Canterbury Walking Football
Dover v Canterbury City
Monday March 9th at Woodnesborough FC.
Canterbury City’s over-60s walking football team recorded a fine victory over a strong Dover side in a match played in appalling weather conditions. Dover had agreed that we could field up to two under-60s at any one time but, such was the performance Lance in his first game in charge as our Manager, did not play!
We set up initially with Ian furthest forward, a strong midfield of Steve E, Rupert and Dave T, Steve M and Dave R providing a solid base at the back, and Jan in goal. The expected Dover dominance did not materialise, as our back two stood firm with great positional play, excellent anticipation and distribution. Our midfield combined hard work with much skill to starve Dover of possession and linked brilliantly between front and back. Ian’s movement allowed the midfielders space and time to move alongside him and we were rewarded with a fine goal from Rupert.
Cedric came on for Ian with ten minutes of the first half to play and slotted into the role perfectly. Indeed, he was very unlucky to see a fine shot well saved by the Dover ‘keeper. In our goal, Jan did well to keep his concentration with some fine saves, and his distribution provided a mainspring for attack.
Unfortunately, with just seconds to go in the first half, Dover managed to breach our defence and levelled the score.
The second half was more open, but we continued as before and substitutions were no hindrance as everyone played their part. Our second goal came after Steve M had executed one of his trademark marauding runs forward and found himself wide on the Dover goal line. His strong shot from an acute angle deceived the Dover keeper and we were 2-1 up.
The astute play of Steve E and Rupert’s relentless press on the ball maintained their stranglehold on midfield, whilst Dave T, on the right wing, cleverly created space for himself to receive the ball and launch attacks.
Our defence remained firm with Dave R making a crucial block when Dover seemed through on goal and Steve M’s fine tactical nous kept us on the front foot. Up front, Cedric was again foiled by the keeper’s last ditch save with his legs.
Ian was rewarded with a great goal into the top corner, but Dover came back and scored with deflected goal of dubious legality. (Running!) With the ref saying there was just a minute left to play, we thought we had played out the game safely, but he had his own version of ‘Fergie Time’ and we had another couple of minutes! They were successfully negotiated, however, and we had won a very enjoyable game played in the right spirit.
This was, by far, our best performance in an over-60 game and the encouragement and promptings of our new management/coaching team of Lance and Dave R are already having an effect. There was much more communication and movement, both of which have been sadly lacking in the past, especially in our Friday sessions. There is, of course, more to be done but we adapted very quickly to playing on an excellent 3G surface and without a cage, so our move to Kent University for the summer and more coaching can only be of benefit.
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