VWFC vs Chalfont Wasps Reserves
26/08/2017 Virginia Water 3 - 3 Chalfont Wasps Reserves
Hellenic League Division Two East
Report by Steve Cox
Two weeks into the Hellenic League season and Virginia Water’s reserves second kamikaze performance in a row has left the reserve team management with plenty of headaches to try and solve.
From the off Chalfont posed a real threat, their young vibrant team looking organised and full of match winning intent had the ideal start when a sluggish looking bit of defending between Blessing Lama and Dean Guy allowed the Chalfont 9 time to fire from 30 yards over Matt Hargreaves into the centre of the goal after only 2 minutes.
Waters to their credit responded well to this setback and gradually got back into the game. After 17 minutes they had levelled the scores as Sam Dennison’s low well struck corner was met near post by the on rushing Michael Chambers who expertly directed it into the crowded goal to make it 1-1.
It was becoming a fitful Waters performance, some players performing to a good level and some not , some players working really hard for the team and some not. The result of this led to a disjointed team performance that you always felt might come up short against this good Wasps team. Slightly against the run of play Waters took the lead in the 33rd minute as Sam Meadows, latching onto Aaron Nevitt’s through ball, held off his marker to slot home from 10 yards - it was a well taken goal. It rocked Chalfont who, after all their possession, found themselves 2-1 down and now with a small but climbable mountain in front of them. Waters made it to halftime without too many scares and the management were rightly expecting a better second half performance as the first had not really been good enough. Tom Poulter was now brought on, replacing Lama who looked uncomfortable at right back in his first match.
Putting the broken record on, Waters started the second half poorly. Mainly through poor play Chalfont had 3 glorious chances to equalise, but they failed to hit the target each time when it was difficult not to. Hargreaves made up for an earlier distribution error when he produced a fantastic save down to his left at full stretch when it seemed Wasps must score.
On 60 minutes Waters nicked a 3-1 lead as Meadows and Steve Mills combined for the first time as Mills tucked away his chance with aplomb to double the lead. However, minutes later Hargreaves’ earlier brilliant save was undone, as now hampered by an old groin injury and opting to kick with his left foot, duffed his kick straight to the Chalfont 9 on his own 10 yards outside the penalty box. He ran in on goal and slotted it home to make it 3-2. The rollercoaster ride was now in full momentum for Waters, Hargreaves now off injured with Mark Pisani back in goal after a 2 year absence and Dave Guy on for the tiring Mills, could they hang on to their lead?
The answer was no. What occurred in the 70th minute was a disgrace by both teams. However the main beneficiaries of a 12 man melee turned out to be Chalfont as Waters received 1 straight red and 2 yellow cards and the Chalfont team 0 cards. It was a staggering decision by the referee who must have had his Chalfont rose tinted specs on. Sam Dennison and Bill Cox were booked for trying to keep two fighting players apart! In all the referee chose over 90 minutes to caution 5 Waters players and send one off, on the other hand he only had the energy to hand out 1 yellow card for a Chalfont misdemeanour in amongst the many they had committed.
Dave Guy’s implode and sending off after 10 minutes on the pitch left a tiring Waters team up against it for 25 minutes (with lots of injury time), and a now rampant Wasps battered the Waters back line. They pulled a goal back from a 22-yard strike in the 81st minute and constantly tested the resolve of a now gallant Waters defence, which in the end, magnificently kept them out to earn a precious point after an insane second half. Waters, mainly through schoolboy errors, could have conceded many more goals and also lacked the determination and effort up front to create enough chances to seriously test the Chalfont backline.
MoM = Sam Dennison