The fourth game of the new Thames Valley Premier League saw Berks County FC go down 2-1 to Woodcote Stoke Row at the John Nike Stadium writes Mark Pugh.
It was a good competitive game with both sides playing the match in a positive manner.
Woodcote were the first to score through Ryan Corbett, an attack down the right saw the ball played in well for the goal. It was evident the visitors confident going forwards with controlled runs to get in behind behind a back four of County who were particularly dogged in their defence.
It was some good control and communication saw the home side soon equalise from an attack down the left hand side with the ball firmly slotted past the Woodcote ‘keeper.
Both sides used the length and breadth of the pitch but it was the forwards from Woodcote who had a solid game throughout and Toby Nowell found room to fire a shot in and score just before the half time whistle.
‘Professionals and higher ranked teams should take note and if the game was played in the spirit of this tie football would be a lot better off for it’
My first half watching the local league Saturday football was very enjoyable. For a neutral supporter the only disappointment was that my hosts County were a goal down. Good passing and good movement was the order of the day and key in the three goals scored during a game that was competitive but fair without any noticeable bad or aggressive behaviour – it was a terrific introduction to step 7 football for me.
The second half saw the home side work hard to get level, trying to get the ball into the right areas for the forwards to get shots at goal but determined defence from Woodcote saw attacks snuffed out and quickly turned in to counters. The County defence worked hard to maintain their shape and composure despite despite being inevitability of being hit on the counter when pushing for an equaliser. Woodcote were a very well drilled side who made it very difficult for the hosts and were very quick to pick up the loose ball.
In the end though I think Woodcote were worthy winners but if County can add a little bit more strength through the middle they will soon add to the solitary three points they’ve picked up this season.
I wanted to add how respectful both sides were of each other and of the officials and supporters alike. I came away from my first step 7 game feeling I had watched the game of football played in the way it should be played. Professionals and higher ranked teams should take note and if the game was played in the spirit of this tie football would be a lot better off for it.
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