Home v Houghton

Local rivals Houghton travelled to the Pavilion for a Game against a strong Hemingford squad.

We had 16 players to choose from and it appeared that Houghton had a sizeable and relatively youthful squad with a few old St Ives and Hemingford stalwarts thrown into the mix.  Houghton had a large and vociferous number of supporters too who made their presence known.

Stuart Smith was captain for the day at right back and Roy another "Houghtoner" slotted in securely at left back.  Furthermore, Two Touch had played for Houghton for a number of seasons. Houghton had a few players who had played for us too in the past like G, Bozo and Steve Jeffs, so it was no wonder that the Game started at a lively pace with competitive action going on in all corners.

It was an even encounter that no-one wanted to lose but I think we just shaded the attempts on goal. Sedge, Rudders and Howard all tested the keeper who was far more agile than he looked. Gavin was creating some problems down the right hand side in advanced positions but Bozo's pace kept the defence on their toes too.

Simon and Jeffsy were having a good battle and there were some powerful players and strong tackles taking place.

We played some reasonable football but too often the final ball or killer pass was misplaced.  `There was not too much zip on the pitch albeit it had been cut shorter than in previous weeks.

Daz took control of substitutions and shuffled the pack every 20 minutes.

Conners came on up top alongside Howard and had a great game looking strong and causing some problems.

At half time we agreed that it was a tough Game but that if we kept our concentration belief and work rate we would come out on top.

After about 10 minutes Sedge freed Howard who had broke down the left.  Howard cut in at speed but as everyone expected the cut-back in his usual unselfish manner he drilled the ball across the keeper and bent it into the far corner of the net.  It was a great goal. 1-0

Soon after Conners caught their best defender out in possession and as the ball bobbled up he lifted it over the keepers head and into the net for a cool finish. 

2-0

We were well on top and it looked as though a dispirited Houghton could be set for a drubbing.  Unfortunately for us they had other ideas!

An innocuous free kick forward found Bozo escape his marker and as he prodded out a leg it floated agonisingly in off the post to make a Game of it.

Alex had no chance and it gave us all a bit of a knock.

Houghton's tails were up and they threw caution to the wind bringing on another forward in place of a defender as they went for broke.

Soon after a tussle between Daz and Jeffsy resulted in a penalty being given much to our disappointment.

Up stepped Bozo to hit the side netting of the other corner for an unstoppable equaliser.

It was a major disappointment but we carried on and continued trying to get a winner.  First Conners dinked another shot goalwards which looped onto the top of the bar and behind for a goal kick.

With less than a couple of minutes remaining a ball was headed out from a free kick to Sedge, who took it on his chest and drove the ball goalwards with power.

Sadly the ball was rising all the time and it went over the bar. The Game finished 2-2

Man of the Match was Two Touch who really rose to the challenge.  Though his attacking play was restricted the quality of his 'brake-up play' was exceptional and he worked incredibly hard defensively for the team.  He was like a lanky, balding, albino Makalele in his prime and deservedly scooped the award!

The atmosphere in the club was great with a packed house and Sedge's sandwiches were quickly polished off.

It was a good competitive local derby and credit to Houghton for battling throughout and for keeping going after we took the lead.

Apparently Houghton had not lost for 18 months but they came mightily close on this occasion and we all believed we should have taken the points...if any were on offer!