Westleigh Park, Havant
Well, after an uncharacteristically curmudgeonly response to what was a hard-earned point against a good side, how might I react to a win; a precious, beautiful, shiny win? At half time I would have assumed, much as I did after Saturday’s performance, that goals are going to be really hard to come by as we once again looked pretty poor going forward. This is a bit of a worry when we are at the stage of needing wins now, and not relying on the scraping of draws amidst the odd defeat.
However, when you’re in a hole you need plenty of strength in your arms and the adrenaline pumping to clamber out, and despite not looking in particularly good form on Saturday or last night, we’re getting amongst it, not giving up the ghost. Our side don’t appear to be playing to their strengths but are at least playing with a collective strength of will, and it is that which has earned us four points in three days.
Mind you we’ve benefited from a lot of penalties this season, as was the case with the winner last night, and I’d certainly like to see more goals coming from open play. On the bright side though, Craig Watkins seems to have been whittling away at his finishing with a bowie knife appearing, as it does, sharper as each week passes. As against Crawley in the Trophy, his shot for the opener tonight was pinpoint and immaculate.
An equaliser was conceded six minutes later (to the eerie sound of silence, Team Bath’s support not being known for their vocal support or, indeed, existing) but we can take heart in the fact we didn’t wilt nor settle for another point. The penalty may have come amidst no appeals from the terraces but eagle-eyed types were suggesting the ref had warned Sami El-Abd to keep his hands of Ian Simpemba at a free-kick and when he failed to heed the head’s up, he suffered the whistle and point.
Another calm finish from Luke Nightingale from the spot followed. He now has six goals for the season and five of them have come in this manner. Jamie Collins, substituted earlier, has scored eight this season, and six of them have been penalties, so like I say we’ve had plenty of clumsy defenders and eagle-eyed refs (and maybe the odd bat-eyed ref) helping us along.
If any defenders playing for Welling United, Bishop’s Stortford, Dorchester Town, Bath City, Hampton & Richmond Borough, Thurrock, Fisher Athletic, Maidenhead United, Basingstoke Town or Eastleigh are reading this, or indeed any genial refs already dreaming of their summer holidays, then please be assured than contribution you can make will be welcome. Cheers.