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10 Man Moles Dig Deep

by David Morgan

Dorking 0-1 Molesey

     James McShane '51

     Few Molesey fans braved the trip this past Tuesday to Dorking to hopefully see the Moles continue their good run of form against a Dorking team who were beaten 4-0 at Molesey just a few weeks ago. However it was all change for Dorking on Tuesday after their previous manager (and goalkeeper for the day) resigned after the last meeting between the two clubs.

Those fans who braved the sub-zero conditions when as they set out for their journey they will have noticed their cars were already starting to freeze, an ominous sign to begin your travel with. Those fans wouldn't feel any better when upon arrival the first thing to notice was the referee inspecting the pitch.

Fortunately for everyone at the ground the pitch was deemed playable and the referee ordered the teams to get ready.

Molesey made a few changes from the 1-1 draw at Camberley with Eric Kobaoe making his full debut in place of Farid Ibrahim-Zadeh and Moses Spencer being pushed into a holding midfield role when Danny Coombes pulled up during the pre-match warm up. 

The match started well for the Moles who seemed to be able to adapt to the conditions a little better than their opponents. Arnold Tawnozvi pulled an early shot wide and James McShane found the side netting from a very tight angle in the opening ten minutes.

It was James McShane who had the games first good opportunity as well when he found space to race into the box but his shot was well saved by the 'keeper and the ball came out to Sam Lampard who couldn't quite find the space to fire home the follow-up.

However, Molesey were looking a little vulnerable on the counter-attack and it was a counter-attack that gave Molesey a very real problem. A long ball forward from the Dorking backline saw the Moles defence caught too far forward and when Dorkings striker attempted to lob Wester Young, Young threw up his hand and punched the ball away from just outside his box. The referee after some hesitation showed the red card and awarded the free kick.

With no substitute 'keeper, centre back Rob Lewis volunteered to go in goal for the next 65 minutes.

Rob Lewis could often be seen in goal when warming up at half time, but the next 65 minutes would mean a lot more than the half time warm-ups did. However, he only had one real save to make in the first half when he blocked a shot out for a corner with his feet.

Luckily for the Moles Moses Spencer was a ready made replacement to slot back into centre back and try to protect the Molesey goal.

But the expected pressure against the Molesey goal failed to materialise for the rest of the first half, then Molesey created a great opportunity themselves on the stroke of half time, when Lewis Ackerman should have done better with a header following good work from Arnold Tawnozvi.

When the referee appeared to be giving the pitch another inspection at half time the Moles fans were hoping for a postponement now that they were in a bit of a situation but the teams appeared from the tunnel and Molesey would have to fight for a result in the second half.

And fight they did when after just six minutes of the second half good pressure by Sam Lampard led to the ball falling for James McShane who showed great composure in sliding the ball home to give Molesey lead they deserved

Molesey had something to hold on to and they were working really hard from back to front to stop any pressure on Rob Lewis in the Molesey goal. They were doing a fantastic job as well, both in stopping any Dorking attacks before they became dangerous and in keeping some pressure on Dorking themselves.

Indeed, Molesey were doing such a good job that the only dangerous moment was when Rob Lewis called to collect the ball from a cross, but Andy Graves instead headed it more up then out but Molesey survived the scare. Perhaps they were using a little bit of luck that had deserted them earlier in the season.

In an attempt to keep the players going until the end Steve Webb utilised all his subs bringing Farid Ibrahim-Zadeh, Owen Bent and Ross Defoe on for Arnold Tawnozvi, Lewis Ackerman and Eric Koboah.

The subs worked just as hard as the players they replaced and were vital in giving the Molesey defence time to keep organised and from getting stretched.

Molesey had a chance to seal the game just as the game entered stoppage time when Sam Lampards shot went just the wrong side of the post. But the referees whistle went soon after and the Moles fans were jubilant about a win that looked so unlikely with the sending off in the first half.

Molesey will look to take their good form into Saturdays game against Sandhurst when they will try to avenge the hammering they took on the opening day of the season.

Line up:1 Young  2. Graves  3. Elliott  4. Yeates  5. Lewis  6. Spencer  7. Koboah (14. Defoe)  8. Lampard  9. Tawonezvi (12. Bent)  10. Ackerman (15. Farid Ibrhim-Zadeh)  11. McShane