Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Tunbridge Wells 1 Glebe 2

Match 47/17/1497 - Tuesday, 24th October 2017 - SCEFL

Tunbridge Wells (1) 1 Ita 41
Glebe (0) 2 Fitzgerald 51, Zeppo 72
Attendance: 169

Entrance: £4 Senior
Programme: £2
Mileage: 38/3,208

Here’s a bit of nostalgic thinking, back in the day (everything wasn’t so much better in those days) of the W formation (younger readers might have to google) before Sir Alf Ramsey invented the wingless wonders that won the World Cup for England and changed the way football teams were set-up, players knew what their jobs were. Right backs defended against left wingers; inside lefts were considered to be the most skilful and creative players on the pitch and the old fashioned centre forward took out everything in his path, goalkeeper’s included in his quest to find the back of the net. There were no false number nines or holding midfielders and if you were a right back that’s where you played every week. Jimmy Armfield wasn’t asked to supply the crosses, he had a right winger in front of him to do that; he had enough to do concentrating on keeping the likes of Tom Finney quiet.

It was not a perfect formation, that is why there are records of 6-5 and 7-6 matches that we don’t see today, but spectators knew where players would be on the pitch before they even entered the stadium.

At Culverden Stadium last night, Tunbridge Wells looked muddled, almost as if they didn’t know where they were meant to be and as the game progressed, as a spectator, the less I understood what was going on.

Glebe were no great shakes, they have had a change of managership recently and they could have the excuse that they need time for Anwar Uddin’s tactics to bed in. Uddin’s assistant, Peter Sweeney was on the pitch and his experience shone through.

On a dank, wet night when the rain was in the air rather than going to soak you, a decent attendance of 169 continued to show their support for a club that is not producing the results that such loyalty deserves.

I’m unable to locate the Glebe team so reference to their players will be a bit sketchy, which was a shame because I would have liked to have known whether Arlie Desanges, who scored for fun at Sutton Athletic last season and the ex-Tonbridge favourite, Harry Harding were even playing.

A drab opening 15 minutes saw a single chance for the visitors headed wide from a corner before Stephen Ita tested the goalkeeper at his near post.

For the next 20 minutes it was mostly Glebe that were forcing the issue with the number 10 seeing his header cleared from the line by Keiron Tarbie and the centre forward planting another header straight at the Tunbridge Wells goalkeeper, Muhammed Otuyo.

Tunbridge Wells came to life after 35 minute when Jon Pilbeam firstly flashed a shot across the face of goal and when the ball was recycled back to him his header came back off the inside of a post and run along the line before it was cleared.

Five minutes later they were awarded a free kick following a foul on Jack Harris from which Stephen Ita perfectly executed getting it over the wall and dipping into the goal.

Otuyo was called on to make a double save just before the break to preserve the Wells’ half-time lead.

The lead was not to last long into the second period though when a cross from the left was met with an unchallenged header from Max Fitzgerald.

Glebe poured forward, confidence restored, and the Wells defence were at sixes and sevens as Otuyo went missing and the ball was scrambled clear.

After 72 minutes a mix-up between Scott Whibley and the goalkeeper, who should have claimed the ball, allowed Bryan Zeppo to nip in between and touch past the hesitant goalkeeper.

The Wells were unable to respond with a couple of free kicks that were relatively easy dealt with being their only threats.

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