This week saw us at Home in the return friendly fixture against Chingford. Very like minded in attitude towards the game and players its always a pleasure to play and see our visitors .
The biggest worry was a referee – coaches have to fill in for friendlies and with Mick pulling a sickie I was left scouring the pitches and minis coaches for a ref – no such luck ! Fortunately our League/Cup ref Roger was on call and managed to save the day .
And so to the game – our squad was bolstered by the DPP boys who had their training cancelled but we stuck with the plan to give game time to everyone as we have some tricky fixtures ahead.
West started well and were dominating possession and regularly made progress into the 22 but a series of missed passes, dropped passes and general misfortune somehow prevented us from scoring what should have been several tries. As is often the way in those types of games a turnover deep in the Ching half prompted the full back to run the entire length of the pitch and duly score – very much against the run of play. A couple of injuries in the forwards resulted in us having to call on Adam to leave the dressing room tactics session and get on the pitch ! He didn’t take long to make an impact when scoring and converting our equalising try.
HT Westcliff 7 Chingford 7
More of the same was the message at half time with the added exception of more accurate passes and a bit of patience. It seemed to do the trick when Owen went over for a deserved lead . West were now looking dominant and controlling the game . Some excellent play and phases from the forwards resulted in Ryan powering over for our second of the half. More tries looked on the cards and then……. it happened – I don’t know exactly what “it ” is but it definitely happened. For some unknown reason West stopped playing, stopped tackling and just lost all momentum in the game. Chingford to their credit took advantage and scored a try and despite some strong words it was only another 5 minutes before they scored again. The match was tied but Ching were looking the more likely to win it – to be fair they seemed content with a draw and when the last play broke down they were not disappointed.
FT Westcliff 17 Chingford 17
The game was played in an excellent spirit with both sets of players concerned when injuries occurred and dropping to 14 players when they arose – a real credit to both clubs and I only wish there were more of these clubs and players.
However the game was definitely there for the taking and with a commanding lead in the second half we should have gone on to win. But another lesson hopefully learned.
A run of tough fixtures coming up over the next 3 weeks which will certainly test the team.