Match Report - 27 Sep 2008, Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI beat Old Aldenhamians
Having enjoyed a marked improvement in the second half last week, the OWs were looking to continue this vein of form from the start and convert the final result from a hard-earned draw to a convincing win. Ed Neale was able to keep the core of the previous week's team together and added some more young faces to supplement the pace that had proved our most threatening avenue of attack against Haileybury.
And so, full of confidence, we kicked off. And then chased shadows for twenty minutes. Aldenham's team, all comfortable on the ball, with quick wingers and two strikers full of movement, started very strongly and in all honestly completely controlled the game.
With a below par OW back four coming under sustained pressure the default clearance method became a punt upfield which gifted possession back to the Aldenham back four who would control the play, feed the ball back to their midfield before another attack would start. Soon the pressure told, and some woeful marking led to their striker finding himself in acres of space in the penalty area and calmly slotting the ball past a helpless Ed Neale.
This served as a wake up call, and the OWs got back into the game by hassling and harrying, although chances still arose for the profligate Aldenham front men, with our skipper pulling off a few decent saves to keep us in the game.
At half time we were still only 1-0 down but in need of some inspiration. Ed Neale brought on James Hogan in central midfield, with George Spalton moving to centre back and Miles Skinner shifting to full back. Suddenly a different team was playing. George and Waki completely dominated the two strikers with only one chance coming in the whole of the second half. Tom Rae stepped up a notch from his strong first half performance as he and James Hogan showed great willing in putting in the hard yards from box to box, whilst both players led by example in picking the easy 5 yards pass. Suddenly it was the OWs who had the sustained pressure and Aldenham who were gifting possession away by frantically clearing the ball upfield. Our fullbacks and wide men started working the channels well, and after a series of threatening corners the rabid bull himself came up from centre back to cap a great performance and deposit the ball and himself in the back of the net.
The OWs were now flying and with Vernon harassing on one side, and Miles and Elliot overlapping and interchanging well on the other we were looking good for a winner. After Tom White went close with a looping volley that just failed to come down to nestle in the top corner, and James Hogan had drilled an effort onto the crossbar from 30 yards, it was the move of the match that provided the winner. After some great build up play on the right, a smart interchange set up Hogan who drilled the ball into the bottom corner and left 5 mins of solid defending to finish off what was, by quite a distance, the best half of OW football I have witnessed.
Watching a very capable Aldenham side walk off the pitch with their shoulders slumped and not saying a word to each other was testament to the comprehensive nature of the 2nd half. An excellent performance, and with pressure for places coming from a very strong 2nd team, hopefully in the coming weeks we can actually turn up in the first half and make our matches easier…
Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI 2 - 1 Old Aldenhamians ()