The inaugural matchday for the new PDFL walking football league was played in good spirits on the new 3G pitches at Nene Park.
Ironically the first game brought a match up of the two Stamford squads, Red v White. A banker for a score draw on my coupon but things didn't work out that way.
Stamford White showed they meant business from the klick off with a thunderous shot from the halfway line from Neil S blocked by the Reds keeper Taff L. Whites had clearly started with a game plan of pressing the Reds and shooting at every opportunity and it wasn't long before another long range effort from Neil S flew past a stationary keeper.
Reds tried to get back in the game but some excellent tackling and chasing by Whites limited chances and pushing forward they looked dangerous each time they pressed. A few minutes later a rare goal from John H put them 2-0 up; a well taken effort again from distance.
Reds again tried to up their game but a stumble by Paul B on the edge of his own area allowed Neil S to stick a toe poke in and again the stand-in Reds keeper was caught flat footed for 3-0. The next few minutes saw the Reds play some of their best football of the game and Paul B made up for his earlier error with a well taken goal to bring the sides to 3-1.
It wasn't long though before another defensive slip, this time from Gary W. Trying to control the ball at the edge of the area it bounced away from Gary and as he tried to pull it back he put his foot into the goalkeeper area. Neil S stepped up and smashed the penalty into the net. The ball I believe is still travelling and was last seen near Wisbech.
Whites were never really troubled after that and ran out worthy 4-1 winners.
Next up for the Whites as a tasty looking fixture against a solid Wisbech team. As fast as the Whites were in their start against the Reds they had a hangover in the second and this time were well behind before they started to get their game flowing again. A solitary goal from Paul A against an emphatic Wisbech saw our lads fall 1-4 behind.
The Whites dug in though and helped by Wisbech substituting their main striker the team capitalised on this and fought back with goals from Paul A, John H and Neil S to bring the scores level. Sadly for Stamford it was Wisbech that grabbed the winner and they held on with a 5-4 victory in an excellent match up of two good teams.
The second game up for the Reds saw us play our friends at KingsCliffe - most of whom also play at the Stamford weekly sessions. Kingscliffe started the game poorly and looked like they were lacking in belief as the Reds sailed into a comfortable 2-0 lead with goals Jez N and Colin B-T. Kingscliffe struck back though with a very well taken goal from Peter Wilkinson and this seemed to galvanise the Kingscliffe squad.
From this point the game flowed back and for but Kingslifee were the next to strike with a deserved equaliser from Richard. The game cpontinued to be open but further strikes from the Reds by Gary W, Paul B and a second from Colin B-T saw the Stamford lads through even though Kingscliffe scored another consolation goal, again from Peter Wilkinson who had an excellent day all around.
A few teething problems for the first week of the new league but generally an enjoyable morning and games played in good spirits.
Stamford Red 1 (Paul Blakemore)
Stamford White 4 (Neil Smith x 3, John Hutchins)
Stamford Red 5 (Colin Barrett-Treen x 2, Paul Blakemore, Gary Wildsmith, Jez Norris)
Stamford White 4 (Paul Archer x 2, Neil Smith, John Hutchins)
Red: Taff Lovesey (capt & gk), Paul Blakemore, Glyn Williams, Mick Peasgood, Jez Norris, Colin Barrett-Treen, Gary Wildsmith
White: Will Barrett (capt), Robin Gosling (gk), Neil Smith, Paul Archer, John Hutchins, John Phythian, Chris Williams