09 February 2004 ~ 0 Comments

Wokingham 2 – Ramgarhia 2

The match promised to be a tight affair as the two teams holding up the bottom of the league table met for the second time this season. Last semester’s game at home finished 2-2 even though Ramgarhia had controlled most of the game. Significantly, Ramgarhia went in 4 points adrift the rest of the pack, so it was vital they picked up a much-needed win to close some of the ground.
The away side made a strong start, enjoying lots of possession, particularly in the middle of the park. There appeared to be a little more confidence in the team, perhaps egged on by the fact that the defence was reinforced with Mandip at the back, after a week’s intensive training snowman making. Raju, playing on the left wing made a bright beginning, making several telling runs into Wokingham’s 25. We soon picked up a few short corners, with the opposition showing signs of disorganisation at the back, but attempts were weak, and did not really test the keeper.

However, eventually persistence pulled through. From another short corner, Parmi played the ball wide to Jas, who flicked the ball hard and low to the keepers right. A good initial save was made, but luckily the ball fell loose near the post for Ranbir to flick the ball home into the roof – 1 nil Ramgarhia with 15 minutes played.

From then on Ramgarhia seemed to step up a gear further and enjoyed further possession, particularly in the oppositions half. It was then when Parmi broke free from his marker between the half way and Wokingham’s 25-yard line. After playing a one-two with Dhamu, he found space at the top of the D, shaping to shoot, only to give the ball back to Dhamu, in yards of space, and only 5 or so yards to goal, with only the keeper to beat. However, for some reason, and after indecision, he lifted his stick high into the air, and seemed to take an eternity to swing it to strike the ball. When he eventually did, it was too late, as he was challenged by a covering defender, and a simple opportunity went begging.

5 minutes later, after a series of effective flicks by Jas, one such flick fell dangerously, in terms of goal scoring opportunity, deep into the oppositions half. The last defender completed mistimed the drop of the ball, and Parmi was left clean through. This time there was no defender in sight, and was even supported by another Ramgarhia attacker, this time in the form of Raja. Taking the ball on the run, Parmi broke into the D, squaring up to the keeper. But rather than shoot himself into a defenceless goal, he played the ball square to Raja, also faced with the same opportunity. However, there was a lack of confidence apparent in Raja’s body language, who took a touch to steady himself, but still did not shoot. Another couple of touches later took him within 5 yards of goal – still gaping with no bodies defending. A split second later, just before a last ditch challenge from a defender who had made up the ground, Raja pushes towards goal, from his position on the right.but hits the side of the goal to the dismay of the whole of Ramgarhia’s team.

This did not dampen sprits, and the attitude remained reasonably positive, after all, Ramgarhia still had most of the possession, and were still creating chances. The opposition did manage to break through a few times, with the Ramgarhia team pushing more and more forward in search of as second goal. Gaps were appearing in the inside channels, as once again, the inside players fail to accept their overall game responsibilities. But good defending and a good performance from Gurj in goal, coupled with poor finishing from the oppositions forward line, meant that the score line stayed at 1 nil for the time being.

Gradually though, as the Ramgarhia team failed to make their chances count, Wokingham were creeping back into the game. They found themselves with more room in the middle of the park. Ramgarhia were giving the ball away to easily, as players were attempting the ‘killer’ pass, rather than the simple but effective one. The oppositions inside left took more control of the ball, which wasn’t helped by the lack of challenging on him by his Ramgarhia counterpart.

Wokingham managed to win a few short corners towards the end of the half, but they were defended well, but not before Ramgarhia had another glorious opportunity to double their lead. After winning a short corner, Parmi decided to go route 1 and shoot at goal. Again, the keeper made the initial save, but again the ball fell loose near the post, where Ranbir again was waiting for such an opportunity. However, this time, a poor first shot was easily blocked by the recovering keeper, but Ranbir was given the ball again via the rebound, but a rush of blood made him also hit the side of the goal. It finished with no more scores added to the interval, but in reality, the score should have read 4 nil to Ramgarhia, and the game should have been dead and buried.

From the start of the second half, it was evident that Wokingham had changed their game plan, playing now with only 2 out and out strikers, but packing the midfield. They soon found that they were given acres of space on their left, mainly through a lack of defending in Ramgarhia’s inside right channel, and the ball was worked up to the oppositions forward directly from the back on numerous occasions. Soon, Wokingham had put together a series of good attacks, with the Ramgarhia defence being outnumbered on most of them. Once again, poor finishing let the away side off the hook.

But this wasn’t to hold for much longer, as Wokingham’s insight left broke through again from of his marker, Dhamu, and dribbled dangerously into Ramgarhia’s 25. Rather than go on himself, and being faced with several options, he played the ball to the centre forward, who was inside the penalty spot, who shot at goal. Gurj saved well, but the rebound rolled into the middle of the D, where Gurm was up against 4 Wokingham attackers! One of the said attackers picked up the loose ball, this time being the centre half, and calmly flicked the ball high into the goal.

The effect was very strong, as the Ramgarhia team turned onto themselves with abuse, trying to apportion blame onto one another. But ultimately, the question that needed to be asked was where was the marking?

The arguing seemed to spur on the home side, and they began to take even more control of the game, creating more and more chances through this possession. However, Ramgarhia did manage to produce more goal opportunities themselves, through counterattacks, as the opposition were pushed right up the filed, trying to double their score line. Confidence again seemed to be the problem, as finishing lacked conviction, and several chances went adrift, some, where the keeper did not have to even make a save.

But, soon luck was again on Ramgarhia’s side. Parmi, having beaten his marker yet again, ran into the opposition 25, and was homing in on the D. This time he was faced with one of the full backs. Tandeep made a late run, undetected to the right of the goal, and was found by Parmi. He turned after receiving, but the other covering full back made up ground quickly, but not quickly enough, and a last ditch challenged was an unsavoury hack – which warranted and indeed resulted in a penalty flick. This was duly converted by Parmi, with an effort into the top right of the goal, to restore the 1 goal advantage, with 20 minutes left to play.

Wokingham answered back quickly, keeping possession dangerously in Ramgarhia’s half. They were persevering with playing the ball long to their forwards, with Ramgarhia’s middle still not plugging those gaps. A tactical substitution was made, and Tan was taken off for Ranbir, who took up a position on the right wing. Wokingham were producing more and more attacks, and now getting even closer to the Ramgarhia’s goal. Ramgarhia’s team formation was soon lost, as the forward line started playing deeper and deeper. Every time the away side won the ball back, there was no one pushed into the opposition’s half to play the ball to, and all anyone could do was to get rid of the ball. Even when our forward line did get possession, they did not want to take responsibility, perhaps through the mounting pressure from the home side, and potential counterattacks were lost.

Wokingham had come very close to scoring on a couple of occasions, and although defending was getting desperate, it was still effective. But now Ramgarhia were also again finding more space up front, the trouble was getting players to join in any attack. The finishing was poor again for the away side, with some goal attempts not even on target.

With a few minutes left, Wokingham produced their best effort of the match, and Ramgarhia were unable to get the ball clear of their own half. Even though most of the away side were defending, they were leaving players unmarked. On one of these numerous occasion, the inside right collected the ball in between the half way ad 25 yard line, and began to dribble towards the left, shadowed by Gurm. Ranbir, positioned just outside the 25, intervened, but his challenge was poor and gave away a free hit – in a very dangerous position. The ball was placed quickly, and struck strongly into the D, where the inside left had pushed up into, marked by Tin, but not closely enough. The forward had a gained a yard on the full back, and deflected the ball just inside the right hand post, with Gurj beaten – 2-2.

The game fished with an even draw, and Ramgarhia were ruing the chances, or rather, open goals that had been squandered. Two points had been dropped in the eyes of the away team.

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