Sunday 15th November - Crowmarsh v. Whitchurch Hill Crowmarsh came into this game knowing they had something to prove, having lost 8-1 to Whitchurch Hill in the Cup the previous week. They did this, and both teams gave the supporters possibly the most exciting 60 minutes of football they will see all season.

The game got off to a quick start, with both sides having chances in the opening couple of minutes, and this was to set the standard for the rest of the game.

In the 4th minute a Crowmarsh through-ball opened up the Whitchurch defence leaving Sam Beaumont and the Whitchurch goalie racing for the ball, with the goalie getting there first - but only just. A few minutes later Crowmarsh were awarded a free-kick and, as it was almost 30 yards from goal, all the players were expecting it to be lifted into the box. Sam Beaumont had other ideas though, and the players watched as his free-kick soared over the heads of everyone in the box, including the keeper. Unfortunately for Crowmarsh the ball clipped the bar and bounced away, and Whitchurch breathed a sigh of relief.

Almost immediately, Sam broke through again and hit the ball past the keeper, but for the second time in 2 minutes he saw his effort hit the bar.

Then it was the turn of Whitchurch to apply the pressure and in the 14th minute they were through on goal, and it was only thanks to one of many great saves made by Stephen Eatwell that day that the score stayed 0-0.

The pace of the game didn’t let up and it was end to end stuff, with Whitchurch Hill coming close in the 20th minute following a mad scramble in the Crowmarsh box, but thankfully for them the resulting shot went just wide of the post. A few minutes later the ball was crossed to Whitchurch’s Harry Voice whose acrobatic kick flew just over the bar, otherwise that would probably have been one of the goals of the season.

The first half ended 0-0, but there had certainly been no lack of excitement. Several people commented on what a close game it was and how it would probably be settled by a single goal.

As the 2nd half started Crowmarsh had the first chance to get that goal, and only a great save by the Whitchurch goalie kept the scores level. Whitchurch replied immediately, and following what resembled a ‘pinball’ in their box, Crowmarsh managed to clear the ball for a corner.

In the 35th minute Crowmarsh were through 1-on-1 with the Whitchurch goalie but he managed to stick out a leg to prevent what would have been a certain goal. Whitchurch were a constant threat and only some great defending by the likes of Kai Thomas and Will Hayes kept them at bay.

In the 48th minute the ball came to Crowmarsh’s Will Baker who coolly slid the ball past the advancing keeper, only to be knocked off the ball - penalty! As the kick was taken the goalie dived to his left - but the ball had been struck straight down the middle. Unfortunately there was just too much lift on it and it and it went just over.

This seemed to boost Whitchurch and in the 50th minute they had a free-kick on the edge of the box which seemed destined to go in, but instead clipped the bar and rebounded to safety. They kept the pressure on Crowmarsh and in the 54th minute broke through and a delicate lob over the advancing keeper bounced agonisingly over the line to make it 1-0 to Whitchurch. To their credit, the Crowmarsh players kept their heads up and tried to grab an equaliser, but Whitchurch held on to their advantage to win a very competitive game.

When the final whistle blew every single supporter stood and clapped both teams off the pitch. All the players had performed brilliantly and, although they had lost, the Crowmarsh lads had every reason to be proud of their display.

Even the referee commented after the game that, in all the years he had been officiating, it had been one of the most exciting and fast paced games he had ever been involved in.

Very well done to all the players, and hopefully the Crowmarsh lads can maintain this standard and be up there competing for promotion next February.