Orpington secured all 3 points in a hotly contested derby with rivals Green St Green and saw three players open their scoring accounts for the season.
Orpington welcomed the return of their captain, Rob Utton along with absentees from the last match, Joe Haden and Tom Butler. A win was greatly needed after last week’s drubbing to FC United of Bromley and Orpington came out of the blocks flying. With only minutes played, a great attacking move down the left resulted in a free kick being conceded by GSG and Turner stepped up to take the set piece. A great delivery into the box fell kindly at the feet of Calum Jamieson who took one touch and powered home from a very tight angle.
The game restarted but Orpington did not capitalise on their fast start, instead sat back and invited pressure on themselves. GSG forged attacks that failed to result in goals, but their threat was real and this was realised when Alex Watts was brought down in the penalty area by ‘keeper, Matt Utton. Incensed at what seemed like a dive, Utton took his position on his line as Ben York steeped up to take the spot kick. Orpington have not had the greatest of luck in many games this season, but they survived the penalty as York skied it high over the bar. A warning sign and Orpington went into the break, perhaps fortuitously, in front.
With no changes at half time, Orpington set up in much better fashion for the second half and began to control early possession. However, within 10 minutes of the restart, GSG were awarded a free kick which was taken quickly and diverted into the back of the net by the pacey striker. Suspicions of offside were discounted by the referee and the rivals were level.
Orpington grabbed the game by the scruff and immediately set about looking for a second. Antony Knott saw a marauding run down the right hand side come to nothing, however a few minutes later, it was Knott who thumped in Orpington’s second. A throw in from the left side was lofted high into the box off the head of Rob Utton and to the feet of Turner who played Knott through to score his first of the season from as tight an angle as Jamieson had in the first half.
Once again though, Orpington sat back and did not push the advantage. Not long after, GSG were through again and with the defence unable to get across in time, James Cooper toe poked an effort into the top corner past the on rushing ‘keeper.
Utton had made two changes now, with Dave Martin coming on in midfield for Sims and the most recent defector from GSG, Mike Mogridge taking the place of Akhtar up front. Play resumed and Orpington were not ready to settle for a draw. The impressive Jamieson had another great shot tipped round the upright and Butler, who had outclassed his opposition full back all game was unlucky not to see his attempt hit the back of the net. With 10 minutes left to play, Orpington broke GSG’s resolve and an exquisite through ball from Haden found Mogridge down the right flank who in turn crossed the ball hard and low to the feet of Turner, who finally broke his duck as he hammered the ball into the back of the net. A great team move and this time Orpington used it to carry them through to the end. Calm possession football and keeping of the ball in the opposition half was enough to finish the match as deserving winners.
On this type of performance, and with goals being scored from multiple sources, Orpington need to believe that they can pick up further points. Perhaps this will catapult them to a strong finish in their remaining matches, starting this weekend at home to Fulham Spartans.