Warning: This page is archived, the content has been transferred from a former version of our website, but has since not been touched. This may account for some pictures not appearing properly, or links from the article being broken.

CRANLEIGH  2   FELTONFLEET  1

 

Pretty patterns and attractive sequences of play lead some enthusiasts to refer to football as ‘the beautiful game’. However, for much of this match, striking, pretty patterns were absent. Instead there was effort, movement and industry – accompanied by Mr Halstead’s highly vocal attempts to conduct his orchestra from the touchline. The result was that his team eventually engineered several moments of exquisite artistry.

In the first half, Cranleigh were busy and showed some fine individual skills. Louis V was immediately involved in the action, with some positive clearances, incisive tackles and intelligent heading. On the left wing, Toby D demonstrated neat ball control, Archie R defended sensibly and Jonte M began to use his strength and power effectively; he even used his head purposefully. Cranleigh seemed to have most of the possession but their attacking patterns refused to be moulded into goals.

 Suddenly, and against the run of play, Freddie P had to make a fine diving save, low to his right. Soon after this, he did well to prevent a Feltonfleet score with a powerful punch – but the ball flew towards the clouds and landed, as luck would have it, conveniently near a Feltonfoot, which, alas, tapped the ball home. Cranleigh were losing.

Mr Halstead’s voice reached a new pitch, somewhere between a demand and despair. But his music worked: Jeff O suddenly began to make creative passes, Harvey hassled tirelessly at the spearhead of the attack, and George showed that he can stroke a football as sweetly as he strikes his cover drive. Patterns were evolving. Unfortunately, the busy midfielder, Louis H, damaged his knee. This, of course, was frustrating for him and meant that he was now seated on the touchline, uncomfortably close to the sound of Cranleigh’s clamouring coach.

At last, promising passing sequences were initiated. George R appeared in attack, linking well with his forwards, Will T managed to pester Feltonfleet feet and Jeff made some delightful passes into threatening spaces. Both he and George almost scored but it was a splendid combination of movement between Toby, Jeff and Harvey that led to the richly deserved equaliser.

Feltonfleet continued to fight hard and Freddie E covered reliably in defence when required. Eventually, Jeff delivered another excellent pass enabling Harvey to score the winning goal. It was a strong, workman-like performance. Mr Halstead admits that his stirring and musical voice was, indeed, ‘mezza forte’.  Mezza Forte? Surely, he plays for Barcelona?