Last Saturday the Water’s saw off promotion rivals Tooting Bec in the Quarter Final’s of the Surrey Intermediate League Cup. The final score was 3:1 with the goals coming from Tim Rivers and Peter Marsh (2).
A pitch inspection took place at 10:30am involving both managers and the referee who decided the pitch was playable, despite the fact the snow was melting and making the pitch waterlogged.
After the first 10 minutes the pitch started deteriorating and the referee kept making eye contact with the managers throughout the half, however neither wanted to back down and stop the game. Virginia Water manager Geoff Osgood may have regretted his decision a few minutes later.
There was nothing between the two sides when Tooting scored the first goal just before half time, but the Water’s came out of the changing room fired up for the second half and gave off a real sense of urgency.
With the Water’s dominating possession, they scored a well-deserved equaliser on the 60 minute mark as Paul Burrows provided for Rivers to slot in at the back post. Tooting were becoming evidently frustrated as shots were firing wide and were soon down to 10-men as their striker was dismissed for stamping on the goalkeeper from a corner kick.
Marsh completed the comeback, scoring goals 2 and 3 with just 8 minutes to spare. Both goals were identical; after good play on each wing the Water’s made the one man advantage count by opening up the gap in defence. Marsh was through one-on-one with the keeper and provided two cool finishes.
Captain and goal-scorer Tim Rivers identified the slow start: “We’re a footballing side. The hardest thing for us was the weather and this showed in the first half as we couldn’t string a pass together and were punished.”
Osgood believed tactics had a big part to play in the final result; “I told the lads to keep the ball and play our usual, easy on the eye football.”
“The mud was the biggest obstacle as the ball wouldn’t move! When we went a goal down I stuck the big boys up front and told the midfielders to find them. It’s not our normal style but it has worked and sometimes you’ve got to dig in and give something extra.”
Virginia Water will play Project Clapham at the Timber’s on Saturday 7th March.