MONTPELIER VILLA 1 v 1 UBFC
Kris Harding 35 mins pen
Macron SCFL Div 2 Sat 29 Feb 2020
The top v 2nd place clash at the top of SCFL Div 2 was one of only 3 SCFL League games to survive Storm Jorge, all on 3G, and while the match went ahead on a green carpet, the strong wind blowing down the pitch made this a tough watch as a spectacle. Nevertheless, both teams gave their all and made it an intriguing contest between 2 well matched outfits.
Beeding were minus Jamieson, Dermott and Taylor from the squad but were able to take a strong 16 for such an important game. Good to see Villa lead scorer Liam O’Hanlon watching and determined to make a full recovery from his season ending injury.
As was to be expected the match was very much a game of 2 halves, with Beeding playing into the wind first half, camped deep our own half for much of the first 45 mins, save for the odd counter attack. The defenders did a pretty good job of giving keeper Dan cover and with the midfield working hard to close space relatively little was created. Villa were to take the lead on 26 mins when an expert left foot free kick from Sam Gibson was round the wall and in the corner with not too much we could do about it but admire.
We were back level on 35 mins when Kris converted from the penalty spot for his 32nd of the season, and a landmark 50 reached in 61 appearances since joining Beeding. While it was a stonewall pen for handball, felt a bit for the unfortunate defender as the ball hung up in the stiff breeze unsure whether to head, chest or see it out of play it struck the alarm.
Turning round all even 1 v 1, felt a job well done at half time. With the roles reversed, Beeding carried the game to Villa in the second half but soon found the strong wind on our backs no great advantage as balls ran long and passes went astray.
The introduction of subs Sandy, Jake and Evan pepped up the front line for a stirring final 15 mins and a string of corners. Jake was to go close, and it was from the last corner deep in added time that the ball fell to Gunny on the edge of the box to clip the cross bar, so near right at the death.
A draw was a fair result, and while being the first team to take points off them at fortress Sussex Uni was a significant achievement, we really needed the win to put some pressure on Villa. There is no disputing their quality and organisation, they are worthy leaders and in the box seat for the season run in. In skipper Chris Grant they have the stand out player in Div 2 this season. In tough conditions and a couple of injuries to re-organise around, his game management for the second half was impressive. The show isn’t quite over yet, but the fat lady can start clearing her throat…..
Beeding MOM ? Mike Spence in his second start was excellent and has quickly settled in to be a real asset for us at the back and making competition for places in the starting line up a nice problem to have.
Very proud of our lads this week, from the preparations through to the match the whole squad were on it and gave their all. We’ve come a long way, and can approach the business end of the season with plenty to play for. Our best SCFL season was our first, 6th Place with 52 points from a 30 game season. We are in sight of that with 43 points, and 7 games remaining. Enough match time left for Kris to press on to 40 goals perhaps. Tough games ahead, starting with a trip Saturday to 3rd place Copthorne who turned us over in January at UBMF, so same application needed please guys.
UBFC Line up Banks Donaldson Spence Trower Gregory Gunn Towse Barnett Tapscott Rowland Harding Subs used Sandford Short Cockerton
Scorer Harding 35 mins