AP: Appearances - SA: Sub Appearances - GO: Goals
Friendlies not included.
|13/08/16||Robertsbridge United I||Friendly||L||1-4||Pettit|
|20/08/16||Hastings Rangers||Friendly||W||5-2||Simpson (3), Crouch, Waite|
|24/09/16||Wadhurst United||ES1||L||3-2||Freke, Pettit|
|08/10/16||Little Common II||ES1||L||1-0||-|
|05/11/16||Little Common II||ES1||D||1-1||Tidmarsh|
|12/11/16||The JC Tackleway||ES1||L||3-1||Tidmarsh|
|17/12/16||The JC Tackleway||ES1||L||0-6||-|
|11/02/17||Crowhurst||ES1||W||4-5||Auguarde, Tidmarsh (2), Smith, Waite|
|18/02/17||Icklesham Casuals||ES1||W||4-1||Bates, Pettit, Waite (2)|
|04/03/17||Herstmonceux||ES1||W||8-2||Novis (4), Pettit, Tidmarsh (3)|
|11/03/17||Wadhurst United||ES1||D||3-3||Novis (2), Smith|
Home matches in bold.
ES1: East Sussex Football League Division One - RIC: Robertsbridge Intermediate Cup - PTC: Premier Travel Cup (Prem & Div 1)
After conceding in such a disappointing manner the previous week, Mountfield looked to bounce back and end the season on a positive, but were faced with strong looking opponents hopeful of finishing within the top two. Not forgetting the cold and blustery conditions down Bulverhythe, despite the rest of the area enjoying a somewhat mild day, a bobbly pitch thanks to Hastings Borough Council's maintenance and a handful of players missing, including Nick Severino who allegedly chose to go to a baby shower than play football. Despite this, we still fielded a strong starting XI including James Crouch in unfamiliar territory up front, Leon "James Milner" Pettit moving into midfield to replace Nick "I'd rather talk about babies and makeup" Severino, with Nicky Crew coming in at right back.
As soon as the match started it was clear we were in for a scrappy game, the pitch played a factor in some wayward passing and inablity to get the ball out of feet from both sides. Chances created were few and far between, with Bexhill having more attempts on goal, particularly from decent crosses into the box which they were unable to head on target. After a while Mountfield started looking more comfortable soaking up the direct balls up field from Bexhill, but were unable to really pull off any moves going forward and the rare moment the lads looked good for a counter attack, the move would either fizz out or a mistake would lead to Bexhill gaining possession again. James Crouch worked hard up front, but it was always a huge task against the Bexhill centre backs including their skipper, ex Hastings United man Rhys Whybourne.
The second half started just as pretty much the first half had panned out, with Bexhill hoping to utilise the technical ability of Whybourne to ping some accurate longs ball up field for the Bexhill attack, which for the most part Mountfield were happy to soak up, with Ed Crowhurst doing really against their No.10. As the half wore on Mountfield got more comfortable on the ball and started playing some passes around, but rather frustatingly for both teams play was regularly paused due to some questionable decisions from the referee, which evidently frustrated the home side even more and one or two were lucky to escape going in the book. As their confidence grew, Mountfield started to enjoy more possession around the Bexhill area, but the home side pressed really well and the lads were unable to create any clear cut chance. Bexhill breathed a massive sigh of relief with just under ten minutes on the clock left, when another long ball upfield, this perfectly placed between the back four and Jan in goal, who failed to come of his line quick enough, allowed the Bexhill striker the opportunity and made no mistake in putting his side ahead. The lads showed some great character and kept plugging away and their efforts were rewarded on with the last kick of the game, when Ben Waite curled in a wind assisted shoot/cross which evaded the Bexhill keeper and dipped straight into the net, with Mountfield this time breathing a massive sigh of relief. The teams got ready for the kick off, only for the ref to blow for full time as soon as Bexhill restarted.
With the lads buzzing of they come of the field, we discovered in the pub after that Rye had beaten Icklesham 6-0, which means we currently stand out of the relegation places and Icklesham need to get result against Bexhill in their final game of the season. Congratulations to Rye Town on winning the league and good luck to other teams in our league for their remaining fixtures. Now all we can do is wait until 22 April to see what olur fate is, well done to all, particularly the last month or so, as we've shown for the most part we've got the squad to compete in this league and will take confidence going into next seaosn whatever league we may be competing in.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Ed Crowhurst
Our player/manager won the votes with his performance at the back, with Paul, Jon and Leon also receiving votes, but any player on the pitch culd also have gotten a vote. Well played to Sean who was carrying a hamstring injury going into the game and goalscorer Ben Waite who was struggling with an ankle injury in the latter stages for seeing the game through. Ed was superb at the back, who for the most part kept thier No.10 quiet, who we know is dangerous opponent. Great to see Ed comeback after a frustrating time with injuries and become a key player for Mountfield once again.
Mountfield welcomed Wadhurst United for their last home game of the season, the side looking to avenge their defeat in the reverse fixture where they should've come away with at least a point. Mountfield started the game strongly and were the better side for the first 25 minutes of a lively first half to game. Mountfield quickly opened the scoring with Jon Novis carrying on where he left from last week. Not long after Jon found himself through on goal with a great opportunity to double the lead, only for the Wadhurst defender to take Jons leg out to prevent him running through just outside the area. Surely the laws of the game would dictate it would be a sending off for the offending player? However the referee decided to show a yellow card and the home side were unable to score from the freekick. Mountfield carried on looking dangerous going forward and soon Wiggy found himself running through only for the defender to foul him with a rugby tackle-esque hug inside the area, with the referee pointing to the spot, ignoring the protests against what was a blatant foul and offender receieving a yellow card. Up stepped Sean Smith, who tucked the penalty away with Mountfield now 2-0 up a looking comfortable. However, Wadhurst soon upped their game and woke up, suddenly it was the visiting team who looked more dangerous and soon grabbed a goal back after some poor defending from a cross into the box. Wadhurst carried on playing well, with Mountfield seemingly unable to play the good passing game they'd done so earlier in the game. Wadhurst soon equalised with a dubious goal, after Jan seemed to comfortably catch a cross into the box, only for the Wadhurst player who was going for the ball to clash with Jan, who dropped the ball following the collision and the attacker tapped the ball into the goal. The home side felt harshly done by another dubious decision and let their heads go, getting involved with unneccessary back chat with the opponents and arguing with the ref. Despite the decision, Wadhurst probably deserved to draw level as the home team seemed to lose the plot for whatever reason after gaining the lead. The side picked up again for ten minutes or so before half time, but it remained 2-2.
In the second half Mountfield were forced into playing more long balls due to the pressing of Wadhurst, but both sides had chances. It was the home side who regained the lead after Jon Novis found himself in the right area to grab his second goal of the match. The game carried on making mostly for an unattractive viewing, with only a handful of decent passing moves being made. With Wadhurst continuously pressing for the equaliser, a long ball was hoofed up pitch in around the 85th minute with Matt Crowhurst directly underneath the ball and you'd think go for a simple headed clearance, only for him to leave the ball for Jan, who hadn't come far enough to make any contact. This mix-up allowed the Wadhurst attacker to pounce on the ball and guide the ball past the helpless Jan for the equaliser and rub salt even further in the wounds giving Matt some verbals for his mistake. Neither side were unable to grab a winner and the game ended 3-3 with Mountfield absolutely gutted to give up the lead twice. Respect to Wadhurst they showed great character to come back twice after such a sluggish start to the game and their captain being their key player in their performance. The team have their last game of the season against promotion chasing Bexhill Town, with the team looking to get something to enure their survival in Division One.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Nick Severino
Nick won the vote again after his performance in midfield. Made a nuisance, didn't left the Wadhurst players get a sniff and linked up well with the rest of the team. Also surprisingly lasted another 90 minutes without having to limp off, did recieve some nice stud marks on his stomach though, probably would've been for another month if we had more games left.
Mountfield welcomed Herstmonceux to Riverhall, who were evidently a completely different side to the one who beat us 3-0 way back in September at Lime Cross, now with a much lower average age. Seeing this Mountfield expected their opponents to be quick and have bags of energy, but were confident the slightly new look back four with Paul Oliver sitting infront could deal with the threat. The tweaked formation saw Ed Crowhurst come in at centre back for a Crowhurst brother pairing, which pushed Paul Oliver into his favoured defensive midfield role, offering the back four some protection, which was one our major downfalls against Northiam. Leon and Sean moved to right back and right midfield respectively, which has proved to be a solid and dangerous combination in the past. With Paul sitting in midfield, this allowed Jon and Nick to push a bit further upfield, a move which proved to be lethal to the opposition.
Typically slow starters, the home side broke this trend and started on the upper foot and this pretty much how the rest of the game would pan out. It looked like Herstmonceux played a lone striker with the interchanging wingers pushing on when required, but were limited to one, maybe two chances on goal in the first half. Mountfield looked comfortable in possession and always looked threatening going forwards. Ben Waite on the left wing, made some good forward runs and his work soon paid off after he beat his marker and played a ball straight to Wiggy, whose glancing header beat the keeper and went in at the far post. After this it looked as though the second goal would quickly come, but somehow Mountfield just couldn't create any clear cut chances. The side continued to dominate accross the pitch, but would come up short in the final third and were guilty of some poor decision making, plus Sean was left isolated out on the right wing, despite having acres of space and making some good movement. However the lads went in at halftime 1-0 up having not been troubled at the back and were playing some good football.
The game resumed after half time and the match carried on the same the way the first half had done, with Mountfield on the upper hand, the only difference this half being that the home side rectified where they went wrong first half and looked dangerous in the final third, looking as though they'd score with every attack. This half Sean enjoyed a lot more of the ball, with him and Leon combining at least twice getting an assist with some spot on crossing. Sean's brother-in-law Andy Hales replaced Paul and instantly showed his quality setting up Wiggy with a well weighted throughball, he continued show his quality with his accurate long balls and decent movement with the ball, possibly turning a likely 4/5-2 win into a 8-2 win. Despite being in for a grim afternoon, the Herstmonceux lads carried on plugging away and were awarded with a goal, after a corner bounced off a couple Mountfield players and fell kindly to an opposing player who converted his chance. Mountfield must have scored one or two more, until the visiting side got their second goal of the afternoon, after player/manager Ed Crowhurst switched off after a decent ball into the box, which the Herstmonceux player took advantage of and headed past Jan with a well taken goal. With Mountfield now cruising to victory there was time for them to grab another in injury time, with that combination of Sean and Leon working well once again for the pick of the afternoon and goal of the season candidate. Sean laying off to Leon who was lurking just outside the area, who proceded to smash a shot which curved over the keeper and into the far end of the goal, for a goal which pretty much put the icing on the cake for Mountfield.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Jon Novis
The vote was hard one this week, but it was always going to be Jon after scoring four well taken goals, plus he's always given 110% on the pitch through an extremely frustrating season, so I'm more than happy to see it go to Jon. Though we need to give a shoutout to Matt "Wiggy" Tidmarsh who got a hattrick, including two headed goals, not bad after he was talking about how he rarely scores with his head before the game, he is now the leading scorer. We also proved why we need to give the ball more to Sean when he's out on the wing, as we did so in the second half, his pinpoint crossing caused Herstmonceux so many problems and he must have got at least three assists this afternoon.
The three guys above got votes, but it seems unfair to miss the rest out, Jan didn't have much to do, but when called upon was absolutely flawless. The back four showed their experience and had a fairly comfortable afternoon, Leon at right back did well supporting the attack and was invovled with three of the goals. Paul back in his favoured position showed his quality and was a much welcome composed presence infront of the back four. The work rate of Nick and Jon meant the Herstmonceux midfield didn't really get much of chance to get into the game. Ben and Sean on the wings gave the opposition all sorts of problems and Wiggy obviously successful upfront with his hattrick putting in a decent shift and getting into some good positions. Nick Crew replaced Leeroi at left back and was solid as always, James replacing Ben on the left who always gives the opposition something to think about with his workrate and pace. Andy making his first appearance for Mountfield showed his quality and gave us an extra edge going forward.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Ben Waite
Buoyed by their win the previous week, Mountfield welcomed Icklesham to Riverhall feeling confident of putting in another decent performance and getting a result to close the gap between themselves and the teams above them in the table. However, the opening stages of the game weren't as straight forward, with the home side seemigly struggling to get their passing game together, shakey defending and guilty of trying to do too much at times. The home side had an early let off after an error allowed the Icklesham forward Phil Badrock through on goal one on one versus Jan, however rather uncharacteristically the Icklesham dangerman failed to finish shooting straight at Jan for an easy save. The frustration continued for Mountfield, with Leon blazing an effort over the bar who probably had more time than he realised and Matt Tidmarsh picking up, what we thought was a harsh booking, after going for a 50/50 ball with the visiting keeper, who came off worse. Mountfield soon found themselves a goal down, after conceding a freekick, two Mountfield defenders were too busy arguing which allowed an Icklesham player a dangerous run into the box, forcing Jan to rush out and close down the player, which ended up with the Icklesham man being fouled in the box and awarded a penalty that the player put away to put the visitors one up.
Mountfield seemed to find another gear after going down, with defence looking more firm and the side finally stringing some passes together and keeping possession. The equaliser soon came after Matt Tidmarsh laid the ball off for Ben Waite just inside the area, who tucked the ball away in the bottom corner. The half time whistle soon blew with Mountfield on the upper hand and looking more threatening going forward, it felt like the game was swinging more in the home side's favour as since the penalty Icklesham hadn't really threatend the Mountfield goal.
The second half was a more comfortable affair for the home side, though the visitors did have a handful of half chances but poor finishing let them down, Mountfield looked like they could could score with nearly every attack. The home side soon took the lead after Leon found himself bombing towards to Icklesham box, a one-two with Wiggy and he found himself in the Icklesham box, taking the ball past the defender and only had to put the ball either side of the keeper. Leon should've got his second not long after, when he found himself sprinting through onto a loose ball, but his looping effort over the keeper went inches over the bar. Wiggy, who had a great game getting a couple of assists but frustratingly for him not getting onto the scoresheet, had a chance to extend the lead, saw his scooped effort mistakingly toe poked straight at the Icklesham keeper. A few changes were soon made to bring on some fresh legs, with Sean and Leon being replaced by James Freke and Chris. Soon after the changes Mountfield finally extended their lead after Ben Waite added his second goal with a decent finish. Ben soon had the opportunity to add his third goal, but his first effort was saved by keeper, with both Ben and Chris going for the rebound but only getting in each others way. Mountfield added their fourth in the final few minutes of the game, after Nick Severino burst through into the Icklesham half, evading the defenders attempted chop down to tee up Chris Bates in the penalty box for a simple tap and his first goal for the club.
The final whistle soon sounded and Mountfield were celebrating their second win in a row and a great performance from every player. With the side now looking more confident infront of goal and enjoying more luck which has been lacking over the rest of the season, the lads are hoping at putting together an end of season surge and climbing off the bottom of the table, which of course will not be an easy task, but we know we have the ability. The great eascape is on!!!
Mountfield Man of the Match: Nick Severino
Nick won the vote, purely for bothering to turn up on time this week, well that and his great performance in the middle of the park. This club is blessed with a decent number of good players who can play in the middle of the park, but having and Jon and Nick in the middle certainly makes us look a more stable side.
Firstly my memory of the game isn't too great, I can't even remember who scored all the Mountfield goals! Partially because I have the memory of a goldfish, plus I was a little miffed with my own performance, despite the win. But what I do remember is the lads started off okay and looked confident for the first 10 minutes or so, until poor defending allowed Crowhurst to take the lead after the attacker found himself free in the box and scored with a well taken looping header. After the that, Mountfield seemed to fall to pieces, unable to string simple passes together and allowed the home sides attacking midfielder too much time and space in their own half. The majority of the first half was pretty disasterous, with the home side finding themselves 3-0 up, following a poor spell from the Mountfield. That is until 10/15 minutes before the break, where they started to play some football again and managed to snatch a goal back thanks to the big man Ogi up front, whose effort on the turn, took a wicked deflection past the Crowhurst keeper and creeped into the net.
My memory of the game after this moment isn't that great, but I know a much better performance from Mountfield, meant the second half was a much tighter affair, with both sides having their moments going forward. The Crowhurst team containing a number of good players, looking dangerous going forward, could only add one more to their tally this half. But man of the match performances from Wiggy and Ogi upfront, who linked up well with each other and the midfield, inspired Mountfield to claw the game back to 4-4. With both sides going close in the last stages of the game, it was the visitors who finally enjoyed some luck, for what feels like the first time in ages. After Leon found himself running onto a loose ball and having his effort parried by the keeper into the path of Ben Waite, who headed the ball on target, for the keeper to manage to get a touch on that, but could only guide it into his own net, for a scrappy winning goal. Mountfield only had about another minute to hold onto the lead, before the ref blew his final whistle.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Andrew Augarde & Matt Tidmarsh
Another joint win, with Wiggy and Ogi playing up top and both getting on the scoresheet and linking up well together. Ogi in particular, adding a more physical presence up top which most defenders at this level don't like a dealing with, not bad for a guy whose spent most of his time on the pitch playing in goal.
Not much to say, Rye the much better side with quality players throughout and on the bench. The visitors lack of communcation and mistakes pretty much led to all five goals being conceded, plus no killer instinct when attacking meant the Rye defence had a fairly easy afternoon, once or twice having to make some good well timed tackles to prevent any Mountfield advances on goal. The second half Rye took their foot of the gas, but still went close to extending their lead a couple of times. Mountfield, who put in a better display this half, had one or two sniffs at goal, but never really troubled the Rye keeper.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Jon Novis & Nick Crew
Votes were spread throughtout four/five players, with Jon & Nick sharing the honours this week, for the work ethic and solid display on the pitch.
Due to our Christmas night out and the fact I can't be bothered to spend too much time on this match report, details might be a little scarce. Tackleway were the better team throughout and were 2-0 up after what felt like ten minutes. After doing a superb job last time round, this week the defence looked weak, with Tackleway seemingly finding their way through with too much ease and at the other end it was more of the same with the side unable to find the net, though this time round was more down to the fantastic work of the visiting keeper, than the home side being wasteful. Leon finding himself in good positions to score numerous times throughout the game, but being denied by one of the best keepers the side has recently come against. A couple of Mountfield players became evidently increasingly frustrated by some refereeing decisions and were perhaps lucky not to go into the book, Jon Novis uncharastically seeing red mist for a minute with one or two opponents perhaps seeing this as an opportunity to wind him up, with one or two tackles from both parties flying in, aided by the slippery conditions. However the playground mentality quickly subsided and Tackleway continued to dominate.
More of the same in the second half, Tackleway continued to look threatening going forward, as did the home side at times with Leon Pettit being denied by the impressive goalkeeper each time he had a sniff at goal. Chris Bates carried on working his socks off on the right wing and Ben Waite coming on the second half making some good runs, but being let down by his decision making.
Judging by what we've seen in both our games aginst Tackleway, they're probably the best side we've faced this season, so to see their indifferent league form is rather surprising, but good luck to them for the rest of the season, they're a decent bunch with some good young players. As for us, where are we going to find the goals, with the likes of Jon, Sean, Leon, Wiggy and Ben Waite in the side, who've in the past reached double figures, we know we have capable players in the side, who individually at times have been playing well, but as a unit something just hasn't clicked. We'll keep plugging away in 2017, see you then guys and have a good one!!
Mountfield Man of the Match: Nick Severino
Now playing his fifth game in a row, a record for the injury prone Nick, he worked his socks off in the middle. Making a nuisance of himself defensively and getting the ball rolling going forward at times, playing Leon through on one or two occaisions. For his performance Nick was voted Mountfield's Man of the Match.
Looks like it'll be a 7.30pm meet at the Jenny Lind in Hastings Old Town on the 17th for this years christmas do. Meet in the Jenny, then your standard Old Town pub crawl eventually into Town where we'll end up in somewhere Walkers and drunkenly talk about how good we were at football as teenagers and could've made it alongside Gareth Barry... Standard.
So thats 17th December, meet at Jenny Lind 7.30pm for your diaries and filofaxes. And apologies to Jan who wanted the team to go on a romantic ice skate in Tunbridge Wells, maybe you and Paul can do that before you make your way down?
The first half was very much a scrappy affair, with Rye not enjoying playing on the Riverhall pitch, which up until the Hawkhurst game, had been in top condition! The visitors clearly getting frustrated, dare I say had possibly been expecting an easier game? With one player making a naughty challenge on Jon Novis, with Jon a few minutes later catching the culprit with a naughty but less dangerous foul, both players probably lucky not to go into the referees book. However, despite some playground silliness and scrappy nature of the game, both teams had their moments, but it was Mountfield who definitely had the better of the half. A free kick from Charlie hitting the post, with the rebound hitting Chris Bates over for a goal kick. Later it was Leon with a chance, back playing in a more attacking role, who found himself with some space and time to see his effort come crashing off the crossbar and safely into the oncoming keepers hands. However despite the fact the home side should have been a goal or two up, in typical Mountfield fashion poor defending allowed the visitors to take the lead, after the right midfielder easily lost his marker at the back post and tapped in the pass across the face of goal.
Despite the setback, Mountfield battled away, with Leon and Wiggy upfront working hard trying to create something, with some decent flick ons and attempted through balls which unfortunately come to nothing. However the home side got their break just before halftime, after Wiggy made a run into the box, only to be tripped by the defender and thus saw the referee pointing to the spot. Up stood the temporary centre back and reliable spot kick taker Sean Smith who put his effort past the keeper and the half time whistle was blown not long after the restart.
The second half started and Rye Town started to look more and more dangerous, seemingly not enjoying much luck, with one Rye player being overheard saying "I can see this being a draw". The Mountfield defence continued to soak up the Rye pressure and I can't really remember the home side doing much in the final third this half, so in hindsight it was only inevitable Rye would take the lead. The visitors soon found themselves 2-1 up, which to be honest they deserved for their display this half and probably the substitutions that also gave them the edge, with thier No.12 particularly impressing. Rye scored their third after another mistake and were probably glad to see the rest of the game out.
So the curse still lingers over us as if we'd put some chances away it could well have been a different story and we'd most likely be a lot further up the table. Can't fault much, apart from the obvious mistakes which gifts opponents easy goals most weeks, but someone in the side needs to find their shooting boots and fast!
Mountfield Man of the Match: Sean Smith
With Matt and Leeroi both out, Sean was moved to completely unfamiliar territory at centre back alongside Paul Oliver, making up possibly the shortest centre back pairing you'll see probably from under 14s upwards. Sean didn't put a foot wrong all game and look composed against a decent strike pairing who were a right handful. Now he's hit 30 it looks like he's seeing the rest of football career in defence.
Not much to say as I can't be bothered, a very poor first ten/fifteen minutes saw the home side instantly under pressure from a decent Hawkhurst side, slightly improved as the game went on, but Hawkhurst were always on the upper hand. The midfield unable to really deal with the Hawkhurst midfielders and striker interchanging positions and the whole team seemingly unable to make a pass or make the right decision. Hawkhurst went 2-0 up thanks to some decent finishing, including an overhead kick from a free kick cheaply given away.
The home side came out into the second half a lot better, with the midfield holding their shape better and dealing with the movement of their lively No.11, who didn't have too much joy this half. Charlie Dallimer continued to put in some lovely balls from set pieces, which the side were unable to make the most of and Andrew "Ogi" Augarde making his first appearance this season adding a much welcome more physical presence up front. Ben Waite and Tim Brisley also coming on, looking lively and full of promise as usual, but unable to really create anything in a frustrating game. Hawkhurst sealed the win after Matt Crowhurst dived into a tackle crunching their No.11, which the Hawkhurst striker managed to scuff past Jan!
A much better second half from the lads, but still unable to put the ball away, we had probably as many chances as Hawkhurst, but the curse still lingers over Mountfield,.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Matt Crowhurst
Recieved five votes for Man of the Match, by guys who'd obviously forgotten his assualt on the Hawkhurst player, who finally won a foul after appealing for a lot less all afternoon!! To be fair, Matt and Paul at the back have played well at the back, ignoring the Tackleway game and it's consistant performers like this that normally get forgotten about at this level of football, just a shame the guys around them stitch them up too often!!
The side made the trip to Tackleways home at Barley Lane with the only change this week being Nick Crew coming in at left back in place of the absent Leeroi. Soon after the kick off it become evident that the side weren't switched on, with not enough communication amongst the side, leading to too many shakey moments at the back, plus not being able to break down the home sides defence, made for a frustrating display. The Tackleway way side contained a blend of young pacey players in attack and more experienced heads at the back, the youthful attackers were a constant threat to the sub standard visitors and soon got their first goal, albeit a lucky one, after the attackers effort took a wicked deflection off a Mountfield player past the helpless Jan in goal. Tackleway soon could have doubled their lead, after a clearance seemed to be heading stragiht to Jan, who misjudged the bounce and it appeared to be bouncing into the net, only for the crossbar to save the visitors this time round. However the home side soon doubled their lead after poor defending allowed the striker through on goal and finish well past Jan. Tackleway could probably have scored three or four goals this half, however Mountfield soon slightly improved their performance and managed to get a couple of half chances on goal, but never really able to give the Tackleway defence much to think about.
The second half saw a much better defensive display from the visiting team, who dealt with the Tackleway attacking threat effectively this half, most of the danger coming from the pacey and skillful No.10 on the left wing. The home side soon extended their lead, after a freekick was awarded just outside the box at a tight angle, which the Tackleway player managed to drill into the far top corner like a bullet. There were arguments that the freekick could've been dealt with by the Mountfield No.1, but let's not take anything away from the fantastic effort, which pretty much summed up the afternoon. Mountfield carried on battling, with Matt Crowhurst making some decent challenges, including a 50/50 with the Tackleway midfielder which had most of the East Hill shaking. The slippery conditions made for plenty of sliding tackles all throughout the game, a lot of which saw the man sliding through and catching the opposing player, which led to the game being paused frequently throughout the game by the ref giving the offending player a ticking off, which was frustrating for the visitors nearer the end of the game, who were looking to make some sort of comeback, wishful thinking maybe. The side, got their consolation through Matt Tidmarsh, who found himself through on goal and with enough time to wait for the keeper to make his move first and pick his spot with a good finish, with what was probably the first clear cut chance the side had all game. Later on Tim Brisley found himself in a great position in the box and did extremely well to guide his bouncing effort towards the goal, which the keeper did well to get a hand on. After this the game carried on being a scrappy affair, Charlie putting in some cracking balls from set pieces which no one seemed to want to get on the end off.
The fulltime whistle blew and probably for the first time in weeks, Mountfield accepted they were well and truly beaten this week and didn't deserve anything from the game. Tackleway are a good side, who seemingly still in transition with their manager joining only a few games back, the futures bright judging by what we saw this game. Not a lot of positives to draw from a Mountfield point of view, other than our workrate throughtout the second half was excellent, even when it became more apparent we were unlikely to get anything from the game as the clock counted down. Now one or two of the more fragile players can enjoy a rest as we've no fixture next week, before we play Hawkhurst United in the Robertsbridge Charity Cup on the 26th o fthis month.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Nick Severino
We're all just amazed Nick's managed to last 90 minutes two games in a row, which is probably deserving of some award on it's own. Nick covered a lot of ground in the middle and made a nuisance of himself, his performance saw him voted Mountfield Man of the Match. A fully fit Nick at this level of football can cause a lot of damage, we can only hope he can stay fit, maybe we should buy him an oxygen tent?
The side returned to league action this week as they welcomed Little Common II's to Solomon's Lane where they hoped to do what they couldn't in the reverse fixture, turn their possession into goals. Nick Severino returning this week playing alongside Leon in the middle, with Jon moving upfront alongside Matt Tidmarsh, moving Sean out to right midfield. Ben Waite replacing Charlie in the starting eleven this week out on the left.
Both sides started out brightly, with the home side edging it, Sean Smith playing some lovely balls over the top for Jon Novis several times, who just couldn't stretch far enough to get anything on it. Ben Waite on the opposite wing didn't stop running, making positive forward runs taking his fullback, with Jon and Wiggy upfront working hard and making life difficult for the Common defence. At the other end of the pitch, the Little Common attacking players looked lively, but were chased down effectively by the back four, who had a fairly comfortable afternoon, plus Leon and Nick infront of them covering a lot of ground all throughout the game. In their mounting pressure on goal, the home side were on the receiving end of some frustrating decisions, including at least two offsides where, to the Mountfield contingent, it looked as if the offending player made no attempt to get involved with play and Sean Smith receiving a yellow card for an alleged dive, which the guys felt was a harsh decision. This ten/fifteen minute spell frustrated one or two of the lads, with Leon receiving a chat from the ref, where he was lucky to not get a booking for dissent. Despite all their possession, the home side soon found themselves behind after the lively Common No.14, Dan Estherby latched onto a loose pass, skipped past his defender and rolled the ball into the far corner with a classy finish, with what was probably their only clear cut chance in the game. The home side dug deep for that equaliser, but soon heard the halftime whistle.
The second half started much the same, with the guys continuing to pressure the Common defence, with the visitors themselves not enjoying any luck going forward, making too many stray passes straight back to the Mountfield defence. The home side soon found themselves level after a ball into the box found it's way to Wiggy who tucked the ball away past the keeper, for his first goal since his return. At the other end Common had a few half chances, coming mostly from long range shots and corners which failed to trouble Jan in goal. As the clock ticked away, the Mountfield pressure increased, with tiring legs in visiting side playing a factor, who only had one sub to call upon. With Nick starting to struggle, Leon found himself bombing forward a few times, twice putting the ball in for Tim Brisley, who'd come on for Wiggy, who both times had more time than he probably realised and was unable to convert, another glorious chance fell to Jon Novis, who could only manage to shoot straight at the keeper from short range. The home side were really dominating the last ten minutes of the game, but you could say a lack of composure and fitness played a major factor in them being unable to find that second goal and the fulltime whistle soon blew.
Despite the disapointment of not being able to find that winning goal yet again, the feeling back in the changing room was one of positivity. The lads had worked hard, played well and dominated most of the second half. The feeling was that if we play the way we did in the particular fixture against other teams in this division, we will soon get some positive results. Prior to this game, our opponents had scored 24 goals in three games and they only had one clear cut chance against us, if only we could figure out how to be as efficient at the other end of the pitch as we definitely have good enough players!
Mountfield Man of the Match: James Crouch
A large chunk of the team could've won this award, but Crouchys dominate display at right back saw him voted Mountfield Man of the Match. He absolutely bossed it and his distribution was spot on today, playing some great passes along the wing for the strikers to run onto, in what was his best performance for Mountfield yet.
This week's fixture saw the lads take a break from league action and try their hand at a cup run in the Premier Travel Cup competition for Premier and Division One sides, with Northiam returning for a second time this season after the goaless draw between the two sides a few weeks previously. A few forced changes to the starting eleven was made, with Mountfield's very own James Milner, Leon Pettit, slotting into centre midfield following Ed Crowhursts injury which forced him off the previous week. Jan returned to action at left back in Nicky Crews' absence, Charlie replacing the absent Toby at left midfield, James Freke replacing Chris at right midfield and Matt Tidmarsh playing his first game since May up front. Management duo Steve and Ed had hoped that a more experienced starting eleven, with some good, quick younger players on the bench to make an impact later on in the game, would see a more positive result.
The game started fairly evenly, with Northiam edging it due thanks to their attacking players decent movement and link up play giving the Mountfield defence a bit of a tough time. Leon and Jon worked well in the middle, picking up scraps and passing the ball forward or to the wide men, looking to start an attacking surge forward, however some of the lads at times just couldn't seem to sort their feet out and their touch and passing could go a little awry too often, gifting the ball straight back to the visitors. Northiam took the lead within the first fifteen minutes after their No.9 found space to put in a decent cross for their No.4 to stick his leg out and poke the ball into the net. You could argue the positioning and marking from Mountfield wasn't good enough leading up to this goal, but you have to give Northiam credit, is was a well worked and much deserved goal. The visitors first goal seemed to wake the side up and for the remainder of the half, the home side started getting the ball down, pass the ball around and play some football, they just couldn't seem to create any chances, failing to exploit the space behind the Northiam fullbacks. The halftime whistle blew with the team believing they can get back into the game and get a positive result.
The second half started much like the latter part of the first, with Mountfield enjoying spells of possession, but Northiam always looking dangerous on the counter. But Mountfield soon managed to create one of few chances they've created the past few games, with Sean Smith scoring his first goal of the season, bringing the home side back into the game. Some changes were soon made, with James Freke coming off for Chris Bates, who worked his socks off as per normal and Ben Waite coming on for Charlie, who had his best game for Mountfield so far, tirelessly running up and down the left wing, but unfortunately unable to put any crosses in as he had done so well against Icklesham the previous week. The game remained a close encounter throughout until a lack of communication and poor marking between Jan and Ben allowed the Northiam attacker a free header in the box from a decent ball in to go 2-1 up. Then come another goal, after Jon, who'd been constantly running all game alongside Leon, was dispossessed of the ball, seemingly struggling with a knee problem and Northiam were then allowed to run through past the defence far too easily to slot past Tim in goal to go 3-1 up. Northiam then added a fourth after Tim fouled their man in the area and were awarded a penalty, which the Northiam player finished well, but by then the tie was already lost and simply made the scoreline make the tie look more one sided than what it actually was.
To let in those three quick goals like we did was such a disapointment, with players heads clearly going down after we'd conceded the third. Throughout the game, the team looked comfortable in possession, but it's the final third of the pitch the side seems to be having a mental block over. Our opponents this week always looked dangerous going forward, with thier No.4, No.11 and No.9 linking up particularly well, with 9's pace making the Mountfield defence's life difficult and all of their goals were taken well. Throughout the game we never particularly look like scoring going forward, with too many players dwelling on the ball or doing too much and not passing through to the strikers when there's an opportunity or the right runs not being made. One positive, the reaction from last week's defeat and what was said after the game was brilliant and it's a shame that the work ethic that resulted from that couldn't get us the win.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Matt Tidmarsh
After missing preseason and the first two months of the season, Matt, or Wiggy as the Mountfield/Robertsbridge population know him as, made his return straight into the side, with his reintroduction giving the side a bit more height and a physical presence up front. His contribution to the game saw him voted Mountfield's Man of the Match, Leon Pettit close behind in second, welcome back Wiggy, it's good to have you back.
After our free weekend the previous week, in which some of lads were taught how not to defend by Brighton at the AMEX, we returned to action at Icklesham Recreation Ground, in a bottom of the table clash with at least one team getting some much needed points in the bag. The visitors started out poorly, misplacing way too many simple passes back to the opposition. Their first goal came within ten minutes, after we gifted their No.9 Phil Badrock, who's a familiar name in the top scorers lists, too much time and space to run through on goal and slot his shot well past Tim in goal. Mountfield still unable to get out of first gear, allowed Icklesham to attack the Mountfield goal far too easily, soon getting a second goal and to be fair could have scored a couple more, with their No.10 and No.11 looking lively. Despite looking shakey on and off the ball, the side were still able to create a few chances, when actually getting the ball down and making simple passes, the best chance falling to Leon, who outpaced his marker onto a long ball, seeing his shot across the face of goal going wide by inches. The last twenty minutes or so of the first half, Mountfield started to look more dangerous going forward and got a goal back before halftime, after winning a corner, the team played some good pass and move football in and around the Icklesham box, with Sean laying the ball to Leon, who sweetly curved his effort into the top corner, bringing Mountfield back into the game.
The second half saw the much welcome return of Nick Severino from injury, replacing the injured Ed Crowhurst in midfield and Tim Brisley coming on for Toby Simpson, moving Leon out onto the right wing from up front. The side started the second half much the the latter stages of the first and were soon in control, doing everything right but find the net. The Icklesham No.11 carried on looking dangerous on the left wing, but unable to create anything, with Paul and Leeroi looking much more comfortable this half compared to the first half. The third and final change saw Charlie replace Chris and a slight formation change, which forced Sean back into midfield. Jon, Nick and Sean carried on running their socks off in midfield, trying to create something and play some balls through for the attacking players, but with Sean now in a more deeper role and Leon out in right midfield, the side no longer had a man playing off the last defender looking to run onto the balls through and over the top. With the minutes counting down and Mountfield starting to look more desperate for another goal, disaster struck in the final few minutes of the game, after the Icklesham No.11 easily cut out Tim's pass intended for James at right back, who was able to jog through on goal for an easy tap in and quite possibly the only chance the home side had that half.
So this season seems to be getting worse for the club, yet another game where we at least matched our opponents and got nothing from it. In the changing rooms after there was obviously a few words from various players said and a reality check that we're not as good as we think we are. Before the game there was comments made about how some players massively big themselves up before games and at training, yet come Saturday afternoon, haven't put in the performances expected of them. We had players like Jon Novis apologising for the way they played, when infact Jon's been one of our best players week in week out and will give 110% for the team, even with a dodgy knee and this game was no different. With the return of Nick Severino, who'd been playing really well before his injury and the return of Matt Tidmarsh and Andrew Auguarde on the horizon, plus Matt Crowhurst and Jan Kucera who were away and maybe even manager Steve Fortsch after more than a year out!! It looks likely that the players will soon have to fight for their place not only in the starting line up, but also the matchday squad. The return of some of these guys may make up for the lack experience and desire that has been shown on the pitch at times this season.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Leon Pettit
After spending most of last season playing right back, being voted for the Player's Player award for his performances, Leon has been moved up to a more advanced role this season, looking to make the most of his pace which troubled his opposing full back for all the second half. This along with his well taken goal and tireless work saw him voted Mountfields man of the match.
With the main pitch at Little Common strictly being reserved for first team and u21 games, the match was played on one of the smaller adjacent pitches, with the team expecting a rather packed game with limited space, players often rushed their passes playing the ball straight back to the opponent. The Common side were youthful and had a couple of pacey players with county experience capable of doing some damage, however in this particular game it was their number 17, Zack McEniry, who caused Mountfield most problems, normally playing at the heart of defence for the Common first team, today he featured up front and his hold up play and link up with the other attackers did the job for the home side. The only goal of the game scored after some good link up play saw a Little Common man go unmarked in the box, who only had to tap it in after having the ball squared to him.
The second half saw Mountfield play much better, allowing McEniry less time time to link up with other players, the side looked more confident on the ball and going forward, however too many passes in the final third were either played over the top and straight to their goalkeeper or too long for the receieving player to get to before the ball would go out of play. The only real chance of the game fell to Sean Smith, who captilsed on a mistake by the goalkeeper, had an open goal to pass the ball into, yet amazingly managed to find the side netting. Mountfield kept plugging away and could probably have found another gear and upped their performance, Little Common had a few moments after playing the long ball to their big man up front, but unable to extend their lead. The final whistle soon blew with Mountfield wondering what they have to do to actually get a win this season.
The side now have a free weekend, before visiting Icklesham Casuals on the 22nd, with both teams still trying to find that elusive first win of the season.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Tim Walter
With Jan away for a three weeks, Tim found himself back in goal for this game and he'd be the first to admit that mistakes in his recent appearances have seen us concede soft goals, but what a way to make a come back. Tim's brilliant reactions and quickness off the line saw him pull of some brilliant one on one saves and looked like stopping anything that come his way. Another solid performance in our next game may give Steve and Ed a selection headache.
It's been a frustrating start to the season, we couldn't have started it any worse after gifting Bexhill their goals first game of the season. But since then, the defence has been getting better each week and the past couple of weeks we've created plenty of chances...
Whilst the league table doesn't make for great viewing at the moment, all we can do as a team is keep plugging away and play the way we have the past couple of games. Despite the grim run of games, the team spirit remains high, due to some great guys we have in the squad. We've had numerous comments from opponents and neutrals complimenting our side and our style of play and considering a bulk of the squad are involved in their first season in men's football, to play the way we have at times this season is fantastic and I only hope we carrying on trying to play decent football, whilst learning from our mistakes which have seen us leak some poor goals this season whilst also lacking that final product in the final third.
Our next game will see us visit Little Common II, who I know will be a young side containing some very good players, a couple of which have county league experience and on their day can win a game with some fantastic football. Saying that one or two players don't make a team, if we go out with the same work rate we've applied the past couple of games we can beat them, same goes for any other team in this tough division. We currently have no fixture on the 15th so let's go out on a high before our mini break!
This week we welcomed Northiam 75 to Riverhall, with the recently cut and rolled pitch looking imaculate after Nigel's efforts the previous day and the morning of the match. The return of the Leeroi McEvoy and Jon Novis bolstering the matchday squad, plus the much awaited return of Sean Smith, after nearly chopping his finger off at work, hopefully will add some much needed experience and an extra edge up front. The return of these quality and experienced players gave the side a confidence boost going into the match, against a side who were also looking for their first three points of the season.
The side quickly got into their stride with Ed and Jon playing well in the middle and giving the guys up front support when on the attack, with the first chance falling to Leon who ran onto a ball over the top, but unable to beat the keeper at a slight angle. The chances carried on coming, with Leon only able to aim his shot with his weaker foot straight the keeper after latching onto the loose ball. He later tried his hand at turning provider, laying the ball off for Ed twice, who was unable to make a decent connection with the ball both times. Northiam looked decent going forward on numerous occasions, with their quick strikers running onto a few throughballs and balls over the top, but never really made any clear cut chances and the Mountfield defence holding firm.
Two changes were made at halftime with Toby coming on for Chris on the wing and Charlie making way for Sean for his return, who went up front pushing Leon out wide. The pace and workrate of the two giving the Northiam defence more to think about, with Mountfield continuing to press for that elsuvie goal. However the game was soon halted for a short while after a collision between Leon and the Northiam goalkeeper, who both slid in for the ball after a throughball. The Northiam keeper in obvious discomfort and not moving his legs for a short while was a concerning sight, but he soon gingerly got up, put his gloves back on and attempted to play on, but it was soon obvious he couldn't continue and was forced to go off. With Northiam now fielding an outfield sub in goal, Mountfield felt they would soon get something out of their constant threat going forward. However the replacement keeper pulled off an excellent save to deny Tim Brisley, who'd come on for James, whose shot was heading straight for the top corner, only to be tipped away for a corner. The chances carried on falling for Mountfield, Jon Novis had a couple of chances after a squared pass from Leon, but unable to keep them down.
The later on the game it got, the more Northiam started to enjoy more counter attacks as Mountfield went searching for a goal, the visiting strikers unable to latch onto a few decent balls from the left midfielder, plus another unmarked header from a set piece, which the visiting player was unable to get on target. The frustration grew, but the final whistle soon came and Mountfield wondering how they still haven't managed to win a league game yet this season.
So another good display from the team this week, but more sense of disapointment as we come away with just the one point. A few may see this as a positive from a side who leading up to this game, were still yet to earn a point, however the general feeling around the dressing room is that we should already at least have four points, after having two decisions go against us last week and created a whole host of chances this week.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Jon Novis
Second time this season Jon's receieved the vote, with Paul Oliver a close second. Another good performance in the middle, always looking to attack and link up with the forwards, with many chances being created through him. Though in the final few minutes of the game, he knows he should have squared it to Leon who was wide open, instead opting to shoot and blazing his effort over the bar again!! Leon probably would've missed again anyway...
Mountfield made the trip to Wadhursts' sloping Washwell Lane pitch, which was in imaculate condition, a credit to whoever prepared the pitch, however the rock hard pitch made for a game which would see the bouncing ball cause the side a few problems. With Jon Novis struggling with his knee and Leeroi unavailable due to work commitments, the management were forced to make changes to the starting lineup and formation, putting left footed Charlie at left back and giving Leon a strike partner this week with the return of James Freke.
Throughout the first half the side struggled to get the ball down with hard pitch giving the ball that extra bounce, however when they were able to get the ball down and play, there were many positive moments, with Ben Waite doing well to get some crosses in, Ed playing some decent balls to Leon who worked well to find space to play a few balls into the box and James working hard and getting himself into some good positions. Despite this the side found themselves 1-0 nil down after they failed to deal with a Wadhurst freekick, with the ball bouncing off the post amongst the bodies in the box and falling to a Wadhurst player who wasn't going to miss. The Moundfield defence had done well up until this point and the side carried on trying to find their first goal since the first game of the season, which came courtesy of James who slotted the ball home after a squared pass from Ben on the left.
The second half was a reverse of how the side looked the past few games, with the defence suddenly looking shakey, with far too many balls over the top not being dealt with, but the attacking players looking threatening, looking to run off any balls over the top and putting some good pressure on the opposing players. Wadhurst scored another two goals, including another unmarked header from a set piece, de ja vu from the Crowhurst game. However Mountfield soon replied with a goal, with Leon running on to yet another ball through, this time onside and able to loop his effort over the keeper and the defender rushing back, now Mountfield were back in the game. The side carried on threatening up front and Leon was denied a clear cut chance on goal, after having his shirt pulled by the defender, looking as though he'd beaten him and the keeper to the ball for a easy effort on goal, however the freekick couldn't be awarded as the ref hadn't seen the pull, despite the protests of the visiting side. Not long after, Mountfield were denied a goal after Ben Waite ran through and slotted past the keeper only to be ruled out for offside, despite Leon, who was in an offside position, not going for the ball and running back to an onside position and Ben a good five yards onside running through after everyone else had paused?
The final whistle soon blew and Mountfield came away feeling they deserved something out of the game, especially after the two decisions ruled against them. During the second half the defence, despite going downhill, let far too many balls over the top go uncontested, which lead to far too many unerving moments for the visitors, which was disapointing seeing as we've looked pretty decent at the back. However at the other end of the pitch, the changing of formation to two players up front saw us look much better going forward, with two goals scored and we feel it should have been four, Leon and James working hard constantly and deserved their goals. Captain for the day, Ed Crowhurst, put in a good shift in the middle, doing well getting forward and linking up well with the forwards and wingers.
Mountfield went into the game full of positivity and feeling as though we could get something from the game, with our performances improving each week, the side felt it was only a matter of time before something went our way. Both sides started brightly, with the Crowhurst striker's pace giving the visitors something going forward and the home side's front three at times defending from the front, managing to steal the ball from the visitors' defence. Mountfield's only real chance of note fell to Leon, after Toby did well to tackle a defender in a mix up between defender and goalkeeper, which saw the goalkeeper stranded outside his area, the ball fell to Leon who had his back to goal, shooting blindly only for it to go wide, with Leon cursing himself who probably had just enough time to get his head up and look for the target. Moments later, it was a Crowhurst strikers turn to miss a glaring opportunity, who after a ball into the box from the left winger, only had to guide the ball into the net infront of him but managing to pass the ball wide of the target. The last twenty minutes or so of the half saw Mountfield get more pinned back into their own half, doing well to soak up the Crowhurst pressure, with the home side unable to really get out of their own half.
The second half started out pretty much the same of the end of the first half, with the home side continuing to soak up the Crowhurst pressure on goal. Mountfield unable to really create anything going forward, Leon playing as a lone striker did well to get the ball down and play some fine cross field passes and pressure the centre backs in possession, but someone playing more like a second striker in that role is going to see the team struggle to create any goal scoring opportunities. Crowhurst soon got their first goal, from a free kick which was curved into the box, near to the back post where an unamrked player headed home for yet another soft goal Mountfield have given away this season. With the side now even more on the back foot, formation changes were made, with the side playing with three at the back for the last few minutes of the game, which was the reason for the second Crowhurst goal, minutes before the final whistle blew.
So another frustrating result for the team, with Paul, Ed and Jon once again having good games in the middle of the park and ignoring the soft goal, the guys at the back also did well. More slight changes to the lineup next week may see more joy in the final third of the pitch.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Leeroi McEvoy
Second week in a row Leeroi's been voted Mountfield man of the match, same as last week, making some good tackles, interceptions and clearances. One of the oldest guys on the pitch showing the younger guys how it's done.
Congratulations to joint manager Ed Crowhurst and his wife Lorna on the birth of their baby girl Adelaide Rose. Born at 1.32am on 10th September, we hear that despite the birth of his second daughter, Ed was still contemplating if he should play or not. We understand why you didn't in the end, would have been a brave decision to have left mother and baby behind hours after the the birth!!
Mountfield started the game a bit more sharper compared to the previous week, but were still unable to get any real hold on the game. With Jon Novis working superbly in the middle, doing enough running for two players at times and Leeroi putting himself about at the back, doing well to clear the lines on numerous occaisions, the side struggled to get a hold of the ball and play it about. There was a somewhat lethergic feel to the way Mountfield play, with players in possession perhaps not being quick enough, but also not being helped by players off the ball not making the right movement. This allowed Herstmonceux to get into their stride, gain confidence and started knocking the ball around effciently, with some positive pass and move play. Ceux carried on piling the pressure on the Mountfield goal, which the visitors did well to soak up and were possibly fortunate not to concede when the home side missed a free header. Tim also pulled off a brilliant save, tipping the bar over the bar from a decent shot.
After a prolonged period of Herstmonceux's attacking threat, the visitors started to enjoy some spells where they got the ball under control and made a few decent passing moves. However despite Jon doing well to link up with the players around him, the side were only really able to play a few long balls over the top for Toby and Leon on the wings, who could only really hassle their fulllbacks for possession who'd more than likely knock it out for Mountfield throw which failed to produce anything of note. However Toby did get one chance and probably the only real chance of the first half, where he controlled a ball over the top, rounded the keeper, but managed to the hit the post from the tight angle.
The second half started with Herstmonceux again looking the more comfortable in possession and soon score their first goal straight from a free kick, which was curled into the box, straight through the crowd of players and into the net. Their second goal was even more frustrating as it took a wild deflection off Ben and flew into the top corner and it felt like not long after the home side added a third. By now Mountfield had started to look a bit more disjointed; with Matt forced off through injury being replaced by Elliot playing only his third game since his first spell with the club two or three season ago, the attacking players not really seeing much of the ball and the formation looking a suspect at times as players dropped out of position to try get into the game. Our only real chances come from corners, with James Crouch leaping well but missing two headers, it wasn't until the last 25 minutes that once again Mountfield got the ball down, make a string of passess and look a bit more comfortable in possession. By now Herstmonceux were happy to see the game out, whilst still having a couple more half chances to add a fourth, with Mountfield lacking any sort of ideas going forward, it was probably always going to end comfortably for the home side.
So it feels like more of the same for Mountfield, whilst not an awful performance it still feels as though there is a lot more to come from the side. The lads at the back can be proud of how they played in the first half, which made the home sides goals early in the second half all the more frustrating. We can only hope that the return of Paul Oliver and Ed Crowhurst will lead to a more solid performance at the back and more composure when in possession.
Mountfield Man of the Match: Leeroi McEvoy
Despite looking old enough to be young Tim Brisley's Granddad, Leeroi rolled back the years and was everywhere at the back times. Leeroi has made the conversion to centre back from the more familiar left back really well, using his experience to use getting himself in the right positions and making some crucial headers and clearances. His performance earnt him Mountfields Man of the Match.
11/09/16 - Thanks to Jonty for the photos, view the rest here
Going into the game we knew Bexhill were going to be a decent side as they are made up mostly of the Bexhill AAC first team from a couple of seasons ago. With a strong back four including former Hastings United centre back Rhys Whyborne skippering the side and quick attacking players the side knew they were in for a tough game, but would never have thought of conceding straight from the kick-off. After losing the ball straight away and failing to deal with the ensuing attack, the Bexhill No.9 tucked away his first gifted goal of the afternoon.
Bexhill and their No.9 were soon gifted their second goal of the afternoon, after a simple knock through by a Bexhill midfielder was chased down by the attacking player with Tim rushing from goal seemingly odds on to beat the opponent to the ball, however the Mountfield keeper failed to deal with it, with the attacker simply tackling the ball of Tim and simply passed the ball into the empty net. Second soft goal gifted.
The third Bexhill goal came from an umarked header at a corner and probably one of the easiest hat tricks Doni Dovla, the Bexhill striker, has ever scored. Despite the glaring defensive frailties Mountfield were showing, the midfield and attacking players were putting in a decent shift at the other end of the pitch. Toby worked hard up front, whilst not getting too much service, carried on hassling the defenders forcing one or two errors which led to a chance on goal, one of which fell to Leon who narrowly hit his effort over the bar for his first missed chance of many during the game. Despite not having his shooting boots on, Leon worked hard and got behind the full back on numerous occaisions and linked up well with the rest of the midfield, one of his crosses after getting behind his full back fell to Nick after the defender failed to fully deal with the ball, who blazed his effort high from six yards out.
Whilst the side carried on piling the pressure on, they were awarded a free kick from around 25 yards out, which Jon Novis curved beautifully into the far top corner and giving Mountfield some form of hope that they were still in the game, having played the better football leading up the free kick. That confidence was somewhat crushed as the side gifted Bexhill yet another goal after giving the ball away, which to be fair to the Bexhill player he did put away really well, curving his shot neatly into the bottom corner.
Half time came and with it the team talk with Steve and Ed, whilst obviously going through the negatives of how we let in such soft goals, pointed out how good the team looked at times and thought we were playing the better football. However any positive feeling from the team talk was again crushed after letting in another silly goal, with their No.10 simply lobbing to ball over Tim and into the ungaurded net. After this goal, it was mostly Mountfield who got forward and had the chances, whilst you could argue Bexhill were happy to see out the win, the side will be frustrated with just how mnay chances they created and yet were unable to finish, with Leon, Ed and Jon having a few chances between them to try and get something out the game. Mountfield kept plugging away, but the final whistle came and a poor way to start the 2016/17 season.
Another frustrating afternoon for Mountfield who felt as though the 5-1 scoreline slightly flattered their opponents, but there's no hiding from the amount of defensive errors which led to probably four of their five goals. One thing to point out is that Bexhill will no doubt be challening nearer the top the table this season and for large spells we played the better football. Wether or not Bexhill would agree with that assessment the fact is, they put away their chances and we didn't, out of about seven chances they scored five and we probaly went into double figures and could only manage one. Onward to Herstmonceux next week, we can't do much worse can we?
Mountfield Man of the Match: Jon Novis
After missing nearly two years of football due to a knee injury, Jon has slowly worked his way back to fitness and looking back to his normal self after todays performance. Linking up well with the rest of the team, looking good going forward and scoring our only goal of the game with a cracking free kick, Jon was voted our Man of the Match. Jon has regularly featured in the top scorers lists throughout the years and the side have missed his goals, which may have helped massively during our last couple of seasons, we hope to see plenty more from him... No pressure.
With a large number of players away for various events, such as holidays, festivals and watching Brighton lose up north, Mountfield were forced to find reinforcements to field a team. Tim, a mate of Chris, Charlie and Toby, playing out on the wing and Shane Lynskey, drafted in by his son Leon, putting in an impressive performance in defence, in his first game since the veterans cup final in December.
Now my memory of the game isn't so great, so please excuse any missed details. The first half started fairly positively for Mountfield and there probably wasn't a great deal of difference between the sides for the first half hour or so, with the visitors probably edging it looking more threatening going forwards. In a largely uneventful half for Mountfield, it was only Tim in goal who did anything memorable, pulling off a superb double save, taking the ball to the face the second time round, before the home side were able to clear the ball out of the danger zone. However, despite Tim's efforts in goal, we still went ahead and let in two soft goals and went into half time 2-0 down.
After the team talk and much needed water intake, the side returned to pitch feeling as though they could get back into the game, but it quickly became apparent Westfield weren't going to take this game lightly and continued to look dangerous everytime they attacked and putting in some tough tackles at the back. More mistakes lead to more easy goals for Westfield, including at least 2 headers from set-pieces that should've been dealt with. Most of the team carried on working hard in the sahara like weather, with the conditions perhaps contributing to one or two hot headed moments in the later stages, where players on both sides probably would've been given their marching orders in a competitive game.
So not the ideal way to end our run of pre-season games, the optimists in the team point to how we played in the first half hour of the game and how we fielded a makeshift side carrying two or three players who aren't fully fit. But it was still a frustrating afternon for Mountfield, with poor mistakes leading to every one of Westfield's goals and the extra man the visitors had in midfield never really being dealt with. But with the return of some key players for our first league game, we hope to get the season rolling in what will a be a tough game aginst Bexhill Town.
After our positive performance against a strong Robertsbridge side the previous week, the side were slow out of the blocks this week, with Rangers getting the better of the first half. The Mountfield side struggled to keep possession of the ball, making too many sloppy passes that were gifted straight back to the opposition, too many high balls in the windy conditions and allowing Rangers players to skip past far too easily. That said, Hastings Rangers played well and passed the ball around very well, with good movement off the ball, making them very dangerous going forward. Our only real chance of note in the early stages fell to Leon Pettit, who shanked his effort high with his weaker foot after being played through from a decent pass from the midfield.
Rangers took the lead after being awarded a penalty, after Nick Crew was deemed to have handled the ball after being in the wall for a free kick and blocking the ball. The stand in ref for the first half ignored the protests of Nick and his team mates, who felt the decision was harsh, and Nick protesting his innocence, but the finish was in no doubt as the Rangers player tucked away his penalty. Mountfield managed to equalise after a mix-up and collision between two Rangers players allowed Toby to run through on goal and finish well, slotting it past the keeper at the near post. Going into half time at 1-1, the side were perhaps rather fortunate to have gone in on level terms, despite one or two promising phases of play with our pacey attacking players giving the opposition defence something to think about, Rangers were probably slightly disappointed to have gone into the break not in front.
Soon after we kicked off for the second half, Mountfield showed signs of a more improved performance. The defence looked more solid, with Matt Crowhurst playing his only game of pre-season showing that he is probably first choice for centre back and Leeroi McEvoy moving from his familiar position at left-back into the centre and putting in some good challenges. Up the other end, Leon Pettit come back on at Right Midfield and played a handful of decent balls for Toby, Elliot and Charlie, who couldn’t quite add the finishing touch, but showed much more positive signs going forward.
Mountfield took the lead scoring from a corner, after James Crouch made his run into the box for a simple header completely unmarked at the back post. The weather would soon play a factor in the playing conditions, with a couple of heavy showers passing over, the rock hard soil mixed with the wet surface, lead to slippery conditions with players from both sides slipping over when in possession of the ball, which somewhat interrupted the sides when going forward at times. Mountfield soon missed a chance to extend their lead, with Charlie Dallimer seeing his penalty saved, however the goal soon came after a spectacular goal from nowhere from Ben Waite, who spotted the opposition keeper of his line and scored with a looped effort from around 30 yards out. Toby added his second goal of the game soon after, with another brilliant finish. Despite looking less threatening this half, Rangers still had their moments, with their No.4 Terry Smith continuing to cause problems with his trickery and their left winger making some decent runs down that side and they soon got their second goal after Leeroi managed to header the ball against an opposing player, with the ball flying past Tim in goal into the net. Despite the minor setback the side still created chances going forward, with Leon putting in a couple of crosses, one of which falling to Elliot just over six yards out from goal which he probably should've finished.
In the final few seconds of the match, Mountfield found themselves in the Rangers box, with the ball dropping to Toby who proceeded to jab the ball into the net. However just a split second before the ball landed in the goal, Ed, who was reffing the second half blown for full time, cruelly denying Toby his hat trick? Considering most referees probably would have waited until the attacking threat was over and not taken the mick it probably would have been our fifth goal and a third for young Toby, who has continued to impress in his first few games for the club. Hastings Rangers may tell you it was 4-2 though.
Overall a much better second half performance saw the side finally get their first win and a bit more confidence as we approach the start of the season. With the number of chances we’d created, we perhaps should’ve scored more, with a mix of better decision making and composure, we’ll be hoping to convert more chances created.
The side started the game fairly brightly, with Robertsbridge probably edging it with the amount of chances they created and fortunately for us unable to finish. We took the lead after a run into the box from Nick Severino, saw him pass to Leon Pettit waiting just inside the penalty area, whose initial shot straight at the keeper was parried back into his path, for a simple jab into the goal from around six yards out. The attacking players Toby Simpson, Chris Bates and Charlie Dallimer continued to work hard, Toby in particular making surging runs at his fullback, but unable to find another opening, with the experienced Bridge defence holding firm. Our opponents finally took one of their chances before the half time whistle went and we went into the break at 1-1
After an encouraging team talk at half time, the side's hard work continued, Pettit had another chance not long after the restart, finding himself through on goal after a through ball from Simpson apparently beating the offside trap, but unable to steer the ball into the net dinking it over the oncoming keepers' legs. The side found their chances more and more limted as the game wore on, with the wingers putting some great effort in, but unable to create any real openings against the Robertsbridge defence. Around the hour mark it was clear the side were starting to struggle with injuries and fitness, with Jon Novis and Nick Severino in centre midfield carrying injuries, having played really well for the second game running and Callum Perry already suffering with a dodgy hamstring, one of only two subs available, having to see the game out. Robertsbridge were able to make use of their greater numbers, bringing on a fresher pair of legs frequently against a tiring Mountfield defence. It felt like we let in three goal in quick succession, before the final whistle went, which no doubt one or two of the guys were relieved to hear under the baking heat.
Overall, a much improved performance from the team this week, who played well for just over an hour against a team playing in a division higher. With a handful of absentees hopefully returning, the team will be looking to get their first win under the belt when we welcome Hastings Rangers on the 20th.
The East Sussex League have published the first lot of fixtures for each team on their website, with us entertaining newly formed Bexhill Town on 3rd September. This fixture is followed by another home tie to Little Common II, before travelling to the Rye Salts to play Rye Town, in what will be the first competitive game of football played in the town since Rye United folded...
Our first opponents Bexhill Town, will be a familiar opponent despite being newcomers to the league. Bexhill contain many players who featured for Bexhill A.A.C. during the 2014/15 season when both clubs clubs were battling for top spot alongside Hawkhurst. Our second opponents Little Common II are the old third team, having been renamed since the reserve side become an under 21 side, they have quickly climbed the divisions since entering the league from youth football a few seasons back. Our third game of the season will see us visit the Salts to play Rye Town, another new club who were formed two years after Rye United folded. A similar story to Sidley United, with both county clubs leaving the county league due to ground issues, Rye will no doubt be hoping to emulate Sidley's successful return.
So it looks like a tough start to the season for MUFC, with our first three opponents looking strong and containing players who have experience playing intermediate and senior football. But with some good young players signing on over the summer and impressing in training and friendlies, plus the return of some experienced players from injury, the side are looking to put last season behind them and play some good football in a strong, competitive division.
The deadline to sign on in time for the start of the season is fast approaching. We already have had a good number signed on, however if you haven't signed yet then speak to either Steve or Ed, alternatively you can print the form out from the East Sussex League website and bring it next time you see either of them.
At the moment the club have three more confirmed friendlies during August. Having already played Rye Town, the side still have Robertsbridge United, Hastings Rangers and Westfield III left to play. Keep checking the website or the Facebook page to keep updated of any changes.