Claydon FC

Claydon FC

So last week we played our final game following our return to Senior football, when we welcomed East Bergholt to the Circle. As emphasised in the pre-match team talk, there was certainly no consideration of our last game being of no significance, as we were focused on delivering one more decent performance as we pursued the last ‘Champions League’ spot. In addition, we were motivated to avenge the reverse we shared at Bergholt’s place and show them that performance was out of character from us. We made a couple of changes to our starting 11, bringing in Johnson and Mackie for the absent Gibson and Knock, with skipper Crane joining Webster, Mayes and young Gleed on the bench.

We were very pleased with our start, as we soon got into our passing game and worked a very hard working Bergholt team all across the pitch. We were creating various opportunities, particularly via the very impressive Johnson who was showing all his technical ability on the left-hand side, cutting through the Bergholt defence twice early doors, but unfortunately selecting the wrong final ball in the crucial moment. During a strong first half we created several chances to take the lead, with Cole and Woodhouse squandering chances presented to them. Finally, Cole made amends for his previous fluffs when he latched onto an excellent ball from Driver to race through and slide the ball expertly past the advancing keeper. Bergholt remained a threat, but didn’t seriously test Dixon first half with us coming in 1-0 up at HT. The second half was as entertaining as the first, with both sides playing some great football. Bergholt worked their way into the game and after a period of good pressure, they equalised when a well worked move culminated in a cross being converted emphatically for 1-1. However, as we’ve shown so often this season, we didn’t lie down or feel sorry for ourselves, upping our game to take control of the lion’s share of possession again. We went back into the lead when Johnson latched onto a fine through ball, before twisting and turning, prior to dinking a lush chip over the keeper for a deserving match winning goal. We had a couple of other chances to increase our lead, but a slightly rusty Webster was unable to convert his two late chances. However, all in attendance agreed that Johnson’s goal would be a fine goal to win the game, which proved to be the case, as the ref brought a decent game of football to an end, seeing us secure the points with a 2-1 win.

I was delighted with the attitude and commitment of our players, which alongside their obvious ability resulted in us taking the 3 points and finishing the season as one of the form teams. Bergholt played well and they are a very drilled team, but on the day, we were better. It was nice (for a change) to have a sensible discussion with an opposition manager (Griefy) who agreed with how the game panned out. There are some worthy mentions for us; Cole was again a constant menace to the opposition, creating several chances and persisting until he got his reward of another goal. Johnson played superbly well on his return to the starting 11, causing issues for the Bergholt defence all afternoon, before scoring a great goal. Parsons was very good and Woodhouse again enjoyed an excellent game, once more wearing the skipper’s armband and showing that he’s matured nicely (on and off the pitch) as a person and player. Dennington was again good with Moore so commanding next to him, but man of the match went to Blackman who was a rock (again) at the heart of the defence. Blackman has got stronger and stronger as this season has progressed and I’m as disappointed as he is that he remains our only defender who hasn’t been 7 day’d by the so called big boys in our league. I’m sure if he picks up next season where he’s left off this, it’ll only be a matter of time before he joins the 7 day’d club…

So, our season is over, and all in all it’s been a very good one. We will finish 4th or 5th in the league which is very respectable, given we’ve struggled with injuries, lost a couple of key players, fielded 3 sides and blooded several youngsters ahead of schedule. We have all worked hard (on and off the pitch) from the coaches, managers, players and volunteers to achieve what we have done across our Senior section this season. We are already focusing on next season, with the aim being to improve on this one. Thanks for taking the time to read my notes, I know they’re terribly biased and quite annoying on occasion. Well done to all of you who have achieved silverware this season, especially those of you who don’t pay. I have one more set of notes to write, which will follow our presentation evening next week (when I sober up). In the meantime, congratulations to all my fellow scribes for sticking with it and to all you players, take a moment to hug a clubman or clubwoman this weekend, because without them we will all just curl up and die.
KK

Club profile

Posted: Friday, May 3 2019 by Richard Kennedy

The views expressed in club/league notes are not necessarily those of Archant Suffolk

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