3 Points at The Meadow
Blackheath climb out of relegation zone
Having beaten Purley 9-1 to start the season in style, I do not think that anybody would have predicted that the 1st XI would have to wait until February to secure their first home league win. It was a timely victory that dragged the team from 11th up to 9th on a day where a loss would have seen Bournemouth (now 10th on goal difference) go 6 points clear.
The conditions suited the home side as the morning’s drizzle slickened the surface helping BEHC to play at a higher tempo. A barrage of pressure resulted in the boys being 3-0 up after 10 minutes. Bournemouth did not know what had hit them as they barely touched the ball, BEHC winning corner after corner and creating numerous opportunities. This was not completely new for the regular spectators BUT this week Blackheath found their clinical edge. A well worked corner between Chris Harden and Dave Lawrence led to a composed finish from the skipper. Another corner was saved but a calm-under-pressure Tom Harden took the ball down, fired it across goal and found Dr Slack ready to pounce and make it two. Chris Harden then found the net again to make it 3-0. Surely it was now a case of how many? An opportunity to get that goal difference up.
Think again. After a blistering first 10 minutes, the side started to creak. A few misplaced passes and suddenly the counter-attack was on. 3-1 as a free man was allowed to wander to the far post. The first corner of the game and a mishit slap fooled everyone, as the ball operated in enemy lines by stealth rather than by force. 3-2 and 20 minutes gone. Thankfully, the team started to take back control and kept possession well to end the first half on the front foot but it was game on at the break.
To the boy’s credit it would have been easy to let Bournemouth back in. They pressed high putting pressure on our defence but we stayed strong, stuck to our passing game and used our outlets well to keep the ball away from contact. A solo effort from Ethan Faulds saw him round the keeper and finish coolly to the dismay of the away side. This was then compounded by Dave Lawrence who added a fifth and took the game out of their reach. It was a very composed and controlled second half performance which demonstrated a maturity to BEHC’s game that has been lacking at other points this season.
It was a great result but one that needs to be backed up from now until the end of the season. Another tough game away at West Hampstead awaits on Saturday followed by the next round of the cup on Sunday.
MoM: Andrew Slack
DoD: Charlie Speller
Next Week: West Hampstead (A) on Saturday – Sunbury (H) on Sunday.