12/08/14 The Wells v Lingfield
SCEFL: The Wells 2-0 Lingfield
We’re the tree preservation society!
There can’t be many better feelings than turning out to support YOUR club in their first home game of a new season. The click of the turnstiles, a buzz of excitement, and jovial banter as familiar faces share their expectations for the season ahead. After a cracking dress rehearsal on Saturday, running out worthy winners at Cray Valley, this was a first opportunity for many of the ‘royal and loyal’ to see the new team in a competitive fixture. Oh, and it was a Tuesday night. This meant that at some point the floodlights were likely to illuminate the Culverden and we wondered if the players could too.
Situated just 14.7 miles from the Culverden, Lingfield are the 3rd ‘derby’ and having joined the SCEFL from the Sussex County League this season were a relative unknown to many of us. We knew they’d been hammered 8-1 in front of 29 fans at Holmesdale on Saturday, so arrived with a degree of confidence and not expecting an excessive queue at the Lock and Load bar.
It very quickly became apparent that a serious gulf in quality (and humour) exists between our clubs and just 28 seconds into the first half their keeper had the chirpy smile wiped from his face. The ball broke free and inevitably it fell to Cass of the Culverden. Brendon promptly controlled, spun, and then poked it past the advancing keeper. Time seemed to stand still as we waited to celebrate the 3rd fastest goal ever scored at the Culverden and with it Brendon’s 5th goal in 3 games. Cass! Ah, haaaaa. What a start!
During the next 15 minutes The Wells could have bagged 4 or 5 more as the ball was zipped around the royal turf. Danny Powell was full of running and his constant trickery piled on the pressure, ensuring The Wells corner count kept increasing. This gave the South Stand Choir the chance to see more of another new signing ‘Herr Nick’ Davis. Nick joined The Wells having finished a stint as player-manager at Sittingbourne. He brings a wealth of experience and over the last 2 or 3 games has shown tremendous quality and desire with goal saving tackles and combative headers; he’s going to make us very difficult to beat this year.
|#herrnick||#motm # dannyboy|
Eventually the Lingfield players managed to string a pass together and began to settle. The same could not be said for their agitated reserve ‘manager’, whose shaggy mane and considerable girth gave him more than a passing resemblance to the comedian Micky Flanagan. However this chap was far from amusing and seemed resigned to gesticulating wildly whilst wailing for the ‘reeeefffffffffffffff’. ‘Micky’ was backed up by their gaffer who deemed it acceptable to serve his touchline ban stood right next to the dugout. Much like his yesteryear name, ‘Dixie’ Dean was allegedly serving his ban for sharing some outdated thoughts with a match official, and there was more to follow.
As half time approached The Wells conceded a little more possession, but never really looked threatened as the Lingfield strikers adopted a shoot on sight policy. At one point it looked like we might have to take out a tree preservation order as North Stand Oak took the brunt of their wayward shooting. Eventually the whistle blew and we headed to the pubhouse, full of optimism that we could extend a very comfortable 1-0 lead in the second half.
The second half started with The Wells shooting toward the north stand, which provided an opportunity for the South Stand Choir to lend some verbal support for those misfiring Lingfield strikers. Despite coming out early for the second period they hadn’t taken the opportunity to work on their range and soon we were ducking and laughing at their increasingly speculative pot shots. Thankfully the Wizard was on hand to bring some order to the evening. He picked up the ball on the edge of their area, and having galloped across the 18 yard line sent a curling right foot shot past the Lingfield ‘thoroughbred’ who had forgotten to bolt his stable door. The South Stand erupted, Micky waved his hands and Dixie went berserk. It was now 2-0 and effectively game over.
Other than a few amusing exchanges between the Lingfield captain and the South Stand Choir, which inevitably lead to his substitution, the game drifted toward full time and 3 more points for The Wells. The only other notable event was watching Dixie silently sneak past the South Stand toward the dressing rooms, presumably he was thinking about some positive and inspiring words to lift his inexperienced team who’d at least given it a go in their ‘cup final’.
We’ll never know what was said in the dressing room, but the post-match interview was hilarious as Dixie likened The Wells to Wimbledon! Perhaps he was referring to Wembley finals, a Crazy Gang mentality or just an ability to win when it matters. This was a comfortable Tuesday night stroll for The Wells and long may it continue.
The Wells (starting XI):
Lawrence, Bourne, Benner, Davis, Bryant; Barnes, Beecroft, Parsons, Lacy; Powell, Cass
The Wells goal scorers:
Cass & Beecroft
Man of the Match (voted via www.tunbridgewellsfc.com)
Danny Powell (37% of the vote)
South Stand Choir attendance:
South Stand Choir… we are the 12th man!