It was wet and rainy for the arrival of Studlands to the pavilion. Studlands had a reputation as a youthful team and they looked relatively athletic.
We had 12 good players to choose from and the first 11 to arrive got the shirts, with Andy (the last arrival) getting the linesman flag for the first half.
The pitch was slick but very bobbly and it was tough to play too much one-touch football.
That said we started ok and it was a good even contest. However, try as we might, we lacked a bit of fluidity and regularly gave the ball away unnecessarily. Rather than keep sustained pressure the misplaced passes gave Studlands opportunities to break and but for some strong saves from Kieran we could have been behind. He made a great save low at the forwards feet and also dived to make a good reaction save from close range. Studlands had some nippy defenders which made it difficult and some pacey forwards too.
However, after some great play with quick accurate passing we took the lead. Daz from left back slipped in Two Touch and Howard managed to divert a bobbling ball in off the underside of the bar for a well-taken finish. 1-0.
A few chances came and went but wasted passes slowed our progress and soon our opponents were back on level terms 1-1.
We went in at the break level and knew we had to up our game to our top levels to gain the advantage.
Sadly we were unable to reach our levels and although everyone had some excellent fleeting moments we failed to sustain any pressure for longer periods. Early in the 2nd half we were 2-1 down and we deserved to be. In truth our opponents had a couple of other good chances but fortunately either Kieran saved them, last ditch intercepted tackles from Two Touch kept them at bay or their forwards fluffed their chances. Two Touch was working hard to keep us in it and headed a few corners goal wards but try as we might we looked like we were going to struggle to get back on level terms.
As the clock ticked down Sedge shifted the ball from his left to his right and smashed the ball towards the top corner and fortunately the keeper who had played well all game could not keep it out. With three minutes to go ,we kept probing but 2-2 is how it finished.
It was a good well-contested game between two evenly matched teams. That said I am convinced that if we had hit the heights of our previous game we would have won comfortably. It was probably a fair result on the day though and Chris Keeble provided some great post match food that was polished off by both teams.
Kieran was voted man of the match and at least we had not been beaten.
A few Games to go....