Away league match played on 25 February 2024.
Kicked off at 11:00 AM

The 50s finished the 2023/24 season off in style with an emphatic win away to Woodchurch at Hamstreet.

The game was played in the enclosed pitch which is short but wide. We started like a team possessed and spent the first 5 minutes chasing the ball all over the pitch. Thereafter, we settled and started to play our brand of football. We moved the ball swiftly and played to feet with Brett holding the ball up well and Gareth and Jason working off of him. Woodchurch used their right to try and overload our defence by staying wide and using their speed. We defended well, however, and limited them to long range shots that Jon was equal to.

The possession was equal with us having more of the ball higher up the pitch and we seemed to have more shots albeit many were way wood and didn't really trouble their keeper that much.

They did then have a break down their left and a shot came in that Jon saved low but which evaded his grasp and rolled out to their right where their midfielder managed to be first to and his shot cannoned into a recovering Jon and into the net.

This spurned us into full flow and we pushed hard to get back on terms. Jason, Gareth and Brett all came close with John Ratcliff also looking to get in on the act from our right. We were playing the ball up to feet and rolling their defenders with ease. We were growing stronger into the game and were certainly the team in the ascendence. On one such occasion, with half time looming, Jason tried to roll his defender again right on the edge of their goal area. The defender tried to intercept the shot but in doing so erred into his own box and we were awarded the penalty. With Ian injured, Jason stood up and promptly despatched the spot kick right on the stroke of Half Time.

We started the second half well and in the same manner as we had finished the first. Still finding joy by playing the ball into feet and working it swiftly around their defence. Both Jason and Brett had their defenders scrabbling around and we were awarded several free kicks around the edge of their goal area.

Our pressure was starting to tell and a ball played into Brett's feet saw him turn sharply and despatch a low hard shot that found the the back of the net off the inside of the right hand post. Their keeper despite his best efforts had no chance.

We were absorbing their pressure and defending well. Jon was called into action a couple of times but we were limiting them to long range efforts. They were clearly getting more and more frustrated and their indiscipline saw us being awarded more and more free kicks. We were managing the tempo and the overall game well and we looking after the ball and managing the possession. A free kick in the centre of the pitch was rolled into Jason and his quick turn and shot was a virtual duplicate of Brett's goal as he hit the target off of the inside of the post.

We were now comfortable but an unfortunate injury to Jon's thumb meant that we had to defend more robustly to help protect our goalkeeper. We sat slightly deeper but were in complete control and saw the game to its conclusion without any further incident.

This was a great result and a fitting way for the 50s to finish a fantastic debut season in the league. The match day teams and squads of all 14 games should be proud of and deserve all of the plaudits for their achievements this season. This includes all of the substitutes who should be included within this. I for one could not be prouder of what we have done and the football we have played this year.

My thanks go out to every substitute that has turned up for match days and not been used. Equally to Jan, Paul and Andy who have been the yes on the side lines and helped immeasurably in spotting when and where we have needed to make changes.

Finally, my utmost thanks to the supporters who have turned up home and away to give us vocal encouragement. Your willingness to stand and watch us in all weathers and just cheer us on has been second to none.

Looking forward, there is no date as to when nest year's league fixtures will start but the 2024 National Cup starts next week. I look forward to next year and to see if we can better this year's fourth place and challenge the 3 teams that finished above us this season.

Kind Regards


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