Match number: 1887
Manager Bryan Frew went into this game with a very optomistic attitude, fielding arguably his strongest team of the season. He was sure of a win. Ewhurst were one point ahead of City prior to this game and after a fantastic performance against better opposition, City knew that they could more than manage a small climb up the table. The first twenty five minutes had City dominating the run of play and a couple of good chances came their way to go ahead but the accuracy in front of goal was non-existent.
Richard Dean was substituted with 30 mins gone, having rolled over the top of the Ewhurst striker when challenging for a header and landed on his shoulder, thus rendering him unfit to continue. The shoulder he landed on was the same one that he had injured earlier this season whilst with the 'A's. Remco Roo came on and with City dominating he went into midfield leaving the home team with three at the back.
Ewhurst won a corner ten minutes before the break and City keeper Aaron Hennessey came out to collect the cross. The ball dropped into his hands at waist height but he failed to get a firm hold on the ball, it fell to the floor and Ewhurst pounced on the loose ball to take the lead.
At half time Frew decided that no changes were to be made to the line up or formation and demanded that the boy went into the second half with a die-hard attitude. City had to work hard for each other and calm things down to earn any reward in the second half.
Ewhurst came out the better side, starting to expose the gaps left all over the pitch and within ten minutes of the restart they found a second. Their third came ten minutes later, Frew dropped deep to snuff out a run made by the left midfielder but the City back line stepped up to leave him offside; Frew stopped his run but was too late. A man ran through the middle unmarked and both Ewhurst players played the ball around Frew who chased to win the ball back but the striker hit the ball to Hennessey’s left. Hennessey dived and got his fingers to the ball but not enough to push it round the post.
City had completely lost all shape and made Ewhurst look like a pro side. There was very little desire to win the ball and Ewhurst were allowed to play two-touch football with ease as no one pressured the ball. This was arguably the worst reserve team performance since losing 6-1 to Hindhead in the cup. Those that played in that game can get an idea just how bad things were. Frew has got a lot to think about now. Although he played a strong team he needs to re-assess certain players' roles and look at all options available as this was a luck-lustre performance with no spirit or desire to work as a team. Everyone within the reserves needs to make an effort to attend training especially after this match. No one felt that a man of the match was justified but Garry Davis and Phil Jones showed a lot of determination on the day, they both kept a level head despite being frustrated by those around them so the MOM will be split between them.