Guest Writer – M.Utton
Orpington Athletic, previously unbeaten in three games, lined up against top of the table FC United of Bromley, for what should have been another classic battle between the two sides. Bromley won the reverse fixture 2-0 and Orpington were looking for revenge. However, due to some unfortunate absences there was an alteration in the team line up from last week, with major changes in the midfield and defence.
The game kicked off and once again Orpington took time to get into the game and focused, giving the ball away cheaply with sloppy passes and unnecessary hurried clearances. Inevitably, under a lot of pressure, Orpington conceded the first goal. A cross in at the back post, misjudged by the keeper as to only get a palm to it, blocked on the follow up but finished on the third attempt with a few of Orpington’s players almost looking on as if spectators on the side line, a theme that would continue throughout the course of the match.
One quickly turned into two with another easy finish, plenty of time and space to line up a shot from outside of the box giving the keeper no chance. It looked as if Orpington were in for a long morning, but then an excellent attacking move resulted in a corner, with Nick Sims finishing the set piece in some style - a cheeky dink over the goalkeeper. His first goal for almost 6 seasons, celebrations were emphatic and roars of “SIMSY!” echoed across the pitch. Orpington looked strong, finishing the first half on top with a few more opportunities to level things up before the break.
The manager, confident of getting back in it, set up for the second half. However, Orpington were undone again quickly with perhaps another easily avoided goal, followed by a 4th, a 5th and a 6th in quick succession, again all avoidable given Orpington’s recent solid performances. In particular one which evaded all of Orpington’s players from a corner, with the Bromley player making no mistakes with his footwork.
Harry Utton almost scored another for Orpington with a well-placed header, only to see the goalkeeper tip it over the bar. From then Orpington gained back control of the game, once again finishing strongly, and substitute Danny White, fresh back from a loan spell, finished well with a thunderous effort.
It was too little too late as the ref blew shortly after for full time, the final score 6-2.
When asked about the teams performance, the manager was disappointed, stating that “too many silly errors, lack of movement and some inability to read the flow of the game cost us today” adding that “we definitely flattered Bromley with the result today.”
Over the past few weeks we have seen Orpington improve their game and create decent attacking moves, as well as some quite impressive passing cutting oppositions open, and was disappointing to see them undone so easily with an average display. They will look to move on from this and come back strong for their next game at home to Green Street Green.