Rush back Andy, we miss you !
By David Higgins
Sils shoot a blank for the first time this season as Olton take bragging rights (for 24 hours until our U12 boys beat theirs) !
By Craig Ffitch, reporter and player on the pitch.
It’s always fun playing our old foes, Olton. Trouble is, several of their older players have stopped playing and their current line-up is somewhat younger and fitter which is probably why they finished second in SE2 last season. It was also a slightly odd experience facing an Olton side with an Old Sils player who transferred to them in the summer (and still wearing his Old Sils home shirt…!).
We were under pressure pretty much from the start with shots either bouncing off the bar, going just wide or being well saved by Yogi. Perhaps inevitably, Olton went one up within a few minutes after a couple of short corners were repulsed. However, we composed ourselves and started to recover the form we showed in the previous game vs Warwick. Balls out of defence were fed square to John H on the right who then worked well with Tom W, Dave H, James G and Murray C, all making triangles and running at the Olton defence to feed Keith W up front. The play looked really good at times although actual shots on goal were scarce. As halftime approached so did a great chance to equalise as Dave crashed a ball goalbound into the D needing only the slightest of touches for a score. Tony stretches out but he was just unable to nick it past the keeper to level the score.
Sils’ workrate held up in the second half and one great hit down the RH touchline by Mick L from within our 25 found Keith W well within their 25 but, as was to happen more and more, the attack was snuffed out by the stout Olton defence. We know we have to go round Ian Hill but always seem to try and go through him and it never works! John H worked tirelessly to feed the ball in from the right to Tom or Keith and, at one point, Keith had the ball on the touchline to the left of the goal but was unable to lift the ball past the Olton keeper. We managed to force a couple of short corners but they were well saved by Olton.
The score stayed at 0 – 1 until the hour mark when Olton pressure started to tell, with the ex-Sils player and their big centre forward cutting through the midfield. We began to tire and started to misplace our passes or give away free hits. Inevitably, this led to Olton securing several short corners but the goals that came were actually from open play, the first at 60 minutes with two more in quick succession on 66 minutes and again two minutes later when a limp clearance from our geriatric left back (the author of this report!) let the Olton forwards through for an easy score.
A disappointing end to what had been a good game with some excellent, thoughtful passing by the midfield and forwards for most of the match. The scoreline certainly flattered Olton. A lot of positives to take into the final game before the mid-season break.