Saturday 3 March 2012
Netley are unbeaten at the top of the Senior Division,
and just one game away from the Southampton Senior Cup Final. The final is the showpiece
game in local grassroots football, mainly because it is played at the thirty-two
thousand seat St.Mary’s stadium, a world away from any club’s facilities in the competition.
Netley is along the shore of Southampton water that flows
into the Solent.
They play at their local recreation ground – albeit one with a
floodlit pitch. Sat around the half-way line are two old men dressed almost
exclusively in beige, drinking from Thermos flasks. If they have come expecting
something approaching finesse that Netley’s status as defending champions may
suggest then they will both leave disappointed.
If today’s performance is anything to go by, the foundations
of Netley’s season were not built on dilly dallying - especially at the back.
They have no qualms booting off for a throw-in in the opening exchanges, ands appear
to be in a hurry to get this game over with in time for Wednesday’s semi final.
Our squad has been reduced to thirteen players.
includes manager Paul Dyke, who names himself as substitute. The most
significant absence is goalkeeper, Ryan Jones, who declared himself unwell on
the morning of the game. Paul Andrews steps in to replace him. He has played in
goal for us several times before. He does little to reassure us by saying that
he is shitting it.
As we settle into the opening minutes of the game we go
and do the worst thing possible by taking the lead. Chris Pye’s centre is laid
back by Martyn Barnett toward Sam Schwodler, who thumps in from eighteen yards.
This rattles Netley’s cage. They strike the underside of Paul Andrews’ crossbar
twice in as many minutes.
It is a taster for things to come. Netley score twice
before half-time, both goals coming via corner kicks. This is something that
our centre backs, Kev Willsher and Marc Judd, are furious about.
The second-half is a spirited affair with little
memorable goal mouth action, other than a comical goal line clearance from Marc
Having already rounded Paul Andrews, a Netley attacker strode casually
toward the six yard box to side foot past Marc Judd, whose plans to block the
ball seemed hopeful at best since he’d lost his footing. Judd then managed to
raise his backside to the ball, deflecting it wide of the post by the narrowest
We lost, as did Netley on Wednesday night.
GK: Paul Andrews, RB: Mark Reeves: CB:Kev Willsher, CB:Marc Judd, LB:Dan Allen, LM:Chris Pye, CM:John Rix, CM:Mark Sanderson (Rob Mills), CM:Martyn Barnett, RM:Sam Hewitt, CF:Sam Schwodler