Freezing Forest Foiled!
The game of the season so far saw Dorkinians U14 draw against high flying Forest Row
The game of the season so far saw Dorkinians U14 draw against high flying Forest Row. Dorkinians travelled down to Forest Row in driving snow, sleet and rain with the air temperature at zero. But what ensued was enough to warm the cockles of the coldest football fan heart!
A ding dong game of commitment, skill and determination from both sides saw hearts in mouths and the true spirit of the Under Dorkinians 14's shine through. In two years of competing against Forest Row they had yet to beat Dorkinians and with the U14's a place off the bottom of the league and Forest Row top it was always going to be a big game.
The pitch was far from perfect with the morning snow and rain making the going exceptionally heavy. Dorkinians travelled with 12 players with several carrying knocks. The match kicked off and Forest Row were first into their stride with well worked passing moves testing our back four and unsettling the team who looked to be lacking confidence following a run of defeats. It was apparent from the off that the Forest Row midfield were going to be a handful with a couple of powerful and skilful players breaking tackles and creating space. So it was not that surprising when one of these midfielders danced through the U14's defence and thumped them into the lead. However Dorkinians started to pass the ball well and to use their fast players down the flanks working them in behind Forest Rows back four and within 10 minutes it was all level with a square ball being fired home by theo down. The game continued in the same vein with crunching tackles that led to partially fit Seth Wallace replacing austin hodgson who had a nasty knock. Throughout flashes of great play continued to materialise from both teams both defensively and in attack despite a dreadful playing surface. However it was the home side that prevailed with the same midfielder making it 2-1 as half time approached.
A speedy indoor half time break and then back to the icy wastes to resume battle. As ever the next goal was going to be critical and for the first time this season lady luck fell our way. A good move led to a good chance that was blocked but fell to Cameron Smith who sneaked one under their keeper. 2-2 with 40 minutes to play. With another injury Charlie Hersey was off at half time and Hodgson returned battered but determined to play this time down the right wing. Great speed and strength from him saw him get away from his marker and bearing down on goal he powered one into the far corner making it Forest Row 2- Dorkinians 3. Jack Fisher and Luke Kinsey continued to snap into tackles with the whole team thinking about their passing and regularly making breaks, but the opposition were desperate for the equaliser. Dorkinians continued to hold out and came close to making it 2-4 with theo down skilfully racing away from their defence only to see his scything strike fly the wrong side of the upright. The final quarter was a humdinger with huge pressure from the home side and with a glowing demonstration of fantastic goal keeping from Mason McBride who stopped everything. It took the goal of the game to beat him with their striker looping a great strike into the top corner from 25 yards to make it 3-3. Still the home side pushed creating 3 gilt edged opportunities to win it but all were saved by the keeper or squandered whilst coming under pressure from the hugely determined back four.
With legs tiring and Hersey back on the pitch there was still time for one or two more half chances for Dorkinians but it wasn't to be, the final whistle came and a draw was deemed a fair result on the balance of play. Every single Dorkinian player committed to this game and gave their all. It showed what the team are capable of and as ever what fantastic parent support we get in what were miserable conditions. Special mention to Mason McBride and Jack Fisher who were particularly outstanding today, but every single player did their bit and upped their game and should be proud. Thanks for great game!