Scorers: Miguel Catalan (3), Svetozar Popov (2), Jordan Cole, Daryl McNie, Mark Hall
Lineup: Tim Finch, Tom Hunt, Aaron Thaxter (c), James Hyde, Ciaran Kelly, Svetozar Popov, Sam Wakely, Jordan Cole, Kevin Thaxter, Miguel Catalan, Daryl McNie
Subs: Andy Nuttall, Mark Hall, Jake Cladercourt
I woke up with the anticipation of the new campaign flowing through my veins, this was only heightened when I strolled through to the living room and looked out over the flat sea basked in glorious sunshine. I could feel this was going to be a good day.
I don't usually travel to the games via public transport but on this occasion I took the 1A bus with Zarko. On arrival at the ground we were delighted to see that the grass at Wish Park had been freshly cut and the changing rooms given a much needed lick of paint for the upcoming season. The spring in my step was shortened a little when I realised no keeper shirt was in the kit bag and was forced to retrieve the black one from the home kit in Kevin's boot. I was almost knocked over by the stench which I can only describe to be solar to that of a homeless mans crotch. I dreaded pulling the shirt over my head but with a couple of gags and copious amounts of Lynx later I was ready to take to the field.
There were understandably some strong emotions during the warm up ahead of the minutes silence in memory of Matthew Grimstone and the other victims of the Shoreham Air Show disaster two weekends previously. A.Thaxter taking the captains armband for another season won the toss and opted to play into the wind for the first half.
St Peter's Church, newcomers to the league, kicked off but it was the away team in orange with commemorative black armbands who were quickest out of the blocks. The solid start from The View was not wasted and on twelve minutes they opened the scoring. Cole received the ball from Popov, playing it to Catalan on his right who cut back across his man clinically finishing with an early strike into the bottom left corner.
The away sides flowing football continued and was epitomised ten minutes later when a long kick from Finch was brought to earth with a sublime touch from Catalan's right boot, he then quickly laid it outside to the overlapping K.Thaxter steaming down the left who in turn slid the ball with his left across goal to Cole who tapped home from the centre of the six yard box.
Mesmerised by what they had seen St Peters were unable to react when another move down the left starting with K.Thaxter found McNie's run heading to the left corner. On receipt of the ball McNie cut inside the right back and located Popov at the end of his angled run to the near post who clipped the ball over the keepers left shoulder making it three in the first twenty four minutes.
The 'Hounds' continued to press and and almost made it four with an effort from McNie which was just dragged wide of the left post which was the result of great interchange play from Popov and Catalan with the latter scooping the ball over the last man into his path. The fourth goal wasn't far away and it came from Catalan who's run was found with a precision cross from the outside of K.Thaxter's right foot leaving the spaniard to volley home passed the helpless keeper.
Despite being four up the flow of attacks kept rolling in and just after the half hour mark a quick throw from K.Thaxter put Catalan who advanced upon and beat the keeper to complete his hat-trick. A sixth was almost added by half time but instead of neatly nodding home a corner at the far post K.Thaxter embarrassingly leapt and fell completely missing the ball resembling Emile Heskey at his peak. The half time whistle went completing a formidable first half display from The View, arguably the best in the clubs history.
St Peters started the second half with more enthusiasm giving more balance to the match. Unfortunately for them their defence was breached again with a wonder goal from Popov who's first time left foot strike curled up and over the keeper into the top corner.
The first real chance for the home side came with a snap shot from their promising playmaker, only a fingertip from the outstretched right arm Finch kept it out of the net tipping it onto far post. Suffering a tightening groin Catalan was withdrawn for Mark Hall in a straight swap.
On sixty five minutes the lead was extended when Popov slid a through ball into McNie's angled run who duly placed it under the keepers right arm. Kelly who was continuing to impress on his debut took the ball down the right wing beating the left back before delivering a pin point cross which which was met on the volley but put over by Hall.
Moving into the last twenty minutes Popov picked up an knock and made way for Andy Nuttall who came on to make an appearance for the twentieth successive season for the club. The formation re-shuffled seeing Hyde move up into midfield with Nuttall joining the back 3 in his familiar role.
Another View chance came from McNie breaking free down the right squaring a sumptuous cross for K.Thaxter who headed over. With wearying legs the visitors midfield at opened up allowing an grey shirt clean through the centre, Finch came out remaining tall and parried the attempted chip to the feet of the pairing striker who's scuffed shot was cleared on the line by Nuttall.
Not disheartened St Peters continued to push on and amidst confusion when A.Thaxter heard a voice tell him to 'let it run', Finch appeared baffled as he expected the ball to be cleared. Fortunately for the pair of them the resulting shot was straight into the midriff of the oncoming Finch and amounted to nothing.
The last change for The View came with nine minutes to play when the regular Sunday keeper Jake Caldercourt came on for the debutant Kelly and immediately made his presence known with some deft touches. With five minutes remaining Hall picked up the ball on the edge of the area and spotting Cladercourt free crossed into the area only to see it blocked by the arm of a centre back. Hall stepped up for the resulting spot kick that followed giving the keeper 'the eyes' before squeezing it under his left arm.
The game finished 8-0 which was taken well by St Peters who clearly enjoyed playing their first game in the BHWDFL and have a lot to look forward to over the course of the season as their performance didn't merit that score line.
The View's first half display carried the desire of a bear hunting for his first meal after a long winter and fully merited the win but they need to remain solid for a full 90 minutes if they want to challenge for promotion this year.
Written by Tim Finch
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