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Hartley 10 (ten) v 0 Raynes Park Vale

Post by KOB - 24-04-2016, 09:20

In vintage vidiprinter style, just had to spell out the scoreline in the title. It's very rare at our level to hit double figures, particularly outside of cup games, and there was no better way to bounce back from last week's disappointment at Chertsey. After what happened to them in midweek against Camberley, the RPV lads must be totally shell-shocked. They put out a relatively young side but a capable team, and it was our focus and tempo from the off that set the rollercoaster in motion and there was no stopping us. Fair play to RPV, they showed pride, kept going and didn't lose their heads, and let's hope that their misfortune of coming up against the two top teams in the league within the same week does not leave any longlasting scars.

As for our own performance, we were magnificent, ruthless, driven and showed we knew we had a job to do. Man of the match Dean Stow, in at right-back, showed us some terrific skills, and I thought Joe Paris had a super game, not giving the RPV lads any time in the middle. But I've got to give the biggest shout out for striker Andre Williams, back after injury and quickly reminding us of his electric speed and movement. I really do like the way Andre plays - not just his pace and skill on the ball, and shooting power, he's an intelligent player who knows how to time a run, is always looking along the line to keep himself the right side, and seems to have the right balance between knowing when to lay it off but having the confidence (that is, a confident striker's greediness at times, which you want) to take it on himself. In that opening phase, Andre contributed hugely to breaking RPV's resolve and was very unlucky not to notch up what would have been a very deserved hat-trick when a touch by Liam was flagged offside as Andre finished superbly. Am really looking forward to seeing more of Andre in the first team next season.

I could mention every player because it was a very good team performance and, apart from the slightly sluggish start to the second half, we didn't let off the tempo. As Julian said to me after, there was a desire to beat the result Camberley had achieved against RPV on Tuesday night that inspired the boys to keep going. Sillsy came on at half-time for Shane and was unlucky when his half volley struck the post.

There was time for Ross Cook to come on for Andre and score a hat-trick, each goal superbly taken. I felt a bit for the RPV lads - 5 or 6 down at that stage and they see Ross coming on! But it's also show of the depth we have in the squad now and I just hope we can keep it together to launch another tilt at the title.

Afterwards I had a chat with the Chairman. Luke has several meetings setup to go through funding possibilities and putting in place the various improvements - all very positive on that front. It's still a sadness that what we've been asked to do was just too much for a small club to immediately put in place, but the success of the team this season has clearly made everyone even more determined to make it happen, as soon as possible.

Well done boys for yesterday's performance, we couldn't have asked or wished for a better response. Westfield in midweek will be a different proposition I'm sure, as they have an amazing record against some of the 'top teams' this season. But a win there would seal it and that's all the motivation we need.

Finally, though I have already posted it separately, Sam Argent's two goals made it 50 for the season, which is exceptional. My favourite out of all of those has to be his goal at Eastbourne Borough in the FA Cup that got us back to 2-2. Whether you're a player or supporter, you really can't buy what I'm sure we all felt at that moment, not legally anyway. And what a goal it was too. The players call you Arge but from me, 'Sammy' I salute you :-)
  • 24-04-2016, 17:48

    It was a superb display by the boys. We wanted a reaction from our previous games and boy did we get one.

    It's down to us now. Tuesday needs to be another demonstration of just how much the boys want it.
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