Can you imagine the likes of Wenger and Klopp running around their pitches with a pooper scoopers to ensure the surfaces at the Emirates and Anfield were free of such smelly unpleasantaries.

The one clear chance Prestwood had in the first half was a delightful lob from will T who had broken clear after receiving a long pass from midfield. His delicate chip cleared the keeper,but agonisingly bumped the bar. By contrast, Chesham rarely threatened the Prestwood goal as our defence nullified any attacking moves before they became dangerous. James, another signing from Penn, was making a solid debut at right back following several weeks of delay due to being either cup tied or our matches being postponed.

The balance of the match was about to change when Nick picked up a knock on his foot, when he accidently made contact with his opponents boot when trying to intercept the ball. Owen volunteered to sit in at left back as a replacement and the half was seen out without any further incident.

With so little threat being mustered by the opposition the coaching staff felt it was within our grasp to go on and win the match. Lewis came on for Nick and Owen remained at left back. However, soon into the second half, our injury position took a turn for the worse when Michael stretched in a tackle and went off feeling his hamstring. With only one sub available Nick was forced back on. Joe, after doing an effective job as a defensive midfielder joined Will R in the centre of defence and Nick resumed in a left midfield position just to be a nuisance and extra body.

All these changes seemed to disrupt the team, and gave a revived Chesham the impetus to raise their game. And after a couple of attacks, which David comfortably dealt, Chesham went one ahead from close in when we failed to clear our lines. Within minutes they increased their lead to go two up when a fast break down the right got past our defence and a low firm cross into our box was firmly put away.

At this stage it looked like we were going to experience the taste of defeat. Chesham had their tails up and on the difficult narrow pitch we were just not creating any clear chances. Heads were beginning to drop, a booking for Owen and the overall body language suggested that this was not going to be our day. When we did force corners we looked dangerous, but on these occasions even though we were first to the ball and made contact, accuracy form the resulting header was missing.

As the match was petering out the call was made to move the limping Nick up front into the centre. Sam, who was playing his first full outfield match for the Colts for several months after injury, replaced Nick on to the left side of midfield, even though by this stage he was running on empty. The aim to move Nick up front was to protect him from further injury. Little did we realize that this enforced change would get Prestwood back in the game. Soon Ollie found a bit of space and played an excellent through ball from the centre of midfield which Nick latched onto, having got beyond the Chesham defence. Using just his right foot he veered past their keeper and slotted home. Suddenly, our tails were up and a forward urgency that had been missing for most of the second half returned. Mattie began making some driving runs from the centre of midfield and Lewis was finding space on the right that had been previously denied to him. Chesham looked rattled and soon we were level when a clever passing move set up by Lewis found Nick, who put away the equaliser with their keeper well beaten. With just a few minutes left could we go on and complete the victory?

By now Chesham were feeling the pace and we continued to drive on and created successive corners. Nick, aided by the adrenalin rush of a couple of goals had by this stage forgotten his injury and could have completed his hat trick from another well delivered corner from Will T. However, he just could not get sufficient downward contact on the header and the ball just brushed over the bar. Other promising forward moves were also thwarted by their linesman responding to the appeals from his playing colleagues for offside rather than judging the situation with his own eyes. I did pass comment to the referee at the end of the game about the frustration we felt that he did not take a firmer control with the repeated off sides, knowing that the linesmen were players from Chesham who lacked the necessary experience and confidence to override the calls of their colleagues.

It was a grand finale and in the end we all felt a sense of relief that we had not been beaten and our undefeated record in the sky blue shirts was maintained in the most dramatic of circumstances. Next week we will regroup and go again in the quarter final of the league cup. The question is - should we wear the lucky blue shirts?


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