Ramblers 4 – Dynamo Belarus 2

14th September 2003


Team:  Turner, Nowland, P Sheehan, Nichols (1), Babbington (1), House (1), Wilcox (1), Snook , Shewring (1), Canning, Allan.  Subs:  King,  A Sheehan


Another game in beautiful sunshine and another win to get us well prepared for the trip to Portugal.  The first half was pretty well constant Ramblers possession, which was not reflected in the scoreline as many chances went begging on the uneven surface of the Imperial.  The constant pressure, however, resulted in a series of corners, which Dave House took with his usual accuracy and bewildering arm signals.  Although we have never been known for our effectiveness with corners, it was different today with the big defenders Jim Babbington and Pete Nichols always looking likely to make contact.  Sure enough Jim finally met one with a clean powerful header that made the net bulge. (1 – 0).


Dave House scored the second soon after with a beautifully flighted shot into the top corner after cutting infield from the wing. (2 –0).  A blatant penalty was denied after one of the Dynamo players under pressure on the goal line yet again caught the ball with both hands before pushing it behind the line.  Pete Nichols, who was running the line at the time, having brought Geoff King on in midfield, had a few words on this, but did not use the word “cheat” to the referee as he says it is emotive!


At half time Brian Turner (having kept a clean sheet for his half once again) was replaced in goal by Nobby “The Cat” Nowland.  Andy Sheehan also came on in defence, allowing his brother Phil to make a rare (unique?) appearance in an attacking role.  With his confidence high after a fine first half, Dave House tried a shot on goal direct from the kick-off.  It might have been successful if on target as Dynamo were not quick to wake up after the break, but went tamely wide.  Phil Sheehan could not match his brother’s goal scoring performance when he had his turn up front in Spain, but settled in to the position very well, setting up Tony Allan with a couple of excellent chances, sadly wasted.


Picking up the ball in midfield, Paul Wilcox spotted a path to goal as Allan and Sheehan pulled the defenders to each side and skilfully rounded the keeper to score. (3 –0).  Obviously thinking “anything you can do I can do worse” Belarus also tried shooting directly from the kick-off, but with even less success than Dave.


The succession of Redland corners continued to worry the Belarus defence and eventually we got the reward as Pete Nichols walloped in a header, followed by the once familiar cry “Have some of that!”  (4 – 0).  Now comfortably leading in the warm sunshine the Ramblers lost some of their concentration and were punished when the defence gave the ball away, allowing Dynamo to round rookie keeper Nowland and score. (4 – 1).  That was not the end of the trouble as we soon had an “over Nobby’s head” incident, which, as he was in goal, was bad news. (4 – 2).  Dave House again wanted to try his luck from the kick-off, but Tony Allan spared him the embarrassment by pushing the kick-off ahead of his left foot to stop him shooting.


Altogether a good game to get us prepared for the trip to Portugal, with some “interesting” positional experimentation by the Tinkerman Nichols.