THE MATCH REPORT RETURNS
AAH Romford 1-2 Chingford Harriers
On a cold December afternoon, the Harriers travelled to Hainault Recreation Ground to play AAH Romford in a potential early fight to avoid relegation. Both squads seemed to be slim on numbers, the Harriers bringing 12 players with half of them appearing to be hungover from numerous Christmas do's the night before. A couple of changes were made to the formation to plug the gaps, Daly coming into the starting line-up and Pereira dropping in to play centre midfield alongside Paul Shawyer.
The Harriers started the game at a rapid pace, holding onto possession well and pressuring AAH Romford's defence on numerous occasions. The opening goal came from a throw-in on the left hand side, Stone providing a headed flick-on to Paul Shawyer who elegantly lobbed the keeper from close range. Not long after, the Harriers had their second goal of the game, this time coming from a fluid counter-attacking move. The ball was moved out from the back to Pereira who fed Daly in down the left channel, Daly beat his man and provided a pinpoint cross for Jabbari to head past the opposing keeper. This will hopefully build up his confidence after a truly horrendous miss in last week's derby (I hope he can take this banter)!!!
AAH Romford got a goal back and used this lifeline to carry the momentum with them into the second half. Unfortunately for AAH Romford, Mannion produced a string of quality saves which can be likened to David de Gea's performance against Liverpool this weekend, even some of the opposition were asking if he was in fact England's number 1. As well as the Man of the Match performance from Mannion between the sticks, there was a solid display from the centre half pairing of Nick and Pete Shawyer. They defended like Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidić in their prime for Man United. Both full backs Birchnall and Harrison were also influential as they had outstanding games as the Harriers soaked up a sustained period of pressure for at least 30 minutes before the final whistle came.
Overall, it was a very impressive performance from the Harriers that showed real team spirit and character. It was a nice way to finish the first half of season in the newly formed Essex Alliance Premier Division, and long may performances like this continue!
Essex Alliance Football League Premier Division, Saturday 13th December 2014, Hainault Recreation Ground
(8th in the league) AAH Romford P10 W3 D2 L5
(11th in the league) Chingford Harriers P10 W2 D1 L7
Paul Shawyer (1)
Chingford Harriers 3-4 Cranes United
Essex Alliance Football League Premier Division, Saturday 8th November 2014, Parmiters
(8th in the league) Cranes United P5 W2 D1 L2
(9th in the league) Chingford Harriers P7 W2 D1 L4
On a windy miserable Saturday, the Harriers hosted Cranes United. Looking to bounce back from a 5-1 defeat last weekend, the Harriers started with a 4-4-2 formation. The biggest decision made before the match, that had an influence on the result, was Denton deciding to have Eghan’s pro plus tablets!
Although Cranes had lots of possession at the start of the match, the Harriers looked a potent threat, using the pace of Pereira and Jabbari doing an excellent job of holding the ball up to allow other players to join the attack. The defence looked reassured with centre back pairing N. Shawyer and Pete Shawyer winning the ball and full backs Birchnall and Harrison keeping Cranes’ lively wingers quiet. Both Ferdinandi and Denton were having a good game getting balls into the box and working hard up and down the wings. Later in the first half, Denton scored two goals to go in at half time level (2-2). The first goal was a superb strike into the top right hand corner after great link up play down the left hand-side with Birchnall. The second goal was after brilliant work from Pereira who beat the offside trap and a player to cross for Denton who showed great composure to slot it past the keeper.
In the second half, with pitch conditions deteriorating, the Harriers finally took the lead after fantastic work from Eghan, which led to the in-form Pereira crossing the ball for Stone to wrong foot the keeper and head the ball into the back of the net. Stone’s header was a technically fantastic goal as he readjusted his body and glided through the air like an eagle to meet the cross! Unfortunately, Cranes drew level to make it 3-3. With the final part of the match becoming an end-to-end encounter, the Harriers squandered plenty of chances and had a penalty shout turned down as N. Shawyer met the stretching arm of the Cranes keeper! In dramatic circumstances Cranes scored a last gasp goal in controversial style. A through ball from a Cranes player led to the linesman putting up the flag. However, the referee decided to ignore calls of the linesman to allow the player to advance towards goal. Pete Shawyer done well to catch up with the player but was unfortunate to see his last ditch challenge result in an own goal past Mannion.
The Harriers still piled pressure on Cranes as box-to-box midfield player Paul Shawyer, who put in a huge shift today, continued to break up Cranes attacks and start the Harriers attacks. Daley was very lively in the late stages and put some fantastic balls into the box too. However, the late surge was not enough to grab an equaliser as the referee blew for full time to leave the Harriers wondering how they lost the game. In the words of Roy Keane, when he was Sunderland manager “Losing to a last minute goal is f***** painful but it taught my team and myself a lesson and we learnt from it”. Although the Harriers lost the game, there were plenty of positives to take from the game and lessons that were learnt.
Match reports courtesy of A Eastick as of 08/11/2014.