The Chequer threw away the chance to go joint top with
Goring Thistle on Sunday despite leading 3-0 with 20 minutes
to go. Chequer are masters of the late second half collapse
and true to form they left with no points when three easy,
if undeserved, points had seemed more likely.
Our first goal arrived after half an
hour - a clearance by goalkeeper David Kennett was chased
by hard working Aaron Comber, who scored a fantastic left
footed finish from just inside the 18 yard area. This
was quickly followed by a left foot half volley from Lewis
Partridge, and a third goal by Si Price, when for once
he wasn't fouled. The first 2 goals came in quick succession
and against the run of play, Chequer finding it hard to
pass the ball around on a terrible, boggy pitch, and Ajax
could consider themselves very unfortunate to be three
down at half time.
The game changed largely due the withdrawal
of left back Gareth Dutton with a groin injury. Substitute
Jonathan Wood got exposed as early as his second minute
filling in when a clear hack at an opponents ankles should
have seen Ajax awarded a penalty.
In the second half our midfield seemed
to stop playing and Ajax were given too much room in the
centre of the park. Combined with a weakness at left back
Ajax began to look threatening. We were still leading
3-0 with 20 minutes to go when Ajax's first goal came.
Jonathan Wood's attempted back-pass fell short for an
Ajax forward to stab home from 6 yards. He was getting
caught out of position, so Tom Pickford was switched to
left back (a position he has filled at county level) in
the hope of strengthening the back four. It didn't work
though because a hung-over Tom, and several other players
who thought the game was won stopped playing. Ajax went
on to score three more, all created from the right wing,
including a winner with a minute to go as the Chequer
Midfield stood and watched Ajax attack and didn't bother
to chase back.
All credit to Ajax, they never gave up,
showed determination and self-belief, even when they should
have been dead and buried. If we had had 50% of their
character this game would have been sown up at half time.
Certain players should be ashamed of
their atrocious attitude and effort today. We could have
gone joint top, even only if because we have played more
games than anyone else, 5 points clear of Ajax - instead
we are now a point behind in third. This is a team game
and it thoroughly pisses me off to see two or three players
not try when their team-mates are giving their all.
A special mention must go to Sean Hourigan,
who once again was outstanding at centre-half. This is
already his fourth man of the match award and he for one
didn't deserve to be on the losing side today.
(Jonathan Wood 40)
Jonathan Wood (40)