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13th Jan: Big six-pointer win in the Prem
13 Jan 2018
The Dubs got a vital six-pointer win over Old Salopians on Saturday in a 2-1 victory that gives us some breathing room around the bottom of the Arthurian League Premier Division.
OWFC were trying out a fetching 3-5-2 formation, and the proof was in the pudding, where this pudding a deliciously sweet grinding away win. Bouch, Mercer and Tiplady formed a back three, with Gus Morse and Ollie Mitchell (and latterly Tom Vernon) the marauding wing-backs. Hugo Sever came into the Makelele role in midfield, with Prichard and Goulding either side of him with more license to get forward to support Essex and Hodnett.
This gave the Dubs plenty of men in defensive positions and allowed them to keep the ball better, and we went ahead after Essex latched onto a Goulding headed flick-on, took a few touches and with his left foot cut a spinning drive into the far corner. Salopians equalised not long after with an impressive volley not dissimilar to Patjim Kasami’s goal for Fulham vs Crystal Palace in 2013, which is to say difficult to do much about.
Similar to many Div 1 victories last season, the Dubs did also allow the opposition to enjoy harmless possession up until the final third, with few chances to show for it, and looked dangerous on the break with Hodnett and Essex. The game had a noticeable feistiness to it, with the usually composed, gentlemanly manner of Dave Prichard transformed into the wrath of the Balrog after a clash of heads. Handbags were just about avoided, and the blood streaming down Prichard’s head did not stop him playing on, Paul Ince vs Italy in 1997 style, to run a close 2nd to James Essex for man of the match.
The Dubs came into the game more in the 2nd half, looking dangerous as ever on the break, and with 20 minutes to go Essex sent their centre-half back to the slums of Shrewsbury, racing clear and sliding the ball under the keeper. The Dubs held on, with the assured hands of Rollo Quinnault safe until the final whistle.
The prospects for the Dubs’ mission for survival in the Prem look a lot rosier, but with 7 games to go and two big games the next two weekends, all is still to play for.
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