REPORT BY Mark Sills,
Bishops Waltham Dynamos 0 M & T 4
The tigers continued their surge up the table with a fine win at Bishops Waltham Dynamos. On a big pitch on a notable slope, M and T started rather sluggishly by their standards. The ball was given away cheaply and early on a lack of composure handed the initiative to the home team. They took advantage to create three fairly good chances in the first ten minutes. But Rob Comer looked the most alert player and was equal to everything sent his way, including a fine low dive to his right to tip a dangerous shot around the post.
Gradually Tigers acclimatised to the conditions and began to dominate territory. After a long corner failed to reach the near post, Rob came short for the next one and a series of one-twos between him and Nick C resulted in a half chance well collected by the Dynamos keeper. This tactic continued to work well throughout the rest of the game.
Will G and Will H found their feet and began to win the midfield battle. After a few near things, Nick found himself clear and a measured through ball to Rob saw a one on one opportunity coolly converted past the keeper. Captain for the day Lewis and Scott stood strong in the latter stages of the half to see us 1-0 in at half time. A satisfactory half, but with room for improvement.
Tigers came out for the second half knowing a clean sheet would result in another win and furthering of their reputation for an excellent defensive unit. Refreshed from their break, they heeded Mark’s advice about letting the ball do the work and began to pass it around confidently. They deservedly doubled their lead when another slick exchange between Rob and Nick resulted in the flying midfielder’s stinging shot proving too hot for the keeper to handle. Adam, James and Nick E were introduced to give Will H, Rob and Nick C a well earned rest. All three immediately adjusted to the pace of the game and with Scott moving up into midfield, the momentum was maintained. The next few minutes saw some of the best passing moves of the season, with Will G bursting down the line twice and Adam terrorising the defence. James and Scott made excellent decisions every time the ball came their way and Nick E mopped up any threat from the opposition.
Will G made way for a rejuvenated Nick C, who took the game by the scruff of the neck, first storming through to hit one of the strikes of the season from just inside the box. Then completing a superb hat-trick after another determined burst. Tigers began to find more and more space behind the demoralised Dynamos defence and the game was so nearly capped off by two devastating runs from Will H, returning to give Scott a rest. Sadly one shot flashed wide and the other screamed just over. Right at the death Lewis showed great positioning to block a shot from Dynamos best player, Georgia, after she had beaten three defenders. Tigers had their second clean sheet in a row, but more importantly another victory after another superb performance.
Bishops Waltham 1 Tigers 1
9-a-side looked more appropriate on this vast pitch. With Lewis in goal, Tigers continued where they had left off from the league game, producing arguably their best football this year. Three, four or five pass moves resulted in chance after chance. Nick E, Rob C and James all came close before Rob S swivelled on the edge of the box and fired low into the corner. Bishops Waltham got an equaliser against the run of play after another superb run from Georgia resulted in a well deserved goal, squeezing in at the near post. Highly entertaining for the spectators on a gloriously sunny morning – what more could you want?