VWFC vs Tuffley Rovers
19/01/2019 Virginia Water 1-1 Tuffley Rovers
Hellenic Premier Division
Report by Ceri Jones
Waters prepare for kick off
On a cold Saturday in Windsor, this match will be remembered for controversy rather than the football both teams tried to play. Tuffley Rovers started well, going close a few times and seeing a corner turned on to a post by Matt Jones in the Virginia Water goal. Waters grew into the game, and on 24 minutes took the lead, when the prolific Lorenzo (Lenny) Di Felice hit a terrific left foot drive past the away goalkeeper Kane Winman.
Soon after there were a number of ‘soft’ yellow cards for both teams, not one for a malicious challenge in any way. Then on 37 minutes the game turned on its head! Di Felice raced through on goal, one on one with the goalkeeper, only to pull up in agony. As Waters’ management tried to get to him and treat his injury, Tuffley’s goalkeeper and centre half sportingly looked to throw the ball out of play, but….their left prevented this, hit a long ball down the line, for a cut back to find Warren Mann unmarked for a simple tap in – cue chaos! As one can imagine, there were heated exchanges, with the whole crowd in uproar at what they had all just witnessed.
In the Arsenal vs Chelsea match yesterday in the Premier League, for those who did not see it, Hector Bellerin pulled up with knee injury (not a head injury), the referee stopped the match and Chelsea put the ball out of play.
It is a fine line between the laws of the game and pure sportsmanship – sadly the former ruled here, and Waters felt aggrieved. It’s understood when teams are fighting for every point, but it should never be to the detriment of sportsmanship or the well being of players.
Once the game got back under way, a minute later, the first challenge after this incident, Waters’ left back Louis Sanders was shown a straight red card for the first time in his career, when he and their scorer simply clashed legs when Sanders tried to prevent a cross. From some distance away the referee showed a red card.
So from a potential 2-0 lead, Waters found themselves 1-1 and down to 10 men with 50 minutes still to play.
Waters defended brilliantly in the second half, and indeed could have taken all three points bar from a great defensive clearance by Tuffley’s centre back, who blocked Adam McNamara’s goal bound shot, after great work by Jack Simmons and Joe McBride.
At the other end, the back four were resolute and an excellent late save by Jones ensured the home side got at least a draw from a game that they had hoped at the outset would have been three points.
Waters, of course, wish Tuffley well, in light of all heat of the moment stuff - even if the match will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
Lenny Di Felice