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  • Writer's pictureNorth Camp

North come up short in battle for top spot

North Camp suffered their first league loss of the season on Sunday, going down 3-1 to a strong Morley Road Academicals side at Queens Road.

The sky and whites will rue a couple of gilt-edged chances that went begging in the first half, and while Steven Schofield did bag his fifth goal of the season, it wasn’t enough as the visitors’ clinical finishing proved to be the difference.

Under clear skies but with heavy conditions under foot, Morley Road started the more aggressive, clearly confident having won their first six games of the season.

And indeed they capitalised on their early dominance by taking the lead after ten minutes. A rare undercooked pass in midfield from home captain Tom Dallison was cut out and the ball found its way to opposing centre forward Charlie Peter on the right side of the box. He showed good composure to stand up the defender, beat his man and then bury the chance, although Bogdan Chitu may have felt he could have done better at his near post.

The visitors continued to look dangerous going forwards, however as the half went on North Camp slowly clawed their way back into the game. Schofield looked isolated up front though, and poor final balls meant he had little to feed upon.

It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the hosts’ first real chance came along. A ball over the top caused confusion in the back line, and Schofield nipped in to nudge it around the onrushing keeper. Despite the angle becoming tight you still felt the Chorley Crespo would finish the chance, but his effort agonisingly hit the post the rebound somehow managed to evade the nearby Nathan Davis.

Schofield again threatened shortly after following a good ball down the channel from Ed Simpkin, but the visiting defender recovered well and the chance came to nought.

By the time the half time whistle approached the hosts were well on top. All they needed was a goal to show for it. Another big chance presented itself, this time to Davis as he was sent clean through by the increasingly dangerous Schofield, but Davis shot straight at the keeper. “Should have taken it round him,” said Davis after the game. Indeed.

It was beginning to feel like one of those days in front of goal, however the hosts finally equalised just before the break. Quick thinking and a quick throw in from Davis sent Schofield away down the left, and he showed good strength to stave off his marker before clipping a beautiful finish past the keeper from a tight angle.

It was no more than the home side deserved after dominating the final 25 minutes of the half, and they went into the break with the upper hand.

After captain Dallo’s inspiring half-time comment of “we are more specialer than them,” North Camp continued on the front foot at the start of the second half. Peter Jarmyn, on for the injured Dan Knight, put in a teasing cross but the onrushing Luke Gurney could only fire over the bar.

Shortly afterwards, Gurney, clearly keen to stay at the heart of the action, decided he would try and head a ball that was at knee height. Unsurprisingly it didn’t have the desired effect, and the ball broke to an opposing midfielder. While Gurney was still nursing his muddy nose, the Morley Road player lamped the ball as hard as he could into Dallison’s nutsack. Cue both North Camp midfielders down on their knees.

But the pain they both felt then was nothing compared with what was to come moments later. Having been well on top for the majority of the game, the hosts were caught cold at the back. The impressive Peter again worked himself some space on the right side of the box, and his cross-shot could only be tipped into the path of a Morley team mate, who followed up for a simple tap in.

The goal seemed to settle the visitors, who started to create a few more opportunities but couldn’t add to their advantage.

At the other end, the hosts continued to press but couldn’t quite work the same quality openings as in the first half. Matt Butler, on as a second-half substitute, played a crisp first-time ball through to Schofield, but a visiting defender stretched out a leg to clear the danger. Schofield then tried a Bergkamp-style flick around the defender, but again it was cleared and the chance gone.

With the heavy ground and tired legs becoming a factor, Morley became much the better team again in the final 20 minutes, deciding that attack was the best form of defence. They saw a free kick headed on to the post and another couple of chances blocked as they looked to put the game beyond doubt.

Finally they did so, with Peter rounding off a man-of-the-match display by dispatching an acrobatic volley into the corner with a couple of minutes to play.

Overall it was probably a deserved win for the visitors, but on another day the home side could certainly have walked away with the points in a game that ebbed and flowed.

Next week sees the start of another potential cup run, as North Camp look to get back to winning ways at home to Frogmore FC – mid table in division 3 – in the interdivisional cup.


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1 Comment

Tom Dallison
Tom Dallison
Oct 30, 2020

We go again gents!

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