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Away to West Essex Reserves

The Vets had an away day at the only other unbeaten team in the division West Essex Reserves.  We knew it would be different challenge on a small sloping pitch. Confidence was high as despite not hitting top gear this season the Vets were looking to make it four out of four. Once again there were a few changes to the starting eleven due to injury. Tony Graves starting on left side of midfield and Trevor Burton playing at right back with Sean Windeatt moving centre half.

Playing down the slope we dominated the first five minutes and created a couple of early half chances but from goal kick we were caught with some sloppy play allowing West Essex to take the lead with a simple ball over the top 0-1. To make matters worse Hilary tweaked his hamstring attempting to rescue the situation which meant an early change. Steve Hunter came on to join the back four. Playing our passing game was proving difficult on the small pitch as West Essex were playing a spoiling game and seemed more determined in the challenge. Martin Treadway put us back in the game with an equaliser but more sloppy marking this time from a throw in allowed West Essex a simple second goal. ..this was closely followed by third when an unchallenged run from the midfield resulted in a great shot from 25 yards which hit the cross bar only to be followed in by the same player!! On the positive side we were still looking dangerous as an attacking force as had managed score in between our 3 poor bits of play. We were handed a lifeline when a great run down the right hand side by Trevor Burton who unselfishly pulled the ball back for Taju to make it 2-3 at the interval.

Some harsh words from Barry at half time which focused on players playing the manager said! The message must have been received as from the start of the second half we at least found second gear. A change to the formation as well with Kevin Whitworth moving to the back and Steve Hunter pushing into midfield. The shape of the team looked better and we started to dominate. We created a host of chances before finally getting the equaliser with a good finish from Taju and we edged in front with Taju tapping in from close range. We did seem to take our foot of the gas and as West Essex pushed players forward, one great save from Gary Doodes and some resolute defending ensured that somehow we had got ourselves out of jail and maintained our fine start to the season.


The silence in the dressing room after the game shows how disappointed the players were with the performance but I think upon reflection to come back from 3-1 down when not playing well is a very positive sign. A three week break from the league - let’s hope when we come back we can find gears 4 & 5!

Report Sean Windeatt


Gary Doodes(Capt),Sean Windeatt, Trevor Burton, Halil Hassan, Hilary Frances, Kevin Whitworth, Paul Obinkwo, Suhail Butt, Martin Treadway, Taju Oyedeji, Tony Graves,  Subs, Bill Howard, Darren Foss, Steve Hunter