Walking Football side successful in Essex competition
By Matt Lee
The Clarets' Walking Football side organised and took part in a recent friendly competition against a number of Essex rivals.
Chelmsford were resplendent in their old style claret kit (including Gerry who unknowingly played three games with his shorts inside out! – Thanks for telling me guys!). Clarets fielded a squad of eight players including 7 over 65 regulars, and the youthful Chris Jullings in goal. Terry B and Gerry selected the team for each game, endeavouring to ensure all had a good amount of playing time. The full line-up was as follows:-
Chris Jullings (GK)
Gerry Howard (C)
Clarets took on Southend in the opening match and as on previous occasions the teams were well matched but with Southend being a bit quicker out of the blocks. Jim and Billy in Clarets defence managed to soak up the early pressure with Chris needing to be alert on more than one occasion, and the game settled into an even contest but one in which neither side were able to defeat the goalies. An all too familiar pattern was emerging with neither Terry B, Dennis, nor Dave able to find a goal.
Final score 0 - 0
In our second outing Chelmsford faced stiffer opposition in Little Oakley. Here also Clarets were not well organised and the opponents enjoyed good possession, and were able to find gaps behind Gerry and Jim all too frequently. Oakley raced into a 2 goal lead, with well taken goals from distance which were not shut down and left Chris exposed. Clarets were belatedly galvanised into action, with Terry B, Terry O, and Dennis finding some cohesion; and were rewarded with a well taken goal from Dennis. His fierce angled shot proved unstoppable. Chelmsford began to take charge of the later stages of the game but could not add to the score sheet.
Final score 1 - 2
Our third match opponents were Grays, a team new to the EWFL and one that was finding it difficult to get used to the “pace.” Despite displaying some lovely passing skills which initially gave Jim and Gerry some worrying moments, they were unable to get the better of Chris in goal. Chelmsford were by now finding some form, and the interplay between Billy, Dave and Terry B, was beginning to tell. The substitution of Gerry for Dennis in the latter stages of the match gave Clarets greater power in attack. It took a great double save by the Grays keeper to deny Dennis and Dave what looked to be sure things. Clarets’ pressure was finally rewarded however when Terry B forced his way past two defenders to smash in the winner.
Final score 1 - 0
Game four of the tournament saw Clarets face Eastwood. Always a difficult opponent, Eastwood set about their task in their usual well organised fashion. Good passing and positional play kept Jim and Gerry busy, however thanks to good support from Terry O and Dennis, Clarets were soon able to give as good as they got. A really good contest ensued with Terry B and Dennis able to create chances, ably supported by Terry O in midfield. Clarets’ defence was able to anticipate the opposition’s passing, and thanks also to some smart goalkeeping from Chris, the draw was a fair result.
Final score 0 - 0
Chelmsford’s final match was against Dagenham & Redbridge. Clarets’ defence soaked up some early pressure with Billy and Gerry able to anticipate and cut out through balls effectively. Chris in goal was able to negate the oppositions long range efforts with ease. Dennis and Terry O were threatening up front, and Dave’s hold-up play allowed Billy and Gerry to press forward in support. A number of scoring chances fell Clarets’ way, with Dennis coming close on at least two occasions, and Gerry’s tame effort in front of goal was never going to test the excellent Chris Jones in the Daggers’ goal. The game deserved goals, but nil - nil was a fair outcome.
Final score 0 - 0
6 points from a possible 15 may not seem a good return, but this was only 3 points less than the winners. The 65+ team are beginning to find their feet. Now we know where the net is, and have a win at last! Well done lads! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did!
P.S. We won the fair play award!! A great achievement given that some of the “moves” put on the opposition by Terry B and Billy would have caused an ice hockey crowd to wince!*
*Only kidding guys!