VWFC vs Penn & Tylers Green Res
17/02/2018 Virginia Water Reserves 4-2 Penn & Tylers Green Reserves
Hellenic Division Two East
Report by Steve Cox
Virginia Water Reserves got back to winning ways, upsetting the formbook, against a Penn & Tylers side, which on paper still had a chance of winning the league. Waters’ team selection had a very unfamiliar look about it with many regular players unavailable through injury or unavailability; this opened the door for some new faces, some young ones at that to come in and show what they could do. They did well, youngsters, Harry Brooks, Dan Stevens and Harrison Duff did themselves proud on their debuts. That coupled with some outstanding performances from some older and wiser heads led to an overall performance that for 80 minutes or so put an aggressive and physical Penn side to the sword.
On a cloying pitch, Waters were playing the ball early on many occasions - getting the ball in behind Penn’s immobile defence. It paid dividends as a 20-minute spell put the home side 4-0 up as goals from the excellent Steve Mills and a superb hat trick from the underrated Sam Meadows left Penn shell shocked. Penn could not find an answer to this onslaught as back in Waters’ defensive half the watching management and spectators were witnessing some brilliant performances from Waters back line. Mark Pisani in goal had little to do as the brilliant return of Ross Miller, Dean Guy, player-coach Dave Atkins and the outstanding Billy Cox were in no mood to let Penn back in to the game. This was becoming one of Waters’ best performances in a while as they reached half time 4-0 up.
As manager Rob Lamb predicted, Penn, after some strong words from their management came out second half on a mission, their intention it seemed was to try to intimidate this young Waters team with some heavy challenges and, on some occasions, verbal assaults. To their credit Waters did not buckle under Penn’s renewed challenge and probably could have increased their lead with a little more composure in front of goal. Captain for the day Aaron Nevitt and an improving Sam Devoil had strong games in central midfield and more than held their own as Penn became frustrated and angry.
As the clock began to run down Waters were looking for a clean sheet, not a common occurrence for the reserves, but this was scuppered by some finicky refereeing from the man in black as he gave 2 penalties to Penn inside the space of a minute - and both seemed harsh decisions. The first was the classic cross with the defender 2 yards away hitting the hand, hand to ball or ball to hand? The referee decided it was hand to ball. However, Pisani made a brilliant save, but from the resulting corner, Pisani jumped to the clear the ball but was deemed to have fouled a Penn player! Penn scored second time around with 7 minutes left plus 8 minutes injury time!
With Waters’ legs tiring, a buoyant Penn now lay siege to the Waters goal and they scored again to make it 4-2 - and seems like one person had orchestrated this whole ending. Penn could maybe have scored another but they didn’t. They did not deserve to in all honesty, as the referee eventually called a halt to proceedings and Waters claimed their 4-2 victory with a slightly sour taste in their mouths.
MoM: Billy Cox