Penn & Tylers Green Res vs VWFC
24/04/2018 Penn & Tylers Green Reserves 2-1 Virginia Water Reserves
Hellenic Division Two East
Report by Steve Cox
Virginia Water’s Reserves, playing their last match of the season, put in a fine performance on this Tuesday evening, although the result went against them in a 2-1 defeat. The Penn & Tylers side included 5 high-profile 1st team players and meant a potentially tough evening for the visitors. However, Waters rose to the occasion, matched, and eventually outplayed the home side.
Defending uphill Waters faced the early onslaught from Penn in defiant fashion and slowly but surely found their way into the match with some resilient and creative football. The two banks of four with Jack Deabill working hard in the number 10 role were gaining control of the match, until the 33rd minute when goalkeeper Mark Pisani misjudged a long clearance on the edge of his area and allowed it to bounce over his head. From the ensuing scramble Penn bundled the ball home to put themselves 1-0 up. It was a poor goal to give away, but Waters’ response was a good one. The away side bossed the final 15 minutes of the half as they began to make the home defence very uncomfortable as they fought for an equaliser. Penn made it to the break with their 1-0 lead but knew they had a game on their hands.
If anything Waters played even better in the second half, their goal threat increased with a number of chances being created. In the 58th minute they got their deserved equaliser after Steve Mills, latching onto Billy Cox’s through ball, delivered a fine cross that Alex Saunders, arriving from the right flank, hit spectacularly on the run high into the Pen goal to make it 1-1. Again Waters had to come back from the brink as 5 minutes after the goal the inspirational Luke Sperling was shown a red card for a second bookable offence. This was literally minutes after his central midfield partner Ross Miller had departed the game for young substitute Harrison Duff. This was a major blow as both players had given everything in winning their midfield battle. Nevertheless, even with 10 men Waters looked the more likely winners as they continually took the game to a tired looking Penn. Penn with 15 minutes left then ended up with 10 men themselves, as their captain was sent off for violent conduct, and they looked in disarray. Waters looked the more likely winners now but with youngsters Deabill and Tom Flower struggling with cramp after fantastic efforts, Waters should have showed more nous and settled for what they had. Naively they pushed forward for a winning goal and with central midfield almost abandoned it exposed their valiant back four to Penn’s breakaway attacks. With alarm bells ringing but unheeded, Pisani pulled off a fine save, but in the dying seconds, he was beaten as Waters’ exposed defence was breached for Penn to score a goal that, really, Waters should never have allowed them to score to nick the match 2-1.
There were many fine performances on the night; the back four of Dan Stevens, Dave Atkins, Mike Chambers and Cox were superb. The midfielders, Sperling, Miller, Mills, Deabill and sub Saunders did themselves proud along with lone striker Sam Meadows but the stand out performer was young Tom Flower who put in a performance of massive potential as he worked his socks off down the left flank showing great skills and maturity along the way.
Finally, tributes were paid to team manager Rob Lamb who has decided to stand down at the end of the season after 3 years in the hot seat. He will be a tough act to follow, as his knowledge, management and hard work for this team has never wavered through thick and thin - and this season there has been a fair bit of thin to deal with on and off the pitch! However, it has never dampened his enthusiasm to get the best out of his side, whatever obstacles were presented. Well done Lamby, it has been a privilege to be involved, thanks.
MoM: Tom Flower