Match Report -

Match Report - , by Roger Allen

Team Solent v Christchurch 26/01/19

Team Solent 2 Christchurch 0

THIS was probably the worst day in terms of the weather for watching football this season to date – a strong wind blowing down the pitch drizzle, strengthened by the wind into peoples faces and temperatures surely below what had been optimistically forecast by those in the know.

The game got off to the worse possible start with a stoppage for injury within the first ninety seconds as two players going for the ball near the touchline crashed in to the advertising barrier. After a seven or eight minute stoppage home full back Luke Bennett left the field on a stretcher with what was understood to be a badly gashed leg and all present will wish him a speedy recovery. Team Solent included Jesse Waller-Lassen in their ranks for only the third time this season and he quickly combined with Hisham Kasimu to win a corner from which Ethan Taylor’s header landed on the roof of the net.

Solent had the wind in their favour and forced three more corners in a short space of time with the third, after twelve minutes, leading to the opening goal. The corner, swung in wind assisted from the left, came off the base of the far post, was only partially cleared and TAYLOR’s shot through a crowded area found the bottom corner. Christchurch’s Josh Kirkham posed a constant threat but it was the home side who came closest to another goal when a clever flick from Waller-Lassen was cleared off the line.

The wind was causing different problems in that Christchurch had difficulty on occasions getting the ball out of their half whilst through balls aimed for Kasimu simply sailed on to be easily collected by goalkeeper Frampton. Taylor and Kasimu both had shots blocked and when a clever pass from Ryan Penny sent Taylor clear Frampton blocked the young striker’s effort with his legs. Christchurch finished the half the stronger with Kirkham firing a shot in to keeper Landor’s midriff, Ashley Pope being too high and then finding the side netting and Londors making a superb reflex save to deny Max Wilcock. The best chance then fell to Wilcock, all alone and some eight yards out, but the shot was rather scuffed straight at the keeper. So just one goal to Solent and the wind against them in the second half. HT 1-0

Frampton was quickly in action on the re-start, parrying a fierce Waller-Lassen free kick and the same player was then crowded out at the expense of a corner before Solent doubled their advantage with just nine minutes on the clock. Taylor’s through ball found KASIMU on the shoulder of the last defender and his pace and control took him clear and round Frampton before rolling the ball in to the empty net.

At the other end Pope shaved the angle of post and bar and was not too far wide with another effort. A low Waller-Lassen cross caused a scramble in the visitors six yard box before Kirkham sent Pope away with the advancing Londors saving with his legs. Christchurch shuffled the pack with three substitutions and Kasimu outmuscled two defenders before firing across the face of goal but overall the wind was winning. One free kick from the right touchline went out of play on the far touchline some fifteen yards further back from where it was taken. Another Kasimu effort was well saved by Frampton as. despite having the wind in their favour, Christchurch could not find the breakthrough with the Solent defence holding their line on the edge of the area and the visitors’ woes were summed up by a skidding free kick from the right that was missed by all present in the area and went for a throw on the other flank. Kasimu then, in racing parlance, fell when well placed before with the clock very close to the hour mark the referee’s whistle signified the end of the game and it almost immediately stopped raining !

On the day it was a fair result and credit to all, players and officials alike, for providing an entertaining game in difficult conditions. One point however made with respect and from a personal and spectator viewpoint. The game was played on a pitch totally devoid of any surface water and most of the players did not even get their knees dirty – yet the Match Officials expressed concern beforehand about playing the game. We are talking about pitches in the Sydenhams Premier Division – NOT the Premiership. FT 2-0 (John Gorman)