Match Report - 06 Oct 2012, Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI beat Old Hayleyburians
That's more like it.
After the big step backwards of a slightly dozy performance against Aldenham, OWFC were back on it with a convincing 3-0 victory against fellow Premier League evictees Haileybury. Yet again the sun shone, so impressive autumnal tans got another coat. Baker, Walters, Vernon and Foster were back in a strong looking line up, and Jimbo's mood lifted further once the new rolling subs initiative had been explained to him. After some strong, baffling words of encouragement from SenMan Baker - "always drink before you're thirsty" - OW's 4-5-1 shaped starting XI was ready to go.
OW's spent a lot of the early stages on the back foot, but solid team defending meant Duncan didn't have to do much more than waddle about and point a bit. Twice Haileybury seemed to be behind the defensive line, only to have the chance snuffed out by speedy recoveries from Waki and Day respectively. OW's main threat was on the counter, where Jif's excellent hold up work brought the deep runs of Masefield, Vernon and England into the game, and Haileybury were glad to have a relatively speedy and proactive goalkeeper as a couple of through balls almost found their target. But assertive goalkeeping is only beneficial if combined with precision, and the absence of the latter contributed to OW's opening goal. A long throw from Jimbo on the left was just over the head of the lurking Baker and into the leaping keeper's gloves, but the ball somehow squeezed through the stopper's slippery seize and dropped meekly into the net. Great for alliteration fans; disasterous for Haileybury ones.
This messy, somewhat freakish goal gave OW's the vim for perhaps their best period of the match. Looking strong on the flanks, with Day in particular getting forward to support his winger, we created a series of corners and plenty of pressure. Not long before half time, the second goal came. A neat passing move linking Jif with the midfield support ended with Rob England bombing through from midfield and finishing the through ball low past the outrushing keeper. A classic example of how to work a one striker system, with Rob as Lampard and Jif as Drogba. Does that make me Hilario? Perhaps. Either way, it was 2-0.
There was still time before the whistle for OW's to have their go at conceding ineptly from a set piece. A chipped set piece was called by the keeper, but too late for Baker to get out the way. Gordon's head met the ball, Ed's fist met Gordon's head, and only the fact that Waki's foot met the looping result prevented the half time scoreline standing at 2-1.
As OWFC are established kings of the second half lead-chuck, there was an intensity to captain Prichard's team talk. Showing the way in the second period, both the skipper and midfield partner Merriott showed a real doggedness in the face of an increasingly attack minded Haileybury. They provided excellent cover to an equally excellent back four, now featuring the indominatable presense of The Mule, and as unit they managed to block, harry and clear everything in the same post code as their net. As at the start of the game, OW's settled for speedy counter attacks, with Vernon and Prichard both denied by smart saves.
The game finally had a fork stuck in it with around 15 minutes left, as a long raking pass/hoof from Waki got Jif in behind, who was brought down from behind inside the box by a desperate last ditch lunger. The furious claims that it had been ball first looked to have some merit, but the ref pointed to the spot anyway. When the keeper had finished bitching, Mase made it 3-0 with the worst penalty in recorded history, his side-foot shot only going in by virtue of being so feeble and central that their keeper over-dived. And that, barring a last second of the match effort from Haileybury that drew a routine save, was that.
Three goals, three points and easily our best performance of the season. More please.
Old Hayleyburians 0 - 3 Old Wykehamist Football Club 1st XI ()