Falcons were away to league new boys and until this weak undefeated Haslemere Masters, not to be confused with Haslemere Vets who we face next week!
Following the Rugby disappointment and with the bad news that Phil Dunnill had to withdraw due to illness in the family (hope everything is OK Phil!) the team traipsed through the wind and rain to an overcast Woolmer Hill Sports Ground where the floodlights were doing their best to brighten the mood.
A strong line up even without Dunlo, Jonesy and James (Fish) Finlayson saw club captain Chris Hutton (Hutts) play in a sweeping roll behind Dutch Heinrich and his marshalling of the team from the back to the front made a significant improvement to team cohesion. With Dave Blomley and Andy Sumser fresh from their first club training session with words of Drew Blackmore still ringing in their ears passing and receiving strongly, with Russ Warner and Chris Billington spreading the play and with skipper Burrell tracking back and forward it wasn’t too long before possession resulted in the first goal.
After some excellent build-up play involving Mark White on the right wing and our midfield duo of Sumser and Warner, Nige Doggett who was leading the line this week was found inside the D and after a good first touch he moved the goalie out of position and comfortably found a gap to flick the ball inside the near post!
But this work was undone when Burrell uncharacteristically misplaced a through ball toward Doggett ceding possession to Haslemere whose centre half wasn’t closed down quickly enough and allowed to run from half way into our D where he wrong footed 2 defenders and was able to pick his spot and equalise for the home team.
But even the weather couldn’t dampen the team spirit and excellent inter-play by the Falcons! A free hit inside the twenty-three led to Sumser once again finding acting centre forward Doggett inside the D and rather that the previous deft touch, this time he crashed the ball home to restore the lead. Haslemere tried to press but were continually thwarted by the wise heads of Dutch, Blommers and Billers in defence, still being accurately and well positioned by Hutts revelling in the time he had to direct his troops ahead of him.
Billers and Buzz then worked the ball out from defence and found new boy Dave Sellers on the left wing who with great skill was able to beat three defenders and hit a reverse shot in to the net for a half-time and deserved 3-1 lead.
The half-time team talk was about not taking the ball into contact and not being afraid to come back away from trouble and work the ball around the full width of the pitch, something we continue to strive for… and where we saw some real improvement this week.
The second half was also a more end to end affair with Haslemere clearly having regrouped during the break, but Wilsdon in goal was in no mood to concede further goals and dealt with the early onslaught with aplomb! Falcons looked dangerous with each attack and were now converting advanced possession into outcomes with a number of short corners being won. Burrell continued to inject effectively and the team even worked a couple of options, alas to no avail, so it was a return to the previously favoured direct strike that led to Russ Warner (he of continued 60th birthday self-treats, who was off to Marakesh after the game for some golf!!!) hitting home Falcons fourth and final goal of the day.
Next up are Haslemere’s Vets team at home next Saturday afternoon followed by the O50’s HA Cup tier 1 game away to Reading on Sunday.
MoM: Nige Doggett