Played at Parmiters School, Garston, Watford, 17th January 2018
The two teams lined up for this “preparation” fixture on cold January evening. The AFC used the fixture to begin preparations for the FA Inter League Cup quarter final tie against Thames Valey Premier League on the 3rd February. Oxford used the fixture for their forthcoming Varsity match against Cambridge.
On a new 3g pitch, The AFC settled into the game quickly knocking the ball about with ease but without creating any clearcut chances to test the Oxford keeper. Oxford picked up the pace towards the end of the first half and were unfortunate to not take the lead in forcing Piesy to pull off a great save from close range.
The second half began with instructions to press higher. Parmiter’s school pupi Josh Boorn who only turned 16 in December replaced Chris Heritage at half time, broke free down the left and went on a mazy dribble. Through on goal, his effort hit the post and into the path of Lenard Dywer who had to score. His shot went wide, back to the feet of Boorn who finished off this time to put the AFC one up.
Taking control of the game, the AFC created more space and started to enjoy more possession. This resulted a number of chances going their way and saw another debutant Callum Lenard Dwyer of Old Tenisonians finish, again from close range.Inevitably Oxford increased the pressure on a resolute AFC but without breaching our defence.
With 5 to go, the Oxford left winger sent over an aimless cross which we didn’t clear with the first header and was slow to react with the ball just outside the area. The Oxford player took a shot which somehow evaded the oncoming defence and beat Keeper Parlett and loop into the corner of the net. That set the tone of mild panic (Ok....maybe that was just me!! for the last 5 minutes but we successfully saw out time to collect our 3rd win out of 4 this season.
In closing my thanks to former Minchendinians and Rep team legend Aaron de Silva, forced into retirement last season and now acting as a coach for the team. Thanks also to Parmiters School for the use of their wonderful facilites and also to my club Old Parmiterians for funding the game. Finally to our three match officials Referee Mark Jacob and AR's Chad Chaudhuri & Seb Fraser.
David Cross AFC Rep Team Manager