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If ever there was a case of 'after the Lord Mayors show' this was surely it. After the celebrations of Monday, when we clinched the championship, it was inevitable our mindset was going to be below par.
It seemed that we were treating Saturdays game far less seriously than our opponents, playing their last match of the season, who quite rightly wanted to beat the champions. Our team today were without stalwart players Tom Smith, Ricky Bolt, and Lee Wilton, with top scorers Joe Crook and Rob Grogan given a well earned rest until late on. We lined up with Martin Ray in goal behind Lucas Worrell, Jack Doherty, Billy Alton and skipper Jack Roberts. In midfield we had Jason Kelly, Tony Franklin, Tom Rolt and Bobby McGuane, with the front two Troy Williams and Brett Northover.
The match as a whole was a keenly fought contest with bags of chances at both ends of the park, with one big difference: our opponents, Wickham Park, have, as do most of our rivals this season, a class goalkeeper!!!! He made three fabulous saves, which we need to address if we are going to maintain our massive progress over the last three years and progress in the Kent league. We don't often concede goals, and maybe I'm being too biased, but it seems that practically every one is a poor or bad mistake and sometimes you will lose games through them.
We had some fine performances in the game though. Brett worked tirelessly up front and could easily have scored a couple. As usual Tony and Tops worked their magic in midfield, Jack Doc and Lucas' fine defensive play, with Lucas making one headed clearance that had everyone open mouthed in amazement, and my Man of The Match this week, Jay Kelly (above), displaying his whole repertoire of skill and tricks. You have to be born with skill like this. It's truly impossible to teach and one of the reasons why I watch this game we love. He has balance, speed and two good feet. He also scored a lovely goal. On top of that he's a fabulous goal keeper. The biggest bonus of all!!!! We've burnt his birth certificate. He's only 21!
Wickham Park 3 - 1 Long Lane