Game 37: Okeford United 0.4 Chickerell United (Dorset Senior) 03.05.14
Decided to make the most of a warm early summer afternoon and take in a game in the Dorset Senior division, one step below the Dorset Premier league. Okeford play at the local recreation ground on the outskirts of the village and there was plenty of parking available just inside the gate. The ground was very peaceful and all I could hear was birdsong and the occasional tractor rolling by.
Chickerell kicked off the first half playing down the slope. They had most of the play in the first twenty minutes, perhaps to be expected as Okeford were bottom of the table at kick off and had only won two league games all season. They almost got caught out when the Okeford struck a good freekick which bounced off the bar and over. This perhaps focused some minds as Chickerell took the lead shortly afterwards, the ball being played into the box and a tight shot from an angle beating the keeper and ending up bouncing down off the stanchion. On the half hour a freekick was hit deep into the Okeford area and found a player at the back post who bundled the ball past the keeper. It looked like the floodgates may open – a headed goal was given offside, another header missed an open goal and a good volley flew just wide. Just before the halftime whistle the home keeper made a brave save at the feet of a Chickerell player just as he was about to take it round him.
The second half started with two red cards in quick succession, one for each team. Chickerell’s number 8 was given a yellow card after 48 minutes for the way he challenged the keeper with his foot for a 50/50 ball. He then got called back for a foul and swore at the referee to earn a second yellow. Ten minutes later and Okeford were down to ten when one of their defenders deliberately handled the ball as he slipped, preventing a goal scoring opportunity to receive a straight red. It looked as if we wouldn’t see any more goals as Chickerell couldn’t apply the finishing touches to the chances they created although they came close – hitting the bar twice in two minutes. A third goal was finally added with ten minutes to go with a low shot that beat the keeper. There was some confusion as the goal appeared to be ruled out for offside but the club assistant was overruled by the referee. In injury time, Chickerell added a fourth with the best goal of the game – a dribble from outside the box beat several tired defenders and a deft low shot was placed past the keeper.