A week following the hard fought victory over Virginia Water, Weysiders Reserves hosted Camberley Town Youth U-21 Reds. Nothing really was known about the opposition and, with yet another strong squad, Russ Minns and Phil Ney opted for a more traditional 4-4-2 formation, with Aaron Hennessy manning the goal, one forced change with Thom Doggett injured, making a back four of Brad Goslin, Gary Martin, Tas Makris and Nick Walker, with a midfield of Simon Stacey and Chris Murch, Dima Minskiy on the right and Ryan Sayers on the left, and, leading the line Dave Shilcock with Kevin Barrow.
Weysiders won the toss and within seconds the ball was played to Murch who pinged a cross-field ball into danger, resulting in a corner to Weysiders after only three minutes. Up went the danger men for Weysiders, Makris attacking the front post, Martin attacking the back, but the Camberley defence dealt with the attack. The keeper collected and kicked but it went straight to Shilcock, whose quick feet played in Barrow, who dragged the ball back for a shot just in the six-yard area. Hands went up on the sidelines ready to celebrate an early goal, only for the shot to hammer against the bar. No time to rue missed opportunities, the ball poorly cleared by the keeper led to another Weysiders attack, this time the ball getting nicked off Shilcock's foot just before a shot was taken.
The game turned a bit scrappy with some good defending from the back line. Played out from defence, Minskiy attacked the Camberley full-back. Panic struck the Camberley player as both Minskiy and Shilcock attacked him. The ball was luckily cleared and fell to Sayers, who went for a header. Crack! For the second week running, he took a savage hit to the head. Down he went and Minns sprinted across the pitch to check on the young winger’s health. He seemed ok and got up to carry on playing. With every precaution being taken Liam Cox was asked to warm up. After a few minutes it was clear that Sayers needed a rest and on came Cox to replace him. Soon after the substitution, Cox worked well on the left and forced a corner. Murch took the kick and, after an attempt from Barrow, the ball fell to Minskiy’s feet, and from six yards he smashed the ball in the back of the net. Passion running through his whole body, a gut-wrenching celebratory shout came out of the Russian’s mouth, frightening not only the opposition, but some of his own team too! It was a fine assist from Murch from the corner.
Nineteen minutes gone, Weysiders Reserves were 1-0 up, with Camberley seemingly offering not much going forward. Bradley Goslin then pulled up clutching his groin and unable to continue. Quickly Kevin Wielocha was asked to warm up. Minskiy dropped back to cover and soon the change was made. Minkiy was now at right-back with Wielocha playing on the right wing. Weysiders were soon almost celebrating again with a neat ball knocked down the right to Shilcock who held the ball up brilliantly, playing an inch-perfect ball to Barrow who had the time to shake-off his marker and shoot just wide with a deflection for a corner. The ball was played in and yet again Barrow was there, this time with a header that went millimetres wide of the post. Ben Moore was preparing to join the action and came on for the last 10 minutes of the first half, replacing Shilcock. The ball broke on the left with Walker cutting a through ball and picking out Cox, whose turn and spin released the ball to Moore. Barrow made yet another fantastic run past the defence and this time the ball was cut out just as the trigger was being pulled. Half-time: 1-0. The reserves left the pitch happy to be in the lead, but knowing that the single goal should have been bigger.
The half-time team talk from Minns and Ney highlighted this and, with some input from Paul Martin, who was running the line, there was a change made for the second half. Wielocha was brought off with Murch moving out to the wing and Matt Rannie joining Stacey in the middle of the park.
From kick-off, Weysiders were soon pressing again. Camberley, despite being an under-21 team, seemed to be gassing and, after some smart play from Cox on the right, the ball found its way to Shilcock who played in Moor, who thought about shooting, but instead saw a run and played a very smart ball square for Murch to shoot home at the back post for 2-0. Kick-off once again and Weysiders were straight back at Camberley who looked dumbfounded by the early second-half goal. There were a few minutes of pressure from Camberley with the ball played down the wing for their main threat to cut inside and just get the better of Walker. Only just inside the box and with no support, he blasted a shot high and wide. The resulting kick from Hennessy was won in the middle and Stacey slotted a pass to Rannie. In true Rannie style, he took on three players, comfortably beating them to set up a shot from 25 yards. With his shot curling past the keeper into the top corner it was now 3-0 to Weysiders.
A frustrated Camberley restarted again and were sloppy with possession, losing the ball to Walker at left-back. A nasty late follow-through clattered against the shins and feet of Walker, who was not best pleased. The player concerned (number 8) was warned in no uncertain terms by the solid Weysiders defender to watch himself as the challenge was reckless. This didn't seem to stick with the Camberley number 8 and two minutes later a similar challenge was made on Rannie in midfield; again stern words were had, this time from Rannie. This gave Weysiders a free-kick just inside the opposition half on the left. Up stepped Walker who fired a cross-field ball after seeing the run from Rannie. Sliding in at the back post with a sublime finish past the keeper, Rannie put Weysiders 4-0 up, Weysiders scoring every 10 minutes in the second half. This was, however, not the last time we would see number 8 causing trouble. Soon after the restart, he was back to fouling, and this time in a very dangerous way. Moore slid in for a perfectly legal tackle and bang! - on his leading foot, a clear and premeditated stamp on Moore's ankle. With Weysiders in possession, no free-kick was awarded. A rightfully angered Moore immediately confronted him with a profanity the response. In stepped "Escobar" on the touchline, threatening Moore as a result and stating he would lay him out, not leaving the matter alone. Number 8 was soon hauled off the pitch and would have no part in the following proceedings. This episode seemed to cause Weysiders to switch off momentarily and a cheap corner was conceded. The corner was not dealt with and, after a few attempts to clear, the ball fell to the Camberley striker who did his best to sky yet another shot and the ball struck the underside of the bar and went in. 4-1.
An undeserved goal was met with passion and further attacks from the blues. Two changes were made by Weysiders, Sayers and Barrow replacing Cox and Moore. Barrow had another good chance and then, in the last minute of normal time, the ball was played to Shilcock on the right side. With great control and a perfect cross, Sayers was played in at the back post. A brilliant bit of skill to kill the ball dead and a curling shot in the top right of the goal, Sayers scored his first goal for the club. The final whistle was blown by the referee, signing, sealing and delivering another emphatic win for Weysiders Reserves.
The whole team yet again played for one another and solidarity was shown throughout. With a goal and assist there was no doubt who the man of the match was: Chris Murch. A tough game against Farncombe awaits the Reserves, who now sit fourth in the table. Another week, another win. Onwards and upwards is all that can be said.