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My first visit to a game this low down the pyramid, lured in by promises of a picturesque village ground. The ground didn’t disappoint; surrounded by village houses and a church, though the clubhouse was slightly out of kilter with the rest of the ground.
I was a bit worried by Wingrave’s warm-up; everyone standing in a circle trying to keep the ball in the air. But despite the very heavy pitch, both teams tried to keep the ball on the deck.
Wingrave went two goals up early, being the quickest to react to a couple of fortuitous deflections.
It looked like Raiders would capitulate at this point, with most of the team arguing amongst themselves to shouts of “it’s the same thing every week” and “go and find another team then”.
The referee, who was more preoccupied with stopping players swearing than anything else, gave the Raiders right back a yellow for his persistent use of expletives. He’d not learn his lesson though, and would be given a second yellow in the second half for the same reason.
A Raiders penalty with about 35 played looked like they might get back into it, but the first decent corner of the half resulted in a bullet header making it 3-1 to Wingrave at the break.
Powered by a combination of half-time fags, vaping, bananas and a favourable second half slope, Raiders brought the game back to 3-3, and had plenty of chances to take the lead.
In the end, a soft free kick was bundled in at the back post by Wingrave to give them the three points they only just deserved.