Walsham 0 Seasiders 1

Thurlow Nunn League

Premier Division

Tuesday 27th September 2017

Putting my Jimmy hat on - “It’s a funny old game!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was looking back at games between the clubs over the last decade, and in particular at Summer Road, where prior to this game we had played 10, lost 5, drawn 3 and won just twice - those two games back in 2007 & 2009, so there was a natural feeling of apprehension going into the game… certainly for us followers, and I’m sure for the players and management as well. We had lost on the last two visits and picked up a total of 7 yellow and 1 red card on the last three. Some would say the games are not connected, that it’s psychological, and they may well have a case. I just know we don’t win there very often.

There was the added pressure of riding high on the back of 11 straight wins in the league, going for the round dozen against a side who would dearly love to be the first to lower the Seasiders colours in a league game.

Having said all that, I do enjoy my trips to Summer Road, a friendly bunch of guys running the club, enjoying what they do with what they have got, while on the field the games are always competitive and while the outcome hurts if it doesn’t suit you, it is only a game, and friendships outlast one-off results. Don’t get me wrong, I loved winning last night, and the ride home was particularly pleasant despite the foul weather and the Orwell Bridge being closed.

When the game kicked off the evening was pleasant enough, while the home side were fired up knowing this was a big chance to make a statement and they pressed right from the start, pushing the Seasiders’ defence back, they won a couple of free kicks and Jack Brame had an effort on target but there was no power in his shot, allowing Danny Crump to collect comfortably.

Having soaked up the early pressure, the Seasiders then produced the classic counter attack. Stuart Ainsley hit a diagonal ball from just inside the Seasiders’ half to Joe Francis, wide on the right, Walsham’s Andy Cusack couldn’t cut it out and Francis was away, racing into the home side’s area and finishing clinically with a low, hard shot across Lynn in the home goal.

The goal halted the Walsham momentum, wary of the Seasiders’ ability to stage counter attacks, and the balance of possession swung in the visitors’ favour. The Seasiders should have put the game out of sight before the break as they created and spurned a string of chances. Scott Chaplin could easily have had a hat-trick, and Miles Powell somehow hit the upright from a yard out while Barry Lynn saw plenty of action, making some fine stops as the visitors’ forwards searched for that second goal. Craig Nurse was left wondering how he hadn’t scored when his intended cross beat Crump and Jamal Wiggins hacked the ball away to safety - it was a let off and the faithful followers were left to wonder what might have been, and what was to come.

Walsham re-organised while they had their half time PG Tips, and came out for the second period with plenty of determination, piling the pressure on the Seasiders’ defence - in previous seasons, the defence would have succumbed to the pressure but instead they soaked it up, getting bodies in the way, hacking clear when necessary, the rain came making it difficult for both sets of players and the Seasiders used all three substitutes as the clock ticked towards the 90 minute mark. To their credit, the side stayed compact, with the back five seeing the game out without allowing Walsham a clear strike on goal.

The one worrying part of the encounter was an injury to Jordan Matthews late on that he couldn’t shake off, and which must make him doubtful for the Saturday trip to Saffron Walden, as the side now go for the Bakers dozen - look it up if you’re not sure what that is!