Wapping M9 v Saffron Walden M4 (a)
"looking to cause mischief" by Jon 'J Lo' Lowe
Another Saturday, another game day. This time the M9s found themselves away at Saffron Walden on a crisp February afternoon, with their places secure in the league and now just looking to cause mischief against those seeking promotion... Spoiler alert, that didn't happen.
The game began and maybe the heaters were on a bit too high in the cars as Wapping were sluggish from the first whistle. I think everyone will agree with me that every player from Wapping seemed to be slightly off the pace, not getting to 50/50 balls, missing passes and making some silly mistakes. After a bit of a shambles for 20 minutes we found ourselves 3-0 down.
The rest of that half we actually finally started to wake up. Controlling the ball a bit more and finding a white shirt to pass to. Tim Alexander was putting in a shift as usual, but became an increasingly frustrated figure in the middle as constant fouls on him started to reveal that even the BFG has a dark side.
In the second half we finally looked like a side that had arrived, but not before Saffron Walden bagged a fourth. Nathan Ellisdon, after finally recovering from his stag/gaining permission from the missus to play, put in a blinder. Stepping into the forward sweeper role, he acted as great pivot and helped the others to control the midfield and allow Wapping to push higher up.
Wapping eventually got off the mark through that man again, Alex Newman in the right place at the right time to tap in and extend his lead as M9s top goalscorer. Wapping then got another through Tim Alexander, but not without the assistance of VAR (and one honest SW player) confirming that the ball had gone through the net and out the other side.
Realising that they could play hockey, Wapping continued to push forward, winning their first and only short corner of the game. With Alex Newman set to inject, the Wapping boys circled at the top of the D in anticipation. And they continued to wait... disaster! Newman fluffed his lines and proceeded to stand in front of the ball, about two yards in front of where he injected from, arms out to block the oppo defenders reaching it, shouting "I can't touch it, I can't touch it". An opportunity missed, but there was still time left in the game.
Another golden opportunity came the M9s way as Richard Parsons broke free from all defenders for a run at goal. With Matt Wheeler making it to the back post, Rich decided he would go for glory, and not for the first time this season his decision making was called into question. Firing the ball across the keeper, the ball was wide of the post, and unfortunately also out of reach of the captain waiting at the back post. Another chance gone.
Wapping continued to press, but couldn't get anything further, and the match finished 4-2 to Saffron Walden. On the balance a fair result, and a reminder to Wapping that if you want to win games you have to turn up for a full 70 minutes.
MOM went to Nathan Ellisdon for superbly stepping up to DCM (a new found role perhaps?). DOD to Alex Newman for his failure to deliver.