MoM: Paul Donovan
DoD: Not Awarded
Off to Cranbrook to a match with a newly formed team called Newenden Nomads. With a very smart blue and white strip that was matched by their hockey, of which they very much liked to broadcast about for the full 70 minutes, they were a team who would have given our fours or Millers a good game and we wondered why they were in this league (2nd bottom Kent Open League). Coupled with their non-stop yacking and on-field commentary which meant that some of our elderly contingent could swap out their hearing aids for ear plugs, it was one of those bad days at the office for the Friars.
Two goals down in 10 minutes followed by a further four before half-time some of which were extremely good goals with crazy angles meant that it was an afternoon possibly to forget and move on. Our defence had great value for their match fee and Paul ‘Dono’ Donovan in goal made some extraordinary saves; he was constantly in action though at times he wished he was on a rugby pitch in his previous sporting life.
The second half saw the Friars only concede 2 goals but there were a couple of sporadic forays into the Nomads half and indeed one shot hit the back board but was deemed high (correctly) from the inital PC shot and in the second half Hayward should really have dived full length to deflect a Pete Bowell pass into the goal. That was about it but John Aikin managed to play both as centre forward (1st half) and centre back (2nd half). There was a welcome return from injury for Jamie Harris; Brian Hurlow, John Ratty and the Two Tans put in useful shifts and Mike Barton, in the absence of Big Geoff Philpott is polishing his long balls upfield nicely. Biggles Ward summed us up well heroically laying his body down in the way of an oncoming ball and coming off worst with a blue and black digit.
Anyway good practice for the future against the odds-on league winners (maximum points already) and we can even look forward to a trip to Gillingham this coming Saturday! Huge thanks to Phil Sandy for expertly officiating and travelling all the way to deepest Cranbrook.