OT’s came into the match full of confidence off the back of 2 back to back wins and clean sheets. They hosted a much improved Old Wokingians side, one which they had played in the week prior in the cup, and confidently dispatched 3-0.
Starting in a familiar 4-3-3 formation, OT’s began slower than the prior 2 games, and failed to dominate the midfield like they had previously.
In what was a scrappy opening period, both teams were playing territorially with OT’s having the better chances despite Old Wokingians showing more quality in possession and having more of the ball.
20 minutes into the game No Nonsense Noel Dalton was booked for a tackle outside the box, Old Wokingians took full advantage of the set piece with their centre half rising highest and heading in from 8 yards out.
Conceding so early sparked OT’s into life, Jarvo started seeing more of the ball and won us a free kick that he nearly converted from at the edge of the box. At this point, the nervous full back received a pen off the tricky winger.
“Whats this for” he sheepishly asked.
“Start taking notes son, this is an education”
It was all downhill for the defender from there.
The next 10 minutes OT’s got the ball down, moved it quicker and controlled the game. Old Wokingians were camped inside their own half.
OT’s went close again with a header from Deji which was inches away from the back post. Hodges should have been standing here, however, he was bench pressing a stationary centre half, thus ensuring the continuous longevity and protection of his 3500 grafts of hair from further damage.
It’s pretty windy in SW15, fact.
The breakthrough finally came after a decent spell of possession the ball fell to ex Brighton Academy Ace Neil on the edge of the box who easily beat his man and threaded Hodges into the 18 yard box. He cut the ball back to a screaming Pinney, who did his best take off the keepers nut with his strike, the rebound was followed up by a sliding Boro, who finished from 2 yards.
That’s 2 in 2 games for the self-proclaimed versatile big man, who has already claimed he wants a run out up top. I quote “It’s easy playing up top Hodgey, I can play anywhere me, but up top is dead easy. It’s just like playing centre mid , but, 20 yards higher up the pitch.” – Sure Boro, whatever you say friend.
OT’s had the better of the rest of the half, still winning most of their individual battles.
2 Changes at half time saw Josh and Craig introduced on the flanks with Jarvo dropping into midfield.
We started this half better, and were by far the greater team in possession. The pace of Josh was helping stretch the game. He got fouled countless times but wasn’t getting any luck with decisions. Despite it being a warm afternoon, the ref must have been cold; he spent the duration of the 2nd half with his hands in his pockets.
Old Wokingians were resorting to long balls and playing the territories.
After some handy work from a Josh/Jarvo combination down the left, the ball found its way to Hodges is the box, who battled away to keep possession.
Without an obvious option to cross too, he was pretty surprised to see that Chris Weir had ventured to the edge of the box . He layed the ball off to Chris who without hesitation opened up his body and bent a beautiful curler into the bottom corner from around 20 yards, his first goal in 7 years. Jubilation followed , as the OT’s squad assaulted Weiry in a huddle. Hodges got injured in the celebration, fortunately, it wasn’t a bitten ear, a minor miracle.
The game was then further stretched as Old Wokingians had to chase, however, at no point were the excellent back 4 put under significant amounts of pressure.
A further goal came in the last 15 as good play from Craig down the left resulted in a corner. A fantastic delivery from Jarvo was met by an on rushing Pinney, who made no mistake and smashed the ball home from close range.
3-1 OT’s and they were comfortable.
The scoreline could have been arguably more as OT’s continued to create chances in the final third for the last 10 minutes.
Old Wokingians were getting frustrated, and in similar fashion to last week their keeper was shouting abuse at everyone which was a sour touch to what was a relatively fair spirited game.
Final score 3-1 – That’s only one goal conceded in 270 minutes of football, and plenty of positive signs from the chances created in these past 3 games too.
OT’s march on.
Match report by Marc Hodges