After a solid 10 game preseason we were raring to go in the league and we travelled to Charlwood Rec for the first game and we arrived to the site of a brand new clubhouse and a superb fresh pitch with the sun beating down on it. We started out in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Lewi slotting in alongside Rob Wigley ahead of the keeper Goddard and Rob Smith and Steve Pearce either side, Carroll and Lovell were the 2 holding midfielders with Mikey and Paul on the wings, Brockhurst in the 10 slot and Driver up top. It was a very even start with a lot of the game being played in the middle of the park and no real opportunities either end but the ref set the tone early and it was going to be a stop start game. Charlwood started to put some pressure though and a long ball over the top unfortunately bounced over Goddard and the striker nipped on to it and tapped into and open net. After that the game was quite stale with Charlwood having much the better chances with a lot of opportunities being squandered from set plays and Reigate struggled to provide anything dangerous. The half time whistle blew and we were still well in this game despite periods of Charlwood dominance and then the gaffer brought back himself at left back and Tulley came on for Mikey on the wing. We started with a lot of zest and desire and controlled the opening 10 minutes without managing to get the ball in the back of the net before against the run of play Charlwood scored a 2nd with a shot bobbling under Ricky to make it 2-0. We knew we didn't deserve this and the reintroduction of Mikey up top sparked even more life into the Reigate Hill side and he made an instant impact when a through ball from Carroll was latched onto by Mikey who tore past the last defender and slotted one past the keeper. The Reigate train was gathering pace at an intense rate and when Lewis had to come off injured big Jon Gillett came on and made an instant impact. The ball was played into Mikey on the edge of the box and he turned the defender inside out and laid the ball off to the incoming Gillett who with his first touch of the ball slotted it into the corner sparking absolute pandemonium among the Reigate team. We knew we could go on and win and unleashed another onslaught with Brockhurst heading home from Mikey but the goal was ruled out as the ball went over the byline. Despite every attempt from the Charlwood linesman to thwart us we did finally find the breakthrough when a throw landed at the feet of Carroll whose first shot deflected back to him before he rolled it past the keeper with his left and the wild celebrations ensued. We saw out the last minute and it turned out to be a fantastic start with a big 3 points on the board.
Gaffers Comments -
Boys!! What can I Say!! What a game to be a part of, 3-2 win. Starting the league with a win was so important and you have done exactly what I have asked for, we all know first half we were not at the races but I hope we can put that down to nerves and adrenaline! Going into half time still being well in the game was crucial. The second half performance was absolutely fantastic. As soon as we got the ball down and relaxed I knew we could get something out of the game and how we went about that was top draw!! Mentions to Matt Lewis who came in with no pre-season and looked solid at the back and it was great to have you back. Mikey Bradley to bounce back in the game and be great upfront when you came back on. Rob SMith was also solid at the back and you kept their left mid in your pocket all game. Who can forget Jon Gillett, what a way to introduce yourself to the game nug nug! My man of the match though has to be Jack Carroll, not just because he got the winner but he was excellent in midfield and his desire to win the game was clear for all to see and he got his just rewards. Lets not get ahead of ourselves though this is the first game of many! A great start to the season! Enjoy the rest of your weekend boys! Try and get to training Wednesday as there are still lots we can work on to make us stronger moving forward in the season.