A cagey game last night at the Beckham academy resulted in a scoreless draw for new manager Verdy. The fans will be wondering if this is a sign of things to come following the exciting, if a little erratic, stewardship of Taylor whose last two games at the helm were an 8.0 win and a 6.1 reverse. Talor, in usual maverick style, spent the evening getting battered, so the new man in the hot seat took charge earlier than expected.
Our team stuck with the 4-5-1 that had been deployed so successfully the previous week and the midfield trio of Keegan, Goode and Hammer again won the battle in the middle of the park and found plenty of space out on the wings for Carry and the dancing feet of GentlemanD. Deny were restricted to a couple of long range efforts with Pearce and Clag commanding the backline well and winning everything in the air in spite of not being the tallest centre half pairing we've ever had.
The ball was certainly spending long periods in the Deny half, but we couldn't quite get the final ball right to lone striker Tarner. Shortly before half time, Goode slotted the ball into the channel for Carry to take one touch and slot into the corner in a display of uncharacteristic coolness in front of goal. Unfortunately, the flag had gone straight up, although, as Goode was only too quick to point out to the linesman, ref and anyone else who was listening, it must have been close. The last action of the half saw Hughy (GK) dribbling around in his own 18 yard box, bringing back memories of a previous match at the Beckham academy. This time he cleared for a corner and the rock steady defence again dealt with it well.
Farmy replaced the hard working Tarner upfront, with Perkinson replacing the injured GentlemanD (too much of those of dancing feet). Predictably the game became more open as players began to tire in the second half. Hughy was getting some joy down the left with a series of neat stepovers, including one run that resulted in Perkinson forcing the keeper into a smart save down to his right.
Our squad continued to press and we had several other decent efforts: Hammer firing just over from a corner cleared to the edge of the box, Carry shooting just over the angle when played in on the right and Farmy winning a race between him and the goalkeeper to the ball, but, under pressure, just steering it wide. Deny had a couple of long range efforts that Hughy did well to hang on to. The opposition's best chance came from a breakaway that left us outnumbered at the back. The ball was squared to the onrushing left winger who got a good strike in on the edge of the area, but Verdy managed to fall over just at the right time to get a block on and take the power of the shot making it easy for Hughy (GK) to collect.
The best chance for our team came from a Hughy corner and a towering (seriously) leap from Carry that was heading in at the far post before the defender managed to flick the ball out for a corner. Carry looked so stunned that he'd been able to out jump his marker and get a powerful header on target that he found it hard to be disappointed that he hadn't made his personal tally 3 in 3.
MOTM: Again, a good team performance and a game we could have won against a team that now look like they'll be promoted. Some great runs from Hughy down the left, solid from the midfield trio and a second consecutive clean sheet for Hughy (GK). However, this week's man of the match goes to Clarer, a continuing solid presence at the back marshalling the line well and keeping track of what us part time defenders are doing as well as winning every header and tackle he goes in for. Great performance.
Moment of the Match: Although tempting to give it to Hughy (GK) for another Grobbelaar moment, I'm starting to think he's doing it deliberately. Instead, this week's moment of the match goes to a bloke who realised today that he didn't have any boots, ran round after work trying to find some, got lost on the way to the ground and finally turned up just before halftime. A true embodiment of the half-assed our spirit, well done Farmy and welcome to the firm.