Great display not quite enough to break down Rangers
Lady luck definitely wasn't on our side on Saturday as Ocean Rangers held on to restrict Falcons to a 1-1 draw.
It's safe to say that March wasn't a great month for us. A number of injuries, illness and absences have broken up a relatively stable team and, perhaps with the end of the season in sight, performances haven't quite reached the levels of intensity we've set for ourselves.
Saturday's game was a chance to claim fourth place and a top-half finish. Only a win would do and so it was great to see Ed and Will both return from ankle injuries while there were also returns for captain Jimmy and goalkeeper Conal.
The first 20 minutes were fairly scrappy with Falcons edging the possession and territory and creating a couple of half-chances. Then, with their only chance of the first half, a Rangers striker was the beneficiary of a couple of ricochets landing his way and the away team took the lead.
There were a couple of chances to equalise but we went into the break 1-0 down. Despite that, the team talk was positive, reflecting on Falcons winning headers and tackles all over the pitch and everyone being told to keep going as they were.
Fortunately, the equaliser didn't take long to come although there was a stroke of fortune about it as a free kick from the left deflected off a defender and left the visiting goalkeeper helpless to stop the ball going in the net for 1-1.
The remainder of the game was the most one-sided half of football which we've played in all season and the opposition goal led a charmed life as we hit the bar, the post, sent several shots over or wide and missed a couple of headers which would have gone in on another day. Unfortunately, it wasn't our day and the reaction from Rangers at the final whistle told its own story with their pride at holding us off.
The result means, with one game left, Falcons will finish fifth in our first season in the Wimbledon and District Football League. While disappointing not to grab fourth, it's a terrific achievement and we've certainly come a long, long way since our thrashing on the opening day of the league campaign. We've attracted a great group of guys over the past twelve months who have all come to work hard, play good football and enjoy hanging out together and that has paid dividends. Post-match, we headed to CMYK Bar in Wimbledon for one or two (dozen) drinks into the early hours!
Our final league game is at home to Kew Antigua next Saturday.