Sheerwater vs VWFC
18/03/2017 Sheerwater 1 - 3 Virginia Water
Surrey Elite League Reserve Division
Report by Steve Cox
After last week’s chastening defeat at home to champions elect Abbey Rangers, Virginia Water’s Reserves were hoping to get back some pride and self-belief at bottom of the table Sheerwater. They managed both just about, but for long periods especially in the second half, in truth the performance lacked the hunger and drive of a team firing on all cylinders and against stronger opposition they may have found victory a little more of an elusive prize to obtain.
Waters started brightly enough, with energy levels high they dominated. Chances arrived as they dominated possession, Sam Meadows classy lob from Billy Cox’s headed through ball unluckily cannoned off of the crossbar after 12 minutes. After more pressure Waters opened the scoring with yet another magnificent headed goal from Dean Guy from Sam Devoil’s corner after 17 minutes. Less than 5 minutes later after good build up play down the right flank involving Steve Mills, Cox and Meadows, the latter’s fine low cross was powerfully converted from close in near post by the arriving Devoil.
2-0 up and in total control it had the look of a game where it was the case of how many Waters would win by. This observation was ill founded as Waters seemed to take their foot off of the gas and slowly but surely Sheerwater’s confidence began to rise. In the 35th minute they pulled a goal back as a defensive error and a good low cross was converted near post by Shearwater’s centre forward. Game on. It was now once again the turn of Waters defence to show their worth as a rejuvenated Sheerwater fancied their chances of an equaliser. Waters held firm to half time but you knew the dynamic of the game had changed.
The second half was not a pleasant watch for Water’s fans, Sheerwater had 5 corners in the first 10 minutes as Waters, through a kind of lethargy, failed to clear their lines. When the ball finally made its way into the Sheerwater half, as the half progressed, lack of effort, bad decision making and lack of team work meant the ball came back far too easily into the Waters half. In a game where at the beginning you hoped that the forwards would earn most of the plaudits once again you had to turn to the Waters defence to hail the outstanding performers. Alex Ssenabulya playing his first 90 minutes in the reserves this season at left back was outstanding in all departments and alongside Guy, Cox and Michael Chambers they made sure stand in keeper Ross Miller had few saves to make.
It may have been coincidental - but I don’t think so - as Waters only regained their early superiority in the last 15 minutes after player manager Rob Lamb had brought himself and Paul Butler on as replacements. Butler showed good energy in the middle of the park and Lamb with a cool head and good feet showed players many years his junior just how it should be done yet again. Butler nearly scored from the edge of the box as his powerful drive fizzed just over the bar after good forward play from Mills, Lamb and Meadows opened up Sheerwater’s defence . This was a portent of things to come as in the 91st minute the best move of the match sweeping the ball right to left involving Mills, Lamb and Meadows was superbly converted from 16 yards with his left boot by a resurgent Sam Meadows to make the game safe at 3-1.
Deserved, yes, but once again something was missing as the intensity to win their individual battles in all areas of the pitch and then making the right decisions when in possession left Waters having to struggle against lesser opposition not for the first time this season.
MoM = Alex Ssenabulya
Luke Sperling (c)