As I remember it, Haslemere arrived as table toppers, with memories of two wins from last season, and with Brent in their ranks. So even with Kuhle missing, it was never going to be a light and fluffy game.
The match duly started at a cracking pace, with stern competition for the ball all around the park, and an early chance for Nigel, who after rounding the keeper, gently taps it against the post, allowing Haslemere to clear. After that, we controlled and moved the ball well, while the defence, with George in full support, dealing with the breaks from a strong Haslemere midfield. So with chances hard to come by, the Gondoliers remembered the words of tactician Toby, and settled for some short corners, which led to the first goal, with the ball slipped right to Jon who fired it home.
Half time, and in Windsor-Lewis’s words, a lot of hard work for just 1-0. With an absence of any new tactics for the second half, we proceeded to make the ball do the work, as Haslemere appeared to tire. With a quick ball from the right, Nigel managed to evade Brent enough to add a second goal. And with Toby playing high, and Mike Kefford enjoying himself in the right channel, we saw the Gondoliers moving the ball widely around the pitch. With Haslemere resorting to long balls forward or solitary attacks, our defence commanded their end of the pitch. With the Gondoliers applying most of the pressure, further chances followed, with Nigel adding the third from a short corner, and Matt finishing for the best goal of the game.
A cracking, competitive game, played in good spirits all the way, even into the home dressing room, with Brent still shadowing Nigel for every step of the afternoon.