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Hartley 4 v 1 Colliers Wood Utd

Post by KOB - 23-10-2016, 10:36

It's funny how differently we occasionally view the same game. I hadn't remembered seeing Millers so vocal on the touchline in the first half, and at the end of the game it's clear the boys in the dugout weren't entirely happy with the performance, even if the result was pleasing enough. Me, I felt we achieved a good result against a talented footballing side, even if the luck was a little on our side in terms of the scoreline.

It may not have been a repeat of the midweek performance but the risk was always going to be that we'd suffer a bit of a hangover after that one and that's how it looked at times - we were a little on our heals and only some good covering defence and the odd bit of luck stopped it from being a lot tighter.

A good example: the ball comes out to Julian Sills on the edge of the box and he picks out the corner but sees his shot go in off the inside of the post for 1-0. In the second half, quickly back in the game at 3-1, Colliers Wood see a shot come off the post and away. At 3-2 it would have been a lot more nail-biting. As it was, a peach of a cross by Dean Stow finds Shane with time to pick his spot and power a header to the keeper's left for 4-1. That took a lot of wind out of the visitors' sails and restored our cushion and a degree of calm, but it could have been very different. I guess that's what Millers, Dan and Tuffs were especially unhappy about, our lack of concentration at times, but overall I was far less pleased with our performance at Windsor than yesterday's.

After Sillsy had put us one up, Sam Argent added two more, his second taking a huge deflection that sent it spinning up and saw it drop just inside the top right corner of United's goal, impossible for either their keeper or the defender backtracking towards his goal to stop it. Slice of luck No.2 after Sillsy's went in off the post. 3-0 at the break was not a true reflection of the effort the visitors had put into the half.

We were without Ross Cook, Steve Duff and Liam Eagle, but it was a welcome return to the starting lineup for Jonah (Ian Jones) alongside Steve Laidler. Both worked very hard. Shane Hollamby partnered Sam Argent up front, so it was a different kind of attacking threat we posed to when we have Ross's pace up front. Shane played as more of a target man to head or feet and did well, enabling the midfield to come up and support. His goal was well deserved reward for his efforts.

The visitors got themselves back into the game very quickly after the restart and it was clear they were fired up to get even more from the game, piling the pressure on. Jake Maddock pulled off a superb save, almost instinctively tipping a fierce shot over the bar after he'd punched a corner away. Other chances were created by the Wood but not taken, and their luck was out with the one off the post. We did steady the ship and created more chances ourselves, but while 4-1 looks like a comfortable result on paper, it wasn't by any means, and while we may have been a little culpable, much of the credit for me should go to the visitors. They impressed me again; they play football in the right way, without too much moaning and histrionics, and are good to watch. They are just a couple of players short of having a very strong team in my opinion, and this was a good 3 points.

Man of the Match I was pleased to be able to present on behalf of the club to Tom Walsh, who worked the left side very well, not just defensively but in getting us going forward. Well done Wallshy.
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