Saturday 24 March, 2012
Ide Hill took to Saturday not quite knowing what was going to happen. Missing several key players, they started exceptionally, and within 10 minutes Chris Thomas scored a goal that really encapsulated every quality in his armoury, first of all movement to get around the centre half, and then an incredible touch out of nowhere from a ball that arrived from 40 foot in the sky, to not only control it but simultaneously turn his marker and then his finishing, feeding it through the eye of the needle to nestle perfectly in the bottom of the onion bag. It was as good a goal as you will see at any standard.
This moment of brilliance, was to be one of a few in the hour that followed, and following some very assured defending and exceptional goalkeeping on numerous occasions, the law of averages struck when a loose ball was poached following 3 continuous attempts to finish by the DGFC forward line, fortuitous to say the least, but probably deserved for a period of pressure and persistence. Unfortunately, they continued in the ascendancy and looked most likely to score anyway, without the assistance of the referee calling a very soft penalty from 70 yards.
2-1 would have probably been about right on half time, but some poor marking by Pennells with 3 minutes to go allowed their centre midfielder room to drive home from 12 yards following an exceptional block from Mike Perry.
The second half looked more assured, and as the tilt looked to balance, it was still looking to be an uphill task. The referee continued to make it difficult, with some very inconsistent decision making, two seemingly clear cut penalties and some very excited Dunton Green tackles, not to mention intimidating and insulting behaviour toward our travelling support and Linesman, were all waved away whilst Sam Coleman picked up a booking for nothingness and Simon a red late on for saying the same thing their back four had to Dean whenever he held his flag up for offside. Shortly after the second penalty appeal was turned down, Hill went 4-1 down, Pennells at fault again. Although he stayed with his man, he was naïve to some of the very basic tricks on show at this standard and fell for the very same trick that had just seen a penalty waved away, with a pinch, a shirt pull and a roll off the shoulder to escape and tap in from a yard.
It seems though, that from a footballing viewpoint at least, that going 4-1 down was the best thing that could have happened. It seems that there was no pressure to win the match as it was already lost, and we played some scintillating football. Joe and Chris created several opportunities up top, and two of these resulted in corners that were subsequently turned in by the ever positive Matt Higginson. Despite having a depleted squad, missing 6 of the team that beat Kingsdown, we were capable of winning, and with another referee and / or an additional 10 minutes I think we would have done.
There are a lot of positives to take from Saturday. The return of Danny Miles gives us new options and energy approaching the run in, and many players who have not played regularly gave very good accounts of themselves, taking their opportunity at a starting place. I’d also like to draw everyone’s attention to Sam Coleman, who was more than an example to everyone on both sides. He’s got as much reason to be frustrated as anyone, when his injuries first started to kick in we were unbeaten and 0-0 in the cup, and the stand out player for me his few 1st team appearances, often filling in out of position. Since then his return has stuttered, just like the team that he limped out of as an unbeatable bastion. Aside from his performance, his energy, attitude and desire was an example to everyone, and in terms of sportsmanship and positivity, I don’t hold anyone in higher regard in the club at present. Without doubt, man of the match .
I’ll be honest, I’ve not enjoyed this last fortnight one bit. It’s still a learning curve for me.
Turning “old” overnight amongst friends last Saturday, buying a house only to see it fall through, all the while trying to broker some huge deals in my other job (the one I do get paid a salary for) and hearing that the League and FA have between them pulled a suspension out of a hat and I’ll miss the run in has all been a bit much to get my head round at points, all culminating in disappointment on Saturday. Unfortunately, I’ll have to hold my hands up and say that I think it was evident that a lot of the poor hour between 15 and 75 minutes was due to a very poor display on my part as either player and manager.
In hindsight, it was a bit ambitious of me to expect to be able to put in a personal performance of the calibre I’m capable of whilst managing a depleted side with very few tactical options to change things. There is a horrible moment at times when you are standing, so engrossed in a tactical change that you are trying to enforce, forgetting you are in the penalty box, and not on the sidelines, that you suddenly realise that the number 5 you were marking is a metre away, and in half a millisecond, he will put his foot on the end of the loose ball. The whole thing lasts a matter of seconds, but that split second before it catches his laces is the worst because it takes forever to happen, and you slip into desperate prayer, just hoping he’ll nause it up, because it is too late for you to do anything, and it’s too late for you to affect.
And it happened to me twice on Saturday.
These tough games are also hard, because I do feel a responsibility in getting all the players where they want to be. I have noticed that certain players have expectations that are removed from those that we held as a team at the beginning of the season. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s my job to try and manage that sort of thing and it’s quite difficult. So when things go wrong, I have to take at least some responsibility. This frustration takes it’s toll wherever I’m standing and I still need to learn to curve some of that frustration if it happens when I’m playing.
We’ll get there together, but lets just enjoy this final month and make sure we win it properly. The final 15 minutes showed, that when nothing else matters, there is nobody who can touch us.
Baz Pennells, Ide Hill FC reserve team manager
Saturday 3 March, 2012
The interesting thing about being nestled firmly on the top of a divisional perch, is that 95% of games you play in a season will be against teams who have been unable to prove that they are any better than you. Should Ide Hill Reserves see 3 points from 4 games anything other than a formality, then they would be right in thinking that they are too negative. So following the footballing circus of Wilderpark last week, the Ide Hill Rebel Alliance turned their attentions to the welcome distraction of a Fisher Shield tie against higher level opposition; Kingsdown Racers.
Still carrying some injuries and absentees, Bazil Pennells rang the changes, 7 from the team that started at the Raleigh Ground last week. In came Craig Holder, whilst Billy Cornwell, Joe Worden and Daryl Rose all returned to the Division 3 League Leaders.
A patchy opening, both teams shared possession, although Hill looked the most productive, Pennells and Holder cancelling out the 3 men Kingsdown had opted for in the centre. Fortune favours the bold, and the decision to hold nerve and keep the 2 against 3 in the centre paid off, an excellent example of breaking down play in the centre by Craig Holder on 17 minutes, and following some nice interplay, Chris Thomas pounced on a lethargic looking back four, demonstrating again that there is no better finisher at any level in the Sevenoaks and District; 33 in 19 now for the assassin.
Goals have been a poisoned chalice for Ide Hill in recent weeks, in 3 of the previous 4 games we have conceded in the 10 minutes following a goal, but with the exception of an excellent piece of play by the Kingsdown number 9, who sliced having created something from nothing, Everett, Perry and Cornwell were equal to every challenge put their way. Having weathered the storm of these 5-10 minutes, Hill eased themselves back into the groove, and showed signs of an exceptional passing game. It wasn’t until the half hour mark that Hill stretched their advantage, Pennells breaking from midfield to pick up a loose 50-50, and while teeing it exquisitely off the bobble and away from the KRFC midfield, let rip from 35 yards into the top corner.
There were further opportunities to extend the lead prior to the break, but all to no avail. Worden’s run was picked out by Pennells, who bearing down one on one, struck straight at the keeper, Taylor had a long ranger dip just beyond the far post, and Miles-Lomas went close with what is fast becoming the most talked about left foot in the club.
With the game looking comfortable, and the IHFC defence looking far more capable of coping with the as and when attacks, Pennells introduced and rested a few players, Coleman, Rudden and Higginson all getting much need minutes, and all fitted in immediately, Coleman marking his road back to rehabilitation with a goal, his anticipation and desire to get to the stray bouncing ball somewhat more commendable than the cleanliness of the strike that rolled just inside the far upright.
The final 20 minutes were far from the standard of the opening 70, and Hill didn’t use the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to command; to go all the way in this Cup Run, Hill will have to overthrow some good sides, notably Chipstead and Real Mayo, and they may need to ensure that if they need to move out of second gear, then they know when and how to do it.
However, they also never really looked like conceding, and the ghastly negativity that stained the 6-3 win at Wilderpark, was replaced with confidence and positivity. All in all, you’d have to say a fantastic result against higher level opposition, epitomised by the unassuming man-of-the-match Craig Holder, not least for his work rate, tackling and passing, but by his positive approach. For large periods he had two men to mark, and rather than moan or blame anyone else, he was quiet and focussed on doing the best he could of the job he was given. And what a job he did.
Well done all. Onwards!
Baz Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve team manager
Derek Hodges report for Wilderpark FC for 21st January 2012 - taken from the Sevenoaks and District Football League website
Ide Hill Reserves put up a valiant display against Wilderpark taking into consideration they are two Divisions below their opponents before going down 1-0 in a quarter final tie of the Sevenoaks Charity Junior Cup. In fact the Hill forced the tie into extra time with the decider coming through an own goal in the 115th minute.
The blustery conditions and the constant use of referee Chris Knights whistle forcing numerous interruptions and bookings spoilt the tie as a football spectacle. The Hill lost Baz Pennells during the latter stages of the second period of extra time being shown the red card after a previous caution.
There were stages of the game when but for the excellence of keeper Chris Esposito the Hill would have forged ahead. Ace marksman Chris Thomas was generally well contained by central defenders Dave Hobby and Steve Burgess but he may well have put his side ahead but for the brilliant Esposito.
Paul Burgess could have put the Park ahead during the first period of extra time but his powerful left foot drive from just outside the 18 yard area hit the crossbar and rebounded to Alex David who with all the time at his disposal headed the ball over the crossbar.
It was always going to be difficult to play constructive football in the conditions but both teams tried to overcome the elements. The Hill fought hard to contain the Park notably during normal time but the gaps in midfield began to appear during extra time which allowed the Park to play their normal game.
In the end a corner from the left taken by Jim Hagon caused problems for the Ide Hill defence forcing a player to deflect the ball into his own net. The Park thus reached the semi-final stage for the second year running.
Derek Hodge, manager Wilderpark FC
Saturday 17 December
There are some things in life, that you cannot legislate for.
In football terms, this can be injuries, absence, missed chances, injustice, uncertainty and from time to time refereeing that is not up to speed with the tempo and magnitude of a match. So far this year, we have experienced all of the above at one point or another, and risen above it. But Saturday proved that the coming together of all of these influencers, all beyond our control can make things very difficult to overcome.
A cup semi final between the two most technically competent sides in the Sevenoaks & District League was always going to tend toward the passionate side and in need of a strong official, and the League recognised as much with the appointment of the League Referees Secretary. Unfortunately due to illness on the day, the official was changed and the heated early 15 saw some tough tackling from both sides, but the early exchanges saw Chipstead get more than their fair rub of the decisions, and bookings for Pennells and Rose for seemingly nothingness incidents seemed to compound the frustration, and the former went achingly close just moments later, just dragging his shot past the upright. Moments later, more frustration followed, when Chipstead failed to properly clear and as Pennells picked it up, he set Billy Cornwell who dummying a shot on the edge of the box floated a ball toward the unmarked Rob Giddins, the flight of the ball intercepted by the outstretched arm of the Chipstead full back. As time stood still, and all 11 IHFC players and the travelling support shouted penalty in unison, Chipstead stopped and looked as the referee put his whistle to his mouth…. And then removed it as he waved play on.
The run of bad luck continued as Giddins bicked up a knock, and in covering Coleman received “the treatment” from two very aggressive challenges at the hands of Chipstead’s Chadney and Broad, and as he tried to run it off, Chipstead saw the opportunity to play the football they can do so well, and with virtually nobody to challenge him, Adam Cannon started pull the strings in the middle third. The boy is a good player, even better with nobody to play against, and he took his window of opportunity well, regularly bringing their previously redundant wingers into play, and allowing Sam Chadney to make those wandering moves into space. They created their own luck on 17 minutes, shifting the ball from right full back to Ben Edwards, and two half clearences gave Cannon all the time he needed to arrive late unmarked into the box to slot home.
With IHR preparing to make the changes, Chipstead struck a killer second, and it was almost a carbon copy of the first. Still struggling to reorganise, Cannon and Chadney again carved open Hill, Phil Collins this time getting on the end of a Giles Mansell cross, a superb interchange of play orchestrated from the empty middle third.
With luck against them, casualties in the key areas of the pitch, and a mountain to climb, Hill struck back almost immediately. Taylor on the left putting one inside and as Giddins looped a ball in that fell into Chris Thomas path via a touch from Broad, who looked very shakey all afternoon and was very lucky to still be on the pitch 35 minutes in following GBH on Giddins, and this season’s leading goal getter finished with a remarkable effort.
Hill used the opportunity to make the subs; Higginson replaced Coleman, who it transpires has a ruptured ligament, and Billy Cornwell shifted to the centre of midfield, but as the changes rang, Chipstead used the opportunity to make the most of the bedding in that was going on around them, and restored their two goal advantage just before half time.
Half time was a rallying time, and deciding to balance the fitness and tackling of Billy in the centre with Thomas’ intelligence of movement, Pennells dropped to right midfield, and Worden offered the pace up front to Giddins’ strength. It seemed to work for the most part, and although Jimmy was called upon to produce three saves of exceptional quality, it was predominantly Ide Hill, who unfortunately could not finish. Thomas with a scissor kick, Pennells with a drive from 20 yards, Worden with a few one on ones, and several long rangers from Cornwell and Rose all came to nothing. As the time rolled past, it seemed to become more and more apparent that the Smiths Junior Cup was not going to don black and white ribbons this year. Another horrific red card challenge on Rob Giddins as we attacked went unpunished and meant Broad got away without an obvious second yellow of the afternoon, and substitute goalkeeper Nick Rose staked a claim for man of the match as he pulled off 4 incredible saves in the last 10 minutes.
They were lucky to finish the game with 11.
We might have been 2-0 up in 10 minutes.
We might have had a penalty.
We picked up injuries in key areas.
We were unfortunate to be missing 3 of our most consistant performers.
We might have had a stronger referee.
I could go on but that’s football.
They are going to the cup final and we aren’t.
All in all it was Chipstead’s day. They had the best of the first half. Ide Hill had the better of the second. But unfortunately, they rode their luck and took their opportunities when they were on top and Ide Hill didn’t.
Bazil Pennells, reserve team manager
Saturday 3 December
Every good story has a start, a middle and an end.
It’d be nice to one day be able to write one of these match reports, unlike Ide Hill Reserves on Saturday, knowing how and where to start.
With a full squad to choose from, and two very comfortable recent wins over Nomads, Manager Bazil Pennells saw an opportunity to rest Mr Sam and offer a few others a run out ahead of the inevitable cup semi final that would follow another comfortable rout. The manager’s pre-match team talk being as simple as:
“Be positive amongst yourselves and be patient on a difficult pitch, and it will come. Give the ball to a black and white shirt is the only task I’m giving each of you. Enjoy the cup!!”
Hmmm. Cue idiocy, complacency, poor football, some shocking refereeing decisions, some choice defending, arguing, and an all round shocking attitude to what should have been a welcomed stroll after the cut and thrust of League domination.
7 minutes. 1-0 down. Unbelievable refereeing decision, some arguing about the decision, a lapse in concentration, ball floated in, goal scored, followed by some more arguing about who was arguing the best argument.
13 minutes. 2-0 down. Unbelievable refereeing decision, some arguing about the decision, a lapse in concentration, ball floated in, goal scored, followed by some more arguing about who was arguing the best argument.
14 minutes. People shouting at the manager about who should come off, what we should do and how we should change things. I have to say, in all my days watching and playing football, I’ve never seen anything like it.
Fortunately for everyone at Ide Hill, four players showed a little common sense and decided to persevere. Scott, Cornwell R, Giddins and Thomas set about knocking the ball about and slowly taking back control of the middle third. Touches, short balls, making space and some all round very mature play, trying to bring other players into the game. As poor as IHR were for the first 30 minutes, for the last 15, the football was sublime. The manager’s prophecy came true, and with patience and confidence, the goals came. 3 goals of the highest quality came from “The Sniper,” Swar-Chris-Ki Thomas. A first half hat-trick of the highest quality and befitting of the excellent interchange and swift movement of the ball from back to front; one and two touch football so classy that Nomads were left to stand and admire. There were rumours at half-time that their midfield had got somewhere in the same 10 square feet of Giddins, Ryan Cornwell, Nick Scott and Joe Worden as they won tackles and popped the ball about like they were on the playground, but it wasn’t visible from the sidelines.
3-2 left the managers half time spiel a little easier, and from a pure footballing point of view, it was a much better second half. IHR kept possession well, and the defence looked much more accomplished. Unfortunately, there were now other negatives to speak of. Where in the first half much of the early football was poor, with some excellent finishing, the second period was reversed. Although we never looked in any danger, and kept the ball well for long periods, we could not score for toffee. Giddins, Worden, Thomas, Taylor, Hammal, Scott, both Cornwells and even Daryl Rose and Simon Lewis all found themselves in shooting positions, but without the net ripple that would have put the game to bed, and surely started the rout. As the scenario played out, and then repeated, a desperation clearance with 9 minutes to go found a lone Nomads marksman who in trying to trap it, cross it or clear it (anything other than shoot?) lofted one into the top right of the net.
Unbelievable that IHR who should have found themselves safely amongst Dukes Head regulars by now, were setting themselves to Kick Off extra time at 3-3. However, it quickly looked like IHR had decided to start this Quarter Final properly 90 minutes after the scheduled start. Chris Thomas going close twice before breaking through following some great midfield interchanges, nicking it from the toe of the Nomads centre half, and calmly slotting past the oncoming keeper. Incredibly this was ruled out for offside. Now there are no cheats in this division which means that the linesman must have witnessed the incredible physics defying Chris Thomas run from an offside position when the ball was played, back to 10 yards behind their centre half, before then catching them up again and running through to score; a total run of about 40 yards in 1.6 seconds the only feasible explanation for the upheld lino’s flag.
Eventually the break came, with the evergreen Rob Giddins getting a deserved goal for a superb afternoon’s display. Looking comfortable, the manager decided it was an opportunity to try some new formations ahead of a tough couple of months, but unfortunately the team got their just deserves for bickering and arguing over whether they thought that was the best way forward and were beaten again by an avoidable freak goal as they stood and continued to argue.
With Penalties looming, it looked like it may perhaps be “one of those days.” Swathes of attacking play resulted in spurned chance after spurned chance in the last 15, Thomas, Giddins, and others all going close, before Thomas finally wrapped things up, before Joe Worden killed off the visitors meeting Ben Piggott’s perfectly floated far post cross with a carefully guided header.
Man of the Match this week is difficult for the wrong reasons. There were many positives scattered throughout the game, 4 goals for the sniper, Cornwell Sr and Nick Scott creating some superb passages of play and the attitude of messeurs Piggot and Perry deserve recognition, when they sat patiently on the bench when things didn’t quite go to plan. But it goes to Rob Giddins. Everyone could learn from him, and his positivity, his composure on the ball, his link up work and the consistency and maturity of his game.
All in all, a cup win is a cup win. We have lessons to learn from this. Be positive, be confident and ensure you listen to the managers instructions. There are a million ways to play a football match, half a million are correct, but it must fall on one person to decide how we play.
Next up will undoubtedly prove the biggest test of the season; a semi final against the auld enemy. The league website has already made us clear favourites which is ridiculous. Chipstead will have a significantly stronger side than when we played them last and it won’t be made any easier with the absentees and injuries on that day. As long as they continue with their 3-5-2 / 5-3-2, which I expect them to do, and don’t suddenly shift to the conventional 4-4-2, we’ll have a very strong chance of matching them. And in any case, as Saturday proved, we perform better when we are the underdogs. Taking things for granted is something we cannot afford to do until May.
Deal with things first, and argue about them later.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 26 November
Saturday provided a trip into the mysterious for Ide Hill Reserves. Farnborough Old Boys Guild from the wotsitsname league ventured into Camberwell Lane a relative unknown, the only comparison available was their 3-2 win against Borough Green in round 1, not that it mattered with the visitors signing on 6 new players before Kick Off.
Buoyed by their unbeaten league campaign, IHR’s manager mixed things up to give more minutes to individuals ahead of Mega December and the possibility of another 3 big cup ties. The elder Cornwell returned from wine sipping in Portugal, Daryl Rose returned from a birthday weekend, and Dave Hammal returned from… somewhere. Nick Scott & Simon Lewis were given a week off to earn some points with other halves, and Jimmy Everett relieved himself from first team selection so that his missus could relieve him on an anniversary weekend away. In regards to the latter, it gave Pennells the opportunity to blood some young talent in 18 year old Tom Williamson, signed on from Chipstead’s youth academy.
With the game underway, and shooting into a force 10 gale, IHR broke the deadlock within a minute, Pennells closing down 3 attempted blocks before feeding Joe Worden who played in Chris Thomas, the leading marksman attempting a tricky first time drive that drew a fine fingertip save from the goalkeeper. As the ball looked to be rolling for a corner, Dean Barndoor Taylor pounced and turned in from the acutest of angles.
As Hurricane Doreen grew stronger, FOBG pressed and maintained more of the ball, IHR’s Hammal / Coleman combo in the centre of midfield relying in the cooling breeze to massage the crooks in their necks, and after some steadfast defending, FOBG equalised through a corner that caught a gust and blew in at the near post. Following that misdemeanour, Pennells dropped to the right pushing Joe Worden up to the top in the hope that IHR could capitilise on the unpredictable bounce and bluster with some additional pace up top, a masterstroke that paid dividends minutes later when Worden broke through, and as he rounded the keeper was the victim of a GBH attack that has seen people arrested for less. Chris Thomas duly obliged with the resulting penalty and the lead was restored. And before the break, and still playing into the cyclone, Taylor made the half time team talk a little easier with an almost carbon copy of the first.
Pennells had warned he wanted to rejig the side in the second half with some big games coming up and try some new formations to offer Hill some more options as they went into Mega December. Unfortunately, an injury to Sam Coleman scuppered that and Pennells was forced to rethink. As IHR emerged from the second half, it was inevitable that the wind that had shown no signs of stopping, stopped. Pennells introduced the returning Cornwell, R and Daryl Rose within 15 and Cornwell went about commanding the game as he has done regularly in recent weeks. Following a string of first class saves by debutant Tom Williamson, IHR extended their league through the evergreen Hotshot Hammal, who assured everyone after the game that the deflection from his shot merely changed the direction of the ball from bottom corner bound to top corner bound; it was by no means heading out for a throw in when he struck it.
Hill then looked to relax a little, and following another fortuitous goal, FOBG thought they were in with a chance of a comeback when the referee awarded a penalty to the visitors. So an opportunity with 15 minutes left to bring it back to 4-3, when man of the match Tom Williamson pulled off a fantastic stop, getting down low to his left hand side. All that was left was for Joe Worden to whip a cross in that bamboozled their back line and goalkeeper, nestling itself nicely in the bottom corner.
At 5-2, it might have been more comprehensive, Dean Taylor deciding he didn’t fancy a hat-trick, pirhouetting over the ball in front of an open goal, and Pennells drawing an instinctive save from the keeper following a nice interchange of play with Thomas, before powering the resulting corner 3 yards over from a little shy of 10 ft out. The player manager later refuted suggestions that he is related to Jonny Wilkinson having sent 3 over the posts from an average of 6 yards as many times in as many weeks.
A surprise victory for 1st division Wilderpark First XI over Otford has set up an interesting Quarter Final at Rayleigh’s, an opportunity to test ourselves against a team of a standard we see ourselves.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 19 November
One of the reasons I decided to take on this management lark is that I like a challenge. I think challenges are a great way to measure your ability, and subsequent challenges that follow
demonstrate progress. In football terms, continued challenges set a good yardstick as to desire and
commitment of a team.
The biggest fear I had is that the 9 point lead we took to Nomads would act as a complacency generator, which was a worry considering we missed three of the leading protagonists of last weeks excellent first half display, and battery knack to Ben Piggott’s car meant we went into the game with a bare 11.
Hopefully the post match ear bashing of last week served as some reminder that winning is not enough with this team, the manner and attitude in games is equally important to the present and the future.
All in all, other than the moaning that threatened to creep back in towards the end of the first half, I couldn’t have hoped for a better display.
It’s fair to say that we were up against some choice decisions from the outset, with the Chris-Bazil pairing up front receiving a flag flutter no less than 7 times in the first 20 minutes, 3 of
undoubtedly wrong (apparently their right back doing up his bootlace in the box did not count as he wasn’t interfering with play?!?!? No, me neither). For me as manager, the most pleasing thing was that everybody on show at least tried to do as I asked and play football. It wasn’t the easiest of surfaces; a little sticky with soggy clay under foot, and certain areas engulfed in dew and 6 inches of leaves, but the autumnal fallout did little to dent the persistence, especially of the midfield. Coleman and Scott forever looking to make themselves available for the defence.
The opening exchanges, although a little broken, soon paid off, and following the initial breakthrough, it was a quickfire 1-2-3 for Hill through Mr Sam (as the league council refer to him), performing a bit of housekeeping in the box following a corner, Chris Thomas, cooly placing a 20 yard free kick through the eye of a needle into the bottom corner, and Joe Worden who followed in from Nick Scott’s pass and capitilised on a rare mistake by the love child of Jens Lehman and Ray Parlour in the Nomads goal.
Worden was fantastic all afternoon and gave the Nomads left flank problems all afternoon. Hill’s slow monopoly takeover of the Nomads pitch was endangered just once, when in the last 10 of the
first half their smallest, lightest, youngest, weakest player crunched Swar-Chris-ski in the centre of the park and while the leader of the goalscorers chart lay dying on the floor, he was stamped
by a sniper, attacked by an axe wielding supporter, and run over by a Cadillac, and they broke through a fragmented defence and finished off.
Although the negative shouting started to creep in, Hill continued to play positively and a fully recovered Chris Thomas went close twice before linking up superbly with Joe and Bazil, the latter forcing a great save from Lens Parlour bang on half time.
In the second half, Hill produced as comprehensive display as there has been all season, just a concentration lapse between an otherwise excellent Lewis and Spencer against the run of play. Higginson looked masterful as he thwarted their attacking impetus, and constantly looked to feed Mr Sam, Nick Scott and Worden. The positivity toward each other, toward ball retention and toward play was superb, and the fourth goal by Worden, was superb in every way, played in by Thomas when he was through 1 on 1, a captain’s example of unselfish and positive play.
Following that, even the manager got on the score sheet, Thomas involved again as he dropped off to link with the midfield; his passes, flicks and holding up of the ball a delight to all of those
him. Dean, taking to the second half looking a new player provided a new dimension in the second half, and along with Nick and Mr Sam, seemed to move up a gear with every passing minute.
Although the final 15 was a little under par, Billy demonstrated some silks, (and appalling shooting) and before time was up, there was time for Thomas to score again, go close several times, and have a very dubious hat trick ruled out for offside. Mr Sam also popped another goal in, a beautiful individual effort. You know, because he can.
Man of the match is difficult. Beardo was excellent out of position, Joe as mentioned was superb, Dean had a great second half, Jimmy again demonstrated some great hands, and Nick and Mr Sam
looked Regal in the centre by full time. But I’ll give it to Chris Thomas, in what I thought was his best game in an Ide Hill shirt. His flicks and lay offs were superb, his goals were great, and he
would have had a lot more were it not for a terrific display by the Nomads keeper. His work rate for the team was exceptional, dropping off to collect balls, and his positivity looked to play a huge
part in the improved second halves of Dean and Chico, when after a subdued first half, rather than excluding them from play, he seemed to be looking to get the ball to them more. A real unselfish
captains display, summed up by his playing in of Joe as his 18th of the season beckoned. Based on that display, the
management team will upgrade him from “Glass Ankles,” to “Crystal Feet.”
Although I don’t expect us to be when we play our next league game, we are now 12 points clear with 8 to play. And looking more positive every week. With some cup runs to come, we have given ourselves a real opportunity to take this form into games against stronger teams.
As I said at the beginning. I like challenges, and we need to ensure that we give ourselves every chance of keeping those challenges coming.
Keep on keeping on troops.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 12 November
I hate football clichés. Dunno why, I just do.
“at the end of the day, I turned around and said it’s a funny old game and the boy done good, but you’ve gotta hand it to them, they played their socks off, and they’re playing for the shirt, but there are no easy games, and they are strong on paper, but they’ll be feeling as sick as a parrot and….”
What does that lot even mean? Who’s playing for a shirt? Keith has said already we aren’t allowed to take kits home. In 25 years of playing and watching football, I’ve never seen a single person leave the field of play not wearing socks. And who has ever witnessed a parrot vomit?
But as for Saturday, it was a game of two halves.
A somewhat different line up owing to the injured Sam Coleman, and an opportunity to rest Billy Cornwell’s over active groin muscles (insert one liner here), meant IHR were able to try some different things in the lead up to the Cup bonanza that is over the next few weeks. And what a scintillating first 45 it was, and barring a freak goal that ricocheted off about 87 different players, posts and divots, not to mention hinting at offside, it was as close to perfect as we have played. For 45 minutes we played the ball in every which way we could, with Daryl Rose showing what had been missing in the last month; composure in playing the ball out on the floor, with 1 and 2 touches, and constantly looking to make angles as an outlet for a centre back pairing of Higginson and Lewis to release. Ryan Cornwell looked every inch the complete midfielder, shrugging off a persistent and dogged Nomads midfield, linking up well with Nick Scott and the very impressive Taylor and Worden on either side. The elder of the Jedward brothers produced a first half performance so majestic, it’s difficult to remember him misplacing a single pass, and he was deservedly involved in goals one and two, Worden and Thomas respectively finishing off some superb and unstoppable interplay, each played at such pace that no team in all four divisions could have stopped the resulting finishes.
Although IHR continued to play with confidence and positivity, the aforementioned freak goal was an opportunity to test the resolve and attitude of the players, and for the first time this season, there were ripples of enthusiasm about putting an injustice right rather than the berating and heckling blame culture that’s lingered around lost goals to date. It was a pleasure to see, and the encouragement and positivity permeated through the play, and just 2 minutes later, the 2 goal lead was restored, Dean Taylor demonstrating remarkable composure to feed the ball through the eye of a needle for Chris T to play a short first time 1-2 with Rob Giddins, (who linked up play so well all afternoon), before the IHR skipper fed in Worden for his second.
If it had been the last game of the season, and Ide had needed to score 10, they probably could have done, but it was far more beautiful on the eye to see them stroke the ball from side to side, back to front, front to back, and any which way they pleased. To watch was a pleasure as they kept the ball for almost 15 minutes. It was total control of a football game, and some of the Nomads players must have forgotten what it looked like by the time Chris Thomas found himself on the end of another fine passage of play, and truly demonstrated his class in front of goal with tricky finish he took on with aplomb, Cornwell Sr. involved for assist number 342 of the season.
So there was the first half. 4 goals the Brazilian 1970 team would have been proud of. Midfield ball retention a-la-Barca 2010. Control from the back 4 reminiscent of Milan 1990. And the positivity of United in 99.
What could possibly go wrong.
Well, lets see…
Moaning at Linesmen.
Giving the ball away.
Moaning about positions.
Moaning about tactics.
Criticising our own players.
And of course you can add poor finishing to that from the player manager.
Man of the Match is tricky, but based on the first half performance, Ryan just edges Daryl, closely followed by Jimmy.
From a personal point of view, it was the least enjoyable period of football I have ever played.
My words, although somewhat harsh and personal, were I hope a wake up call.
In simpler terms, we played two games on Saturday. In the first one we played positively and confidently, not just in terms of ability, but in terms of attitude to ourselves and our team mates. We won that game 4-1. In the second, we argued, bickered and criticised ourselves and our team mates. We drew 0-0, and that was only due to 3 superb saves from Jimmy.
We have a fantastic opportunity to do great things this season. Let’s just enjoy doing them.
But, well done. 3 points is 3 points at the end of the day.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 5 November
The omens were looking good as I woke up on Saturday morning. We had beaten the Sevenoaks Weald Reserves 12-0 a couple of months ago and it was, after all, the 5th November. I started to salivate at the prospect of a pyrotechnic extravaganza, a veritable goal-fest. Sadly however the reality was to be vastly different and was to prove no more than a damp squib.
In the absence of General Dread, Pinky and Perky (aka Keith and Wally) kindly took over the reins for the day. In his pre-match talk, Keith warned of the dangers of complacency as the Weald now had 8 new players and were playing some good football.
We started well enough – Nice, fluent, simple, ball-to-feet football which was rewarded with a goal before some of the home supporters had even arrived.
Chris Thomas and Nick Capon once again proved themselves to be a class above our league. Their movement, protection of the ball, reading of the play and general inter-passing was superb throughout and soon enough we were 2-0 up. Here we go again?
Sadly not. The opponents stirred from their slumbers and started to create chances. A defensive error on our part with miscommunication between the defence and the goalkeeper allowed the Weald back into the game. Encouraged by their good fortune, forward came the opposition and two minutes before half-time we conceded a second. Careless, just like the week before. A defensive slogan comes to mind - “when in doubt, kick it out”.
In his half-time speech, Keith had a “hair dryer” moment (something to do with Sir Alex previously throwing a hair dryer at some of his players), reminding our team that they would lose if they did not wake up. Keith was not going to be the person who would have to phone Baz with the bad news.
Perhaps the opposition overheard Keith but shortly into the second half the unthinkable happened – Weald scored again. Defeat was now looming large and we sent for the cavalry which arrived in the form of Dave Lansley whose class in midfield was immediately apparent. He steadied the proverbial ship by slowing things down and making use of simple, intelligent, balls to feet. With Dave’s help we fought back to win the battle for midfield. As we continued to press forwards, the wildlife in the trees behind the Weald goal became endangered species whenever Billy C let fly high and wide. A crude but not malicious tackle on his brother sent Billy sprinting 40 yards to remonstrate with the opponent but the referee was on hand to calm things down. To be fair to Billy he was however the creative nerve-centre for many of our attacking moves.
Chris and Nick continued to dominate up front, creating and scoring a further 3 goals including a penalty, a chip over the keeper and a delightful header from a corner.
The records will show a simple 5-3 victory – Anything but…
In recent weeks we have developed a cancer which is now eating into our very soul, with frustration mounting and tempers flaring. This bickering amongst ourselves serves little purpose but to encourage our opposition. In blunt terms we are often defeating ourselves. If promotion and trophies are to be won, this cancer now needs to be eradicated as a matter of extreme urgency.
A look at the league goal scorer records shows Chris Thomas on 13 goals, just one behind the leader Marcus Upton from Dunton Green with Nick Capon in close attendance on 11 goals. When was the last time that Ide Hill had two of the three league top scorers?
Thanks to Nick and Dave for assisting the Reserves team and to Keith and Wally for managing the side. The IHR express spluttered but rolls on. Chug…Chug…
Robin Martin, Ide Hill FC committee member
Saturday 15 October
The Ide Hill Express rolled on this week, and despite a poor and niggling performance, secured a nice little 4-1 away win at Ightham. Following 2 own goals, one of which owes great credit to Mike Perry, and a further from the free rollin’ Chris Thomas, the amazing happened…
After 16 years.
Which equates to approximately 352 games.
Or 528 hours.
Or 31680 minutes
Or 1900800 seconds.
That’s right. Chico scored. And it was a belter.
Chico; scored. Scorer: Chico. Goal from… Chico.
I’m afraid there is nothing else I can say.
Next week; Seal vs Ide Hill Reserves, Jimmy Everett’s affair with Megan Fox is revealed and Keith McGinn gets a contract advertising Colgate.
I’m off for lie down
In a bit,
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 8 October
The funfair that is Ide Hill Reserves took to AW London at the weekend, and what an experience it was! In comparison to the slow routine of last season’s teacups ride, with only the occasional jolt and spin to bring seldom cheer, Saturday was more like the Ghost Train; bumps and bounces that started quickly, slowed during a momentous scare, culminating in cheers as we came out the other side a little shaken, but ultimately unscathed but for some shaken pride and a few injuries.
The game started at a canter, open passing and free movement, IHR looked the top of the league outfit that they were at 1359 on Saturday. Some quick thinking from returning skipper Chris Thomas and a rare burst of pace from an otherwise subdued Baz Pennells nearly saw the break through, the inside of the post denying the player manager his 4th of the season. Before long though, Thomas found himself in an almost carbon copy situation, and his finish was more complete and his lob ducked the right side of the woodwork.
Despite the better of the possession, AWL never really looked like threatening the IHR goal in build up play; their only real show of promise was the long driven rockets from their goalkeeper, and the strong pacey striker tasked with getting on the end of them. Unfortunately, if you throw enough mud, some of it will stick, and an unfortunate bounce from one of the aforementioned cannons found their frontman in behind Lewis and Billy Cornwell and his finish was enough to take them into the break at one apiece.
The greatest negative from Saturday was that IHR failed to put into action the points we addressed at half time; the ball retention was poor and the use of the wide players was non existent for 25 minutes, and in a time where we picked up no less than 4 injuries, AWL took full advantage. Carrying a hefty knock, Billy got caught and the big centre forward managed to get past Ben Piggot and finish off. The lack of ball play in the wide areas forced the change of both wingers, the otherwise industrious Dean Taylor replaced by Danny Miles and Baz swapping with a knacked Joe Worden.
Before the game, Baz asked his players how much they wanted to win this season, and the last 20 minutes were a sight to behold for any manager. There should be no getting away from the below par performance, but passing can be practiced, touch can be honed, and midfield pairings and strike partnerships can be developed, but the one thing that cannot be taught or trained, is commitment, camaraderie, desire and bravery; all of which were on display in bucket fulls. Mike Perry throwing himself into headers he had no right to win, Sam Coleman with a running limp chasing down balls 50 yards away, Billy Cornwell throwing himself in front of shots because his injury prevented him lifting his leg, and the evergreen Nick Scott, the eldest on the field, powering through five men, including 2 of his own, to get onto a ball in the 92nd minute to power home an equaliser are all examples that should not be underestimated.
Make no mistake, in a game where IHR were missing no fewer than 5 players who have previously started games, finished with only 7 players without injury (3 could hardly walk!), away from home, against 2nd in the league, and where we entered injury time a goal down, this was a MASSIVE result. The celebrations following Nick Gunnar Solskjaer’s goal showed the unity, even injured players limping the length of the pitch to join in.
IHR are fallible, but we have shown all the attributes of a title winning side in the opening four games. Borough Green demonstrated our ability to tackle, break down play and win the ball, Weald showed in incredible fluidity and exceptional passing style, TBC exhibited our flexibility in adverse situations, and Saturday presented the Sevenoaks and District League with a demonstration of our desire and determination. IHR must now set about combining all of these attributes over the coming weeks, ensuring that we take nothing for gran ted during a very testing month.
Next up…. On a suspect surface, in a game that always brings goals, Ightham away on Saturday could prove an even more difficult task, and then throw into the mix that we now have several injuries and their first team do not have a game; we will need at least 3 of the 4 attributes mentioned previously.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 1 October
As a manager, I can but try and prepare myself, and the reserve team for the challenges that lie ahead.
Initially it was integrating the new players that joined whilst recognising the loyalty of those that endured the shambolic show of the two seasons that have preceded this one. From then it was, and still is balancing confidence levels and expectations, ensuring that there is an even mix of both that won’t see us carried away with our own expectations and those of others. Next we have the desire and continued commitment of those wishing to play, and that in consideration with my views on which team is best equipped to take 3 points from whoever our opposition happens to be. All of these are issues that don’t go away, but it’s testament to the camaraderie, character and nature of our squad that these decisions make my decisions much easier.
Unfortunately, there will always be issues and challenges that are beyond the control of even me! Searing 30° heat, a pitch more suited to an antelope sanctuary, the absence of several players (including our two top scorers) and some shocking decisions meant it was a tricky afternoon for Hill, but all were challenges that the players overcame.
It was difficult to envisage that this was ever going to be a footballing spectacle, the bounce of the ball was more vigorous, as well as the swathes of dust that followed it with every roll and ricochet, but for the large part, we endeavoured to play the football that we have done with such style in previous weeks, and although both sides lacked any real clear cut chances, Hill deservedly took the lead on 30 minutes when the ever enthusiastic bounce finally landed in our favour for Billy Cornwell to prod home. It seems as in previous weeks, this inspired IHR to press on, and following a few half chances for Giddins and Pennells, the latter finally doubled the lead on 41 with a dribble and shot reminiscent of days when he weighed a lot less and scored a lot more.
Following on from the break, IHR looked sluggish; Tonbridge Baptists created more than just some long range efforts, and in increasing their opportunities , grabbed a fortuitous goal on 62, much to the disappointment of Ide Hill. As a show of resilience, IHR showed terrific character in the following moments, surviving some scares, and muting the pace of the game against a team in the ascendancy. Following some dreadful and unexplained decisions, the ever reliable Sam Coleman stepped into a new gear, and the introduction of Joe Worden on 68 introduced a much needed freshness and pace to the left hand flank. It was shortly after the re-shuffle that IHR killed the game off; some super running off the ball by Rob Giddins created the space for Pennells to grab is second, running into space and driving the ball low and hard into the corner. It wasn’t until 86 minutes that Sam Coleman capped off a man-of-the-match display, using the last of his incredible fuel tank to burst past the 2 fresh TBC substitutes to get on the end of a bouncing ball to smash home. Both Coleman and Simon Lewis deserve mentions for apparently slipping into a new gear while many of the rest of us were wilting in the last 20 minutes. Other notable mentions have to go to Jimmy Everett in goal, who looked as assured, confident and vocal as he’s ever been, and Nick Scott who continued to battle on the right flank without receiving the service he has received in previous weeks. The attitude and character of Mike Perry and Danny Miles should also be commended, who due to a miscommunication (either that or he didn’t have a clue how much time there was left?) only played a minimal part.
All in all, I think this will prove to be a significant result come May. Have no doubt, TBC will turn some teams over this season. We played in difficult conditions, and players picked up their game to accommodate those who struggled in the heat. It was a real team performance, and as the first of many challenges to come in October, we delivered to a very high standard, all factors considered.
Next week sees the next of those challenges, first v second in the Sevenoaks and District League, both teams with 100% start, and 37 goals between them. Something must give, but as manager, I think we have equipped ourselves mentally and physically more than sufficiently to welcome that challenge.
The IHR Express rolls on for another week…. CHOO CHOO!
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 24 October
Writing a match report is difficult for several reasons this week.
It’s been a while since I’ve reported on a “rout” for the reserves; I can’t remember how it’s done! It’s also very difficult to remember each and every goal to pen a sufficient description of them. But the hardest part is deciding which elements of Saturday’s game were the most pleasing, without getting carried away and remembering that we are ONLY two games in, and we will face much sterner tests.
In swift summary, the football was exquisite. Admittedly, and as I have already mentioned, we will play better teams, but how often have we all been involved with lower level opposition and allowed our own performances to drop to that of the other team. It’s incredibly difficult to maintain such a high level of focus and concentration for a full 90 minutes, especially so when your standards are not pushed by your opponents. The quality of passing, the the interchange of play, the tackling, the talking, and most of all, the patience in the build up, was a sight to behold. Some first class football was rightly rewarded with some really, really good goals, the pick of which was a toss up between a 25 odd passing move, finished when the selfless Dave Hammal passed up the opportunity for his own hat-trick and cut back to Chris Thomas to stroke in his, and a 25 yard top corner effort from Sam Coleman. Both of these might have been eclipsed, had the crossbar not prevented Dean Taylor’s 20 yard effort that came after a persistent and mazey run.
Although a little clichéd, it’s a little unfair to award a man-of-the-match award. Ryan Cornwell was majestic in maintaining control, dictating the pace of the game to suit those around him. Chico again showed no signs of giving up his right back spot following on from his man of the match performance last week, whilst Dean and Dave Hammal were phenomenal, both in terms of their attitude on hearing they were substitutes, to their drive and performance in their second half performances. Both Nick Scott and Danny Miles ran and fed play from wide, but as a striker, I would be disappointed if I’d scored 4 and wasn’t man of the match. Chris Thomas has brushed aside the cobwebs of previous weeks and caused constant menace to the Weald back line. 4 was the least his endeavours deserved, and pushing him to the summit of the Division 3 goalscorers heap!
As it transpired, the returning Hotshot Hammal was rewarded for his selflessness with a second half hat-trick of his own, whilst Sam Coleman also hit a brace. Also on hand was Baz Pennells, Nick Scott and Simon Lewis.
All in all, it was a very satisfying Saturday afternoon. Amongst all of the pre-match speculation of potential problems around discipline, language, and general attitude, the approach and behaviour was spot on. Not just a refrain from a boisterous boiler room language, but the manner in which we went about our business. We were at all times focussed on the task in hand; for us it was purely about how much football we could play, how many passes we could make, and throughout, we always showed Sevenoaks Weald the utmost respect.
We mustn’t get ahead of ourselves, but we should be very pleased with how we went about our win, and the manner and grace in which we completed it. There will always be people to knock our efforts, to detract from what we fail, and from what we achieve. But continue in the manner that we did on Saturday, and we can leave speculation and snipes for others.
We have now marked ‘Ide Hill Reserves’ as a team to beat. Do not underestimate the challenges that lie before the reserve team this season.
Gelling a team with such a varied group of players is not easy. Even the most holistic and acquiescent individual would be hard placed to ignore that we do have a spectrum of abilities and personalities. The better players must make allowances for the others, the older need to understand the exuberance and excitement of the less experienced and amongst it all, each of us has a different agenda.
We have taken two small steps on a long road to success, but beyond the difficulties of pre-season, the current squad is shaping up to be a terrific mix of ability and camaraderie, and in taking each instruction and performing it to the letter, the challenges that lie before us will all be welcomed with open arms.
The next of those challenges will be significantly harder, but I have every faith that we will approach it as professionally as we left the last game.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 17 September
Is change good or bad?
Whilst some prefer the continuity and safe feeling of routine, others prefer the giddy thrill that the unexpected can give them. Saturday was for the large part, and even mix of both. Whilst there were still the experienced and seasoned Ide Hill faces of Giddin, 62, Scott, 63, Lewis, Everett, Spencer and Miles, for the first time, the new additions of Rose, Thomas, Coleman and the Jedward brothers meant that there was some continuity and some fresh faces for the new season Kick Off!
And the changes looked to settle into the new campaign well. From the kick off there was some super football, some delightful interplay, and some delightful skills on show as IHR dictated every passage of play. Before too long, a deserved lead was snatched when Willy Cornwell looped a high ball into the box and over the goalkeeper who was stood waving at someone, had he flapped any harder, he may have taken off enough to catch it. This was followed shortly by a goal from the evergreen Rob Giddins, 62, who latched onto a deftly placed pass and drilled past Captain Beaky in the opposition net. Giddins was also breaking last season’s record of 3 consecutive matches without serious muscle damage.
Despite conceding a slightly sloppy goal, after that, Hill continued to rule the game, Ryan Cornwell spreading passes majestically about the pitch alongside Sam Coleman who again broke up everything BG had to offer, feeding in some super passes to the forward line, and also to the wide pairing of Nick Scott and Chico’s brother. Coleman’s energy led to the restoration of Hill’s 2 goal lead, firing in from a spectacular pass after some lovely link up by everyone of the top 6. Before the break there was time for Chris Thomas to get his campaign underway, with a cool finish following yet more build up play.
Other than the sloppy goal, it was the most pleasing IHR performance for a long time; dictating the play from start to finish, and even some incredibly unsporting BG behaviour, and abuse from their supporters could not rock the changed Ide Hill boat.
It was always expected that BG would come out of the blocks after the break being 3 down, and those post break 15 minutes is a time when we have conceded more goals during pre season than any other. It looks as though IHR have decided that this was an area that needed changing, and across a back line of Uncle Chico, Lewis, Willy Cornwell and Daryl “I’ll get a corner right in a minute” Rose, we looked steady, assured and confident. This was also epitomised by Jimmy Everett, who put together a string of first class saves.
Having soaked up this pressure, Rob Giddins, 62, doubled his tally, nodding in from 7 yards following a corner. It was not long before Chris Thomas caught him up and provided another exquisite finish. It all looked to be rosy, sailing comfortably with 15 minutes to go, at 6-1, there was more change in store with a stonewall penalty, and what should have been a GBH charge on Chris Thomas denied. Having picked himself up from either laughing or the assault, Chris Thomas was shown a card for diving, and Simon Lewis for explaining that with 2 goals, one on one with the keeper, a Ryman league centre forward had no reason to dive.
The introduction of Ben Piggott and return to action of Baz Pennells with 20 minutes on the clock gave a new set up to the final period, and might have produced a couple of goals, Pennells having one cleared off the line, and setting up Ryan Cornwell who’s 164 mph pile driver nearly took off the BG players head.
Unfortunately, a farcical penalty in the closing minutes, explained magnificently via ESP communication between the referee and Simon Lewis meant that we went home with 2 goals conceded.
So there you have it; not all change is bad: new players gelling, a 6-2 victory, second in the league, some incredible football, and a Man of the Match display from Uncle Chico… what a difference a season makes.
Unfortunately, we now sit bottom of the fair play league, and it’s sausage and chips at the pub. Some things will never change.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 10 September, 2011
Overall, all factors considered, it was a satisfying result on Saturday. IHR remain unbeaten against
higher level Sevenoaks and District opposition, we were missing 3 players who have played an integral part in pre season, and for large parts we again dominated.
The most pleasing aspect as in previous weeks was the first 30 minutes; Billy again looking assured at the back, and Coleman and Giddins forming a very strong partnership in the middle of the park that never looked threatened by the 3 that they were up against. The high energy and roaming Simon Lewis worked well in a new position off Chris Thomas, and for the first 45, Mayo's centre half partnership had a torrid time. It would have been disappointing to go in goalless after such a pleasing half, and fortunately we were able to nick one through Chris Thomas by means of a penalty.
It seems that every week these written assessments of Saturday's games start with "...well there were positives and negatives..." and unfortunately the second half means I'm writing that again. Having let the opposition into the game, it was always optimistic to expect that we would hold on at 1-0, and a combination of Mayo quick thinking and a lack of concentration from our defence and goalkeeper resulted in a comedy of errors and a very very soft goal to concede. In fairness, I thought the Real Mayo goal was excellent, and probably the least preventable of the 8 we've conceded this pre season. Some very smart interplay, and direct passing on the ground feeding their pacey striker who having broken beyond our defence, provided a very accomplished finish.
Credit where credit is due, this sparked a resurgence, and we returned to playing the football of the first half hour, and the Chris Thomas finish in the 92nd minute was deserving of the hard earned point on its own.
I'm in a difficult place to assess these games, because it's very hard not to see positives; last season I stood on the sidelines injured as we shipped 13 goals to Real Mayo at home and away, they showboated on their way to promotion, whilst we divvied about damage limitation in order to stave off a goal difference that would have seen us prop up the league entering the final months. This year, i stood and watched, injured on the sidelines, as we went close to taking another scalp. So from that point of view, many of us reserves are in a place where we can see the rapid progress over such a short space of time, and we are starting look like a formidable side.
Unfortunately, in that respect, it isn't last season. Even with 3 key players, we have a squad capable of unbelievable achievements, but if I'm honest (and I will be from now on), our concentration levels are well below standard over a full 90 minutes, our ball retention for such a talented group is very poor, patience levels in build up play are low, we need to be far more ruthless in front of goal, and we need to greatly improve our energy levels and the pace of our play. We need to do the good things we do for 90 minutes rather than 40.
Man of the Match was a difficult choice, because I felt a lot of you underachieved, but it has to be between Rob Giddins and Sam Coleman, the two stand out players I felt; they delivered my instructions consistently for the whole game. A lot of people could learn from their approach on Saturday. I gave them a job to break up play, retain possession and look to play short football against 3 players in Mayo's midfield. Rather than moan that they had too much to do, or they were playing against 3, they set about asking themselves how they could go about their tasks, put their heads down, worked hard and did it. The two players with perhaps the hardest job and the most work to do, were the only two who didn't have an opinion on how to make things easier for themselves.
Take the positives, and heed the advice of the negatives and criticism, and you’ll do well. We have on paper a squad capable of phenomenal achievements. I have played in exceptional squads before, and the feeling of underachievement and wasted opportunity is not one I like to repeat. You might think I am being unnecessarily harsh, but it’s because I want the best from you, and for you. I will no longer make comparisons with last season, my expectations will, as they should, be measured against your own ability and potential. I know we can do better.
Everything is in place. A squad big enough to cope with injuries and absentees? Check. A talented group of players? Check. Potential to win every game you compete in? Check. The desire and mental strength to go and deliver your potential?
Only you can do that boys.
I have every faith in you and your ability, and with the awaiting rewards now 3 points, rather than bragging rights, I trust that each and every player will step up to the plate and deliver.
The season is now upon us. The 'if, but, maybe' culture that has started to creep in will count for nothing after Saturday. We are masters of our own fate, captains of our own destiny. Let battle commence.
This is the gospel according to General Dread. Here endeth the lesson.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 3 September, 2011
Great turnout and results on Saturday lads, and thank you to all those who did jobs for different sides; nothing is set in stone and it’s great to see you supporting the other teams. If you all keep yourselves available, this could be the most successful season for Ide Hill in years!
Thank you to both sides as well for turning up early and / or staying late, and supporting the other team.
The first team notched up a 5-1 victory against Borough Green, and the Reserves secured a 4-3 victory against Kemsing Reserves. Worth noting the 4 for Capon, and Hat-Trick number 3 for Chris Thomas. Full match reports will follow this week, (I am currently catching up on work I missed while I was chasing those who didn’t reply to their e-mails last week!!) but for now, can you reply with your availability for this week.
Special note and thanks to those below who have pro-actively informed me of their availability before they even had an e-mail; Gold Star to you boys!!!
Lots of love,
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Saturday 27 August, 2011
Well boys I don’t really know where to start. I say boys, because for such a talented collective, we let ourselves down on Saturday and looked, in a footballing sense at least, through a mix of tactical naivety,
lethargy and lack of focus, like boys playing against men.
Having taken to a very good playing surface, firm underneath with a rain tinted top, we agreed to play three 30 minute periods, and we were phenomenal for 30 minutes. We endeavoured to get the ball down and under control, and tried to play football, at a faster pace than we have done on a newly laid 3G and an uncut Ide Hill, and had it been a boxing match, the referee would have had no choice but to stop it. We had a fair few opportunities, including a miss from close range, an over judged lob, and striking the woodwork twice (the second of which came after the goalkeeper appeared to scoop the ball out from 3 yards behind the line).
Unfortunately, following a swift break, all the hard work was left behind. We couldn’t pass, we failed to tackle, players walked around the pitch, we lost shape… I could go on but I have to say it was as poor a performance as I’ve seen for some time, which includes games from last year that we played with 10 men of a weaker standard. The only positive I can really give from that second period was that we obviously have a bit of luck on our side this year, because we only conceded two.
The third period was a little better, players looked a little more hungry, we attacked, we looked to play the
ball to the wings, and we closed. The goal was very well worked and we might consider ourselves somewhat
unlucky that we then conceded at the end whilst pushing for an equaliser.
Unfortunately, there were a lot of negatives from Saturday. I think we now know that we must concentrate and apply ourselves for the full 90 minutes. We had the better of the chances and possession for 1 hour, but lost the match because we allowed a team to play. In the cups especially when we draw teams from higher leagues, we need to keep that in mind. I think we also know we need to take our chances. We have the ability to put games to bed early on, and we must start to do that.
There were positives from Saturday. First of all, it was an effort of a journey, and excluding holidays and
injuries, nobody pulled out, which says to me you want to play for this team, and the commitment to each
other and the season ahead is there. The social side afterwards was also excellent, and we obviously have a group that want to play together. I also hope we can turn the negative result into a positive, because I hope you don’t want to be on the end of a result like that in a competitive match.
We now have a very tough game in Kemsing Reserves this week, followed by another test against Real Mayo. I did not want to taint the night ahead on Saturday by picking out individuals, but I will have no issues doing it going forward.
I need a reaction from you all this week, starting by responding with your availability. I also understand
there are some away for the match on September 10, if you know you are away, please respond with those dates
1300 meet on Saturday at Ide Hill. There will be a £1 fine for anyone late by 15 minutes or more.
Bazil Pennells, Ide Hill FC Reserve manager
Ide Hill FC are a charter standard club who play in the Kent County League and the Sevenoaks & District League. They were formed in 1923 and became an affiliated member of the FA in 1924. The football club's home pitch is located behind The Cock Inn pub in the picturesque village of Ide Hill and is reported to be the highest football pitch in Kent.