Magnets 1 - 1 Old Cranleighans Hamstrings (H)
By Mark Waller
Recent editions of this much-anticipated derby match have been close-fought but unpleasant and niggly affairs. Apart from the occasional contretemps, this game was played in a much healthier spirit which created the right conditions for a tight and competitive match between two well-matched teams of contrasting styles. Even Denton seemed much better behaved this week and we hope he had a more enjoyable experience as a result.
OCs were typically well-organised and their basics were better, enabling them to play their quick passing game without being troubled too much by us. Once more the Magnets were a little sluggish and unable to settle into a coherent rhythm. And, as in recent league games, we conceded a soft goal early on; a cross from an acute angle deceived everyone and somehow ended up between the posts.
For much of the second half the game followed the same pattern as the first with genuine chances being few and far between. But, as the game entered the final quarter the Magnets showed renewed determination and started to press higher creating good attacking moves. OCs seemed to be tiring but one could sense their own determination to take the three points. They held out until the final minute when a pass found Waldo at the top of the circle. Playing the ball off the foot of his marker he was able to strike the ball inside the post to ensure a share of the spoils. As one of our number said, it felt like a win, but on balance this was probably a fair result from an enjoyable match.
From a Magnets perspective, some of the play in the final quarter was much more like the form we showed in the first half of the season. Now, after our only loss of the season (against Reading in a match we dominated) and two draws (against Guildford and OCs), it is time to get back to winning ways next week when we take on Sunbury & Walton in the hope of extending our lead at the top of the table.
Many thanks to Ray and Powders for umpiring. Tempers were a little frayed at times, as one might expect in a close derby game played (and umpired) by grumpy old men, but never descended to the ugly levels of previous fixtures. Thanks also to Fitchy for helping us out on one of his rare outings with the Magnets.