Lots of talk of Englands monumental win over NZ dominated the pre-match preparations, Falcons who were without Doggett and Finlayson, then lost Kaluza to injury in the warm-up (well if you include getting his kit on, I blame his rugby celebrations myself!) but were fortunately joined by new boy Dave Sellers and so still had a squad of 13 available, conversely Oxted had just managed to get 11 players out and the game started with their late arrival still kitting up on the sidelines.
Despite incessant rain, Oxted appeared to take heart from the England underdog win at the rugby and despite Falcons enjoying a lot of possession held their own for the first 20 minutes of the first half. The Falcons once again failed to convert a couple of short corners (training has been called for) and frustrations were showing, at one point I recall Dutch and Dunlo exchanged pleasantries across the length of the pitch following another failed attempt at goal, but Dunlo had the last laugh when a sublime move led to Warner crashing a ball from mid-way into the Oxted half toward the goal and Dunlo who had clearly intended to meet the pass gave it the deftest of touches to wrong foot the Oxted goalie for 1-0 and that was how it stayed until half-time.
Nobody was comfortable at 1-0 and the half time talk was about not squandering the hard fought lead, trying to use the width and importantly to convert our opportunities, but in spite of the best intentions Falcons continued to struggle to breakdown a 5 man defensive unit, so spent most of the second half in Oxteds final third and the pressure told with multiple short corners being awarded. Fortunately Warner was able to convert one of them and Falcons created a bit of an air gap with a 2-0 lead as the final 20 minutes approached. Oxted tried and failed to break through the solid defensive unit of Blomley, Jones, Heinrich and Billington and the rare shot was ably cleared by Wilsdon between the sticks, new boy Sellers, with Sumser and both Whitey’s tried valiantly to add to the score-line but it wasn’t to be and Falcons had to settle for a 2-0 victory.
Everyone enjoyed a meal and drink back at the British Legion before the journey home where talk returned to the rugby, whether there was a need to postpone next weeks game (there isn’t its mid afternoon) and the possibility of England running out World Cup Winners again – Here’s hoping!!
Falcons face one of the new joiners to the league and joint top spot teams Haselmere Masters next week and the team really need a victory following the loss to last years league champions Woking if they are to keep up a push for top spot this season…
Thanks to everyone who made the long trip to Oxted