Everyone knows there are good days and bad days in football but today, was one of a kind.
It was the sort of match that reminds us why we give up our weekends, come rain or shine, to play for, coach or support the team. It was also a match that reminds us why we love this beautiful game.
After last week’s disappointing performance and result we knew that if we wanted any chance of winning the league then we had to win this game. Orpington Rovers. Top of the league. Played 6, won 6, including beating us at home earlier in the season. We knew it was going to be a very tough fixture against a very solid side. All week Vince and I were playing through in our heads various formations and various tactics to try and pull off a surprising victory, the boys arrived (well most of them) an hour before kick off so we could go through the game plan. It was all taken in and we went into the match with hope and organisation.
Whilst we could have the best tactics in the world (we did!) they mean nothing without execution from the boys, as they crossed that white line it was over to them. A team huddle lead by Captain Cormac seemed to hype up the boys. From the off we were all over them, fantastic composure from all the lads, they did not let the occasion distract them and controlled the first half. Their main threat from our last game against them was known by all, their number 15 striker. He was controlled perfectly and Joe forced him to make friends with his keys and phone in his back pocket! We were dominating possession but surprise surprise we had nothing to show for it, we had one great chance which went agonisingly wide from henry and at half time it was 0-0. The second half was much the same however now the wind was against us the boys had to really dig deep. From the sides you could of mistaken it for an academy match, both teams were so organised and it is a real rare sight in Sunday league football for it to be 0-0 for so long. It was in the 89th minute where Vince and I had already resigned to the fact that it just wouldn’t be our day, but boy were we wrong! Up comes Jamie Mander who picks up a loose ball, he’s one on one with the goalkeeper, there’s a deep breath from the crowd, can he do it, he manages takes it round the goalkeeper … it fell silent for a second as everyone knew what was going to happen, but no one could quite believe it … GOALLLLLLL, HE’D TAKEN IT ROUND THE KEEPER AND PASSED IT INTO THE BACK OF THE NET. SEYMOUR VILLA HAD WON IT IN THE 89THMINUTE!
The feelings on the side lines and I’m sure on the pitch was one that had not been felt before, complete and utter euphoria. Everyone knew what today meant and everyone knew just how significant that goal was. With 3 minutes left to play it was squeaky bum time but WE DID IT! The full time whistle blew and Seymour villa had taken the three points.
Everyone one today played awesome, and from a coaching perspective it really was an amazing feeling seeing the game plan be executed to a tee. Our defence of Anton, Jonny, Samir and Ryan kept their offence quiet and deserved the clean sheet. Our midfield was immense, everyone from Oli, Cormac, Henry, Jamie, Zain, Amari, Junior was incredible, big shout out to Zak for getting the bus all the way there to come on for the last 5 minutes and a special mention to Chillu who played brilliantly. We could of given this to anybody but this man was a rock from start to finish, lead the back line, won every header, won every 50/50 and most importantly kept their number 15 quiet so Joe Reed was todays man of the match. An unbelievable performance from our CB.
A big thank you to our parents who were there on the sidelines heading and kicking every ball! I know you were not disappointed. Big thanks to Gary and Gavin for taking training, it clearly helped.
Apologies for the long report but today was something special .
Have a good week folks,
Coaches Sam and Vince Melotta