OTFC IIIs 2-2 Dorkinians IVs

OTFC IIIs were back in action on Saturday. Following the disappointment of a flooded Grist’s the previous Saturday and some frustrating losses since Christmas the side were keen to earn some points for OTFC. The starting 11 were Andy Johnston in goal, a defence of Dan Hogg, Steve Newby, George Mitchell and Gary Brant. The Midfield was Ciarán Morris, Baptiste Reynaud, Jamie Cobb and Matt Power. Aaron Langford and Dominic Lundie led the attack, Lundie was so keen to secure a starting place (and perhaps slightly unsure of Dorking’s location) he turned up three hours before kick off. On the bench were Thishi Surendranathan (welcome back), a be-snooded Guillermo Guimera and Ben Brearley.

Tiffs looked busy in the opening exchanges, Brant working well with Power down the right and a couple of dangerous balls into the opposition area boding well for our approach play throughout the game. However the opposition’s first corner of the game saw one of their players unmarked on the six-yard box and able to open the scoring with relative ease.

The wind was against us and we started to be pegged back into our half. Johnston was called on when the Dorking captain was put through one on one and the OTFC keeper made a superb save to keep the score at 1-0, shortly afterwards Mitchell had to show testicular fortitude to block a shot on goal. Reynaud started to take control of the midfield and set Langford through but his cross-shot was wide and Guimera couldn’t get on the end of it. Another cross just eluded Lundie, who caused the opposition problems throughout the game. Another series of Dorking corners caused us problems, but ended when a goal was disallowed for a push on Johnston.

At half time we knew we could play better in the second half, a view confirmed pretty swiftly by our equaliser a few minutes after resuming. Brearley making his presence felt with a brave header, then Reynaud finding Morris, who played the ball over the defence for Langford to run onto and lift the ball over the keeper into the net.

The next five minutes saw waves of mauve attacks and real sense of belief that we were about to take the lead. However, as before, we found ourselves behind. A corner wasn’t cleared fully and was headed back into the six-yard box for a Dorking player to slot home and leave us behind again. A quick response saw Brearley and Morris string together some seemingly inspired quick inter passing in the area and just fail to generate a clear chance, though the impression was somewhat spoiled when they each apologised for kicking the ball into the other one.

We weren’t behind for long though, reacting well to falling behind with some good possession football and vice-captain Power driving past a couple of opposition midfielders and scoring with a 30-yard drive.

The game opened and for the remaining 30 minutes there were end-to-end attacks, Dan Hogg seemingly attempting a backflip when trying to make a tackle and also nearly scoring a half-volley from just inside the area. There was still time for Johnston to take a knock to the head when making a good save and Langford outfoxing the defence and playing a teasing ball across goal.

The game finished shortly afterwards though, OTFC IIIs stopping the rot with their first point in quite a few weeks and the entire team put in a good shift, especially in the second half. Matt Power winning MOTM for his all action, multi-positional performance.