‘Oi Walden…You were lucky!’ was the cry from the Newmarket fan, as he walked out of the ground. The lads responded by chuckling to themselves. If you were not at the game, I can assure you, luck had nothing to do with it. The boys played out of their boots, and I am very proud of them all.
Both teams had to play against a strong wind, which was making long balls and clearances very hard. It was cold and horrible, but the fans didn’t care. We were just grateful for the Friday night entertainment.
Newmarket has played well all season, and had only lost 4 times. We played them, very early in the season at home and lost 2-0. But this was when we were getting used to the level of step 5. Now we are up and running and playing some brilliant football. I truly believe this Bloods side will now take some beating.
Let me talk you through this epic match, and well-earned 3 points.
TEAM: Floyd Croll, Paul Abbot (Pabbo), Dan Grindrod (Viking), Ryan Fleming (Rhino), Ben Lawrence (Beast), Chris Reid, Craig Calver (Wig), Marc Abbot (Mabbo) (Spike Bell – 77 mins.), Graeme Turner (G Man), James Thomas (Zinedine), Louis Harper (Joe Murphy (Boss)– 81 mins.).
Substitutes (not used): Neil Andrews, Max Drane.
You may have noticed a few new nick names. Ladies and Gents I introduce to you: Ryan ‘The Rhino’ Fleming, Paul (Pabbo) Abbot and Mark (Mabbo) Abbot (see what we did there?)…. I hope you are not offended! We still need names for: Croll, Reid, Bell, Harper, Drane, Andrews, Soutar, Strong and Gregory. Any help would be appreciated!
The First Half
Newmarket started the match, and was playing with the wind behind them. They had started the match well and won an early throw-on. The throw was cleared well, by the Viking.
Zinedine made an early impression on Newmarket, by showing them what he could do. He weaved in and out of a few defenders, but he was eventually challenged by the centre back.
The Rhino was called to action, as Newmarket pressed for a shooting opportunity. But he stood up well, and put in a great tackle. The loose ball was cleared by Viking.
Pabbo fed a lovely through ball; to the charging Rhino. Rhino managed to get an angled shot in the box, but it was straight at Heath.
G Man worked the right back hard, and managed to get a cross into the 6 yard box. The shot was well defender and cleared out of danger, but Mabbo put in a great challenge, to win the ball back. He played the ball to Zinedine, who shot, but it was deflected for a corner. The Viking took the corner; which found Reid’s head. Reid headed the ball back into the 6 yard box, but the shot was well blocked.
13 minutes in, and Newmarket started to gain possession and managed to get in a dangerous cross; which met Holder’s head, but his header went over the bar.
18 minutes into the match, and Newmarket had a corner. The corner was cleared by G Man, but they managed to get the ball back in the box. The cross was well met, and we thought Newmarket had scored, but the player was off side.
Zinedine came very close to winning the ball back, after some miscommunication from Dalby and Heath. Heath was not sure if it was a pass back, but made the right decision and cleared the ball, moments before Zinedine could put in a tackle.
23 minutes in to the match, and Zinedine scored with a lovely placed header. The Rhino made a lovely turn on the line, and delivered a perfect cross for Zinedine to head past the keeper. Zinedine managed to place the ball, which sandwiched between two defenders and angle his header away from the Heath’s reach. Great work from both players! The Rhino was showing off his skill as a CAM.
At the time I was asked by a young lad, who Zinedine Zidane was. I almost fell over! Lol.
As soon as the game was re-started, we pushed for a second. Zinedine managed to set Wig, but his shot was just wide of the post.
Newmarket tried to break, but was soon greeted by Pabbo’s well-timed tackle. You could tell Andrews has been a great influence on the lads, by working on winning the ball back.
29 minutes into the match and Newmarket had scored. A high cross into the box caught the wind, and came down under the waiting Holder, who headed home from beyond the far post. To be far they did start to look threatening, and former Bloods player Napier was starting to create space for himself.
The Beast put in a brilliant sliding tackle, in his own 18 yard box. The Newmarket player was about to turn and shoot, but the Beast timed his tackle to perfection and cleared the ball.
The Bloods were under pressure, as Newmarket gained confidence from Holder’s goal.
Zinedine and Wig linked up really well, and almost gave Zinedine a chance for his brace. He played the ball out to Wig, and Wig crossed the ball back, but he was too far out to test Heath with his header, and he comfortably caught the ball.
G Man worked well with Pabbo and won the Bloods a corner. The corner was taken by the Viking, but the wind took it and it went out of play.
In the last 5 minutes of the half, Newmarket pushed hard to get their noses in front. They delivered a great cross, but Reid managed to head the ball clear. The ball went back to Newmarket, but Pabbo didn’t give them another opportunity to cross the ball.
Both teams worked hard, but I would say that Walden just looked the better team so far.
HT: Newmarket 1 – Walden 1
The Second Half
Nigel B kindly got me a cup of tea, while I tackled with the flag in the wind. Luckily Newmarket had a net up behind the goal, so I managed to feed it through and tie on it to it.
47 minutes in the match, and Harper came very close to making it 2-1. G Man made a solid run across the 18 yard box, and back heeled it to Harper. Harper went for a long range effort, but it just went over the bar. Now that is the positive start we wanted.
We didn’t let the Newmarket defence rest, and won a throw-on for the Beast to take. The throw was flicked to the back post by G Man. Reid came sliding in, but his shot went wide of the post.
Newmarket upped their game, and started to put on the pressure. The Viking put in a great challenge and cleared the ball. The ball was delivered back into the box; and Newmarket managed to get a shot, but it went over the bar.
52 minutes into to match and the wind was really picking up pace. Newmarket had a corner, but it went out of play.
58 minutes into the match, and Zinedine won the Bloods a throw-on in the Beasts range. The throw was met by Harper, but his shot was well blocked.
61 minutes in the match, and Zinedine latched onto a throw ball from Harper. Zinedine scored from a very tight angle from the right hand side. His shot was squeezed between Heath, and clipped the inside of the post and went in. Great accuracy from the Bloods in form attacker.
We continued to press the back four and Mabbo had an effort on goal, but it was too high. The fans were chanting ‘We’re gonna score in a minute!’. We were hoping for a Zinedine hat trick to cap off his night.
Croll pulled off a great diving save from Patterson, who hit the ball on the volley. The ball was scrambled out of the 6 yard box.
There was a little bit of handbags at dawn, by both sets of player. I really don’t know what happened, but the referee was making all sorts of hand movement; to try and explain what the Newmarket player had done wrong. I shouted out ‘What are you doing, baking a cake?’. The Newmarket player was booked.
I have to apologise, as I could not see the Newmarket player’s numbers very well. The numbers have a thin outline and make it difficult to read. So I don’t have a great idea of who was who.
77 minutes into the match and Bell replaced Mabbo. Another solid performance from Mabbo. Well done mate.
80 minutes into the match, and Beast collected the ball in the six yard box. Instead of panicking, he played the ball out to Pabbo. Pabbo passed the ball to Wig, and Wig tried to meet Bells sprint, but the Newmarket left back managed to clear the ball
81 minutes in and Harper was replaced by Joe ‘The Boss’ Murphy. Another great performance from Harper. Nice work mate.
Newmarket pushed hard to get back into the match. They were not giving up and tried to test the defence, but we stood up well and kept them out.
Wig won the Bloods a free kick, as the Newmarket defender hand balled his long range effort. The Vikings shot was low and hard, and forced a diving save from Heath. We thought the Viking was going to make it 3 in a row. We then had 2 back to back corners, but decided to try and run the clock down, rather than go for a 3rd. It was sensible football.
It was getting well into injury time and we were calling for the whistle. I told Martin to hold back from his Tweet, as we didn’t want to jinx it.
The final whistle went, and it was the best 3 points we had earned all season. The Bloods are playing some great football. It was a brilliant team effort, and I am proud of the boys.
This week I decided to put the MOTM to a vote on Twitter. I short listed it to Pabbo, Rhino and Zinedine. The player who got the most votes, was our top goal scorer James ‘Zinedine’ Thomas. That’s 2 MOTM’s in a row from Thomas. Well done, and I am glad you are enjoying your football.
Our next first team match is in the FA Vase, is when we take on Berkhamsted FC. This will not be an easy match. They play in the Spartan South Midlands League and are 3rd in their league. They are potential title winners. But that won’t faze the mighty Bloods.
I hope to see as many of you as possible, all dressed up in red and black and cheering on the Bloods. The match is 12th December at Catons Lane. K.O 3pm. We will also be selling the new SWTFC mugs. They are £6 each or £10 for 2. We have about 80 left so they will be a limited edition.
Thanks for reading.