Saturday February 11th, 2017
HPFL Senior Division
Paulsgrove 2, Common 1
Danny Barker's Common undeservedly tasted defeat on Saturday for the first time since December 3rd.
Paulsgrove started the stronger and
their rapid breaks had Common's defensive four - Hanry Bragginton, Ben Mackay,
Dan Hansford and Henry Rule on the back
foot but any early threat was dealt with
capably the ever-reliable Ben Goble, Common's custodian.
A few 'unsavoury' tackles went unpunished
by a lenient referee but, by and large,
the foul and abusive language was kept to
a minimum as two sides sought to take
the upper hand.
For a short while the home side
were again in the ascendancy but,
despite a couple of defensive slips,
Common were relatively comfortable
with, once again, Ben Goble
mopping up the 'spills'.
With Darryl Phillips unavailable
Sam Crabbe stepped into the starting XI
while Ben Thomson swapped last weeks
place on the bench with the exciting
Omar Al Haziazi. While managers and Club always advocate being 'good losers'
the manner of this defeat left a nasty taste which was not the fault of either side.
Matt Austin was proving a thorn for Paulsgrove and he prompted several good moves down Common's right flank which would see Ryan Lambert collect the ball, hold it up and then look to release any runners, usually Sam Crabbe.
However, an uncompromising defence held sway until some ten minutes from the break. Another Common surge saw Bragginton feed Austin who, in turn found Lambert; the ball was played into the home sides box and Sam Crabbe somehow beat three players coming back from the by-line and with his back to goal passed to Ben Thomson on the left side of the goal. Ben stepped past a defender and then chipped the goalkeeper and onto the.... far post. The ball bounced back along the goalline before being cleared by Paulsgrove.
Common through Alex Brady, Dave Egerton, Matt Austin and Ben Thomson then gained a measure of control and looked to provide both Sam Crabbe and Ryan Lambert. However, the final ball was lacking and the home side were relatively comfortable.
On 15 minutes a long ball from Paulsgrove's back line had Common trying to recover and Dan Hansford collected the ball to seemingly end the danger. However the Groves Harry Griffen took the ball off Dan's toes and strode forward to finish with aplomb.
Half Time 1-0
Ben Thomson clears the danger
The second period provided much the same as the first with rapier-like thrusts provided by both sets of forwards fed from either long balls (Paulsgrove) or through the side (Common).
Common's back four had settled into a strong unit but the midfield battle was nip-and-tuck.
Chances were few and neither goalkeeper was troubled until the 60th-minute.
Paulsgrove's custodian cleared the ball and it fell to DAVE EGERTON
who, from the centre-circle looked up and returned the ball with interest as it sailed beyond the fraught home custodian and into the net. 1-1.
Brilliant vision, amazing strike. The visitors now held the upper hand as Paulsgrove were obviously deflated but strong defending at both ends was the order of the day. I can only recall once glaring opportunity from either side and it was Common who had cause to rue a missed opportunity from Ryan Lambert.
Dave Egerton attempts to find Will Gange (12) or Matt unsuccessfully
Scott Challis and Alex Simmons all came on for Common but the game was seemingly destined for a draw UNTIL the most ridiculous refereeing decision served to take a point and an unbeaten run away from the visitors.
With just five minutes remaining a Paulsgrove forward shot from the edge of the 18-yard box - with the referee behind him - and the ball travelled through players before taking a wicked bounce in front of our goalkeeper as he dived. However, although Ben Goble fumbled the shot he managed to claw the ball away before it crossed the line. The referee - 20 yards out and directly in front of goal - gave a goal......despite the fact he had no idea (in my opinion) whether the ball had actually crossed the line. He did NOT consult the club linesman
During the Common protests Henry Bragginton
[RIGHT] was shown a straight red!!!
Full Time: Paulsgrove 2, Common 1
Although obviously disappointed Danny was very philosophical about the loss and urged his players to remember the positives and take them into our next game away at Clanfield on February 25th.
Secretary Colden Common FC