CCWF EWFL 65+ TOURNAMENT 016/10/2018
By Steve Parker
The final leg of the 2018 competition was held at Eastwood Falcons on 16th October
CCWF EWFL 65+ TOURNAMENT 016/10/2018
The final leg of the 2018 competition was held at Eastwood Falcons on 16th October. Teams competing included:-
Dagenham & Redbridge
Each team played the others in a 5 game series.
For the second round in a row Chelmsford were able to select a strong 9 man squad, whilst trying to ensure that a fair amount of game time was given to all. The consequent game plan almost unravelled however when our twin strike force almost pulled out due to injury. Gerry arrived at the venue with 3 alternative line-up’s, but the 11th hour appearance of the dynamic duo was a massive relief.
Clarets v Eastwood
Not the opener we would have chosen, but Clarets gave as good as they got in the early exchanges. Chelmsford put together some good passes, but there was not enough verbal communication to build an effective attack. Dennis came close to force a good save from the opponents’ keeper but Clarets could not capitalise on the resulting corner.
An underweight back pass from Terry left Chris exposed and Eastwood took their chance to score. Dennis again worked the keeper with a fierce drive, then Eastwood were very nearly in again after Bill and Lance collided in front of Clarets’ goal. Fortunately Chris was able to close down the attacker and the shot went just wide.
Play continued to swing back and forth until a lovely long ball from Chris found Terry who with some very neat footwork created space and planted a low shot into the corner of the net.
1– 1 was looking like a fair result at that stage, however Clarets switched off momentarily allowing Eastwood to grab the winner.
1-2 The final result.
Clarets v Grays
Clarets came out of the blocks determined to get a result from this one. They dominated possession from the kick-off and were rewarded with an early penalty for encroachment in the goal area by a Grays’ defender. Dennis slotted the ball home for 1-0.
Brian and Dennis rained shots on the Grays’ goal throughout the opening period, but amazingly could not add to the score. The Clarets’ midfield and defence was in control for long periods giving Chris little to do. He was again the provider of a sweet pass this time to Dennis, who jinked his way through the defence before planting a curling drive into the top corner of the net.
This was however followed by a tense few minutes where Clarets seemed to lose concentration, and the opposition began to threaten. Fortunately they were able to see the game out with a very satisfying outcome. Perhaps just as satisfying, was the way in which the team worked together to produce one of the best performances of the season; one which lifted Clarets off the bottom of the league.
2-0 a well-deserved final score.
Clarets v Southend
A largely forgettable encounter with neither team being able to impose themselves. Southend had slightly the better of the attacking opportunities but Chris was largely untroubled. The highlight for Chelmsford was a drive from Billy from a tight angle which hit the side netting. Perhaps resting both of our main strikers for this game was a mistake but the team commitment was evident throughout.
0-0 the result.
Clarets v Dagenham & Redbridge.
Here again Clarets got straight down to business with a flurry of attacks on the opponent’s goal with fine efforts by Dennis and Brian blocked unconvincingly by the keeper. An early penalty to Chelmsford gave Dennis the chance to open the scoring. It was not to be however as his well-placed shot was ruled out thanks to a bizarre refereeing decision that the ball was not located on the spot – a 4 inch diameter rubber disc! The retaken “spot” kick unfortunately sailed over the bar.
Clarets continued to press with Brian and Dennis both hitting the woodwork. Clarets continued to dominate, with the opposition being restricted to a few long range efforts which were more a threat to low flying aircraft than Chris’s goal. They were however left to rue the penalty miss.
0-0 a result flattering to the opposition.
Clarets v Little Oakley
Probably the best time to play this opposition – late in the tournament and them having already won the league! Oakley were in no mood to take their foot off the gas however, and an early long range shot on Chris’s goal gave notice of their intent.
Clarets fielded a solid team to thwart the opponent rather than take the game to them, however Jim was unlucky to see his low drive turned aside for a corner after a lovely passing move. Dennis suffered similar disappointment with a great effort hitting the side netting.
The game became one of solid defence by Clarets, with the man marking particularly pleasing; but with Oakley pressing without being able to create clear opportunities. Unfortunately, a rare slip by the otherwise excellent Chris left him one on one with a lone forward, who couldn’t miss from close range.
0-1 the final score.
Many of the negatives noted following the previous round of this completion were again evident:- Clarets were again capable of beating any of the teams competing. The closeness of the scores again suggests that the games could have gone either way. Lack of verbal communication remains an issue, although there were positive signs.
Other positives included players sticking to given roles, and in particular Clarets consistently gave Chris more chances to distribute the ball. The shots to goals conversion rate remains woeful, despite the presence of players capable of scoring, but chances are being created and surely the goals will follow. Our lowly position in the league is due more to the number of drawn games than losses.
The 65+ team has fielded no fewer than 19 different players this season in league and cup competitions. Is this a case for 2 teams next year?
Report by Gerry Howard