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  • Writer's pictureNorth Camp

Super Schofield Strikes Again!

Steven Schofield was again on target as North Camp ground out a hard-fought 1-0 win over AFC Raiders at the Polo Fields on Sunday, 23rd August.

The striker made it three goals in two games to start preseason with a tidy finish after just three minutes, benefitting from a shambolic mistake from a Raiders centre back. And while the remaining 87 minutes provided no further goals, there was time for the woodwork to be struck four times, a penalty to be saved, an open goal to be missed, and no shortage of extra-curricular activities in a game that threatened to boil over at various points.

In windy conditions that made it tricky for defenders, North Camp wasted little time in continuing where they left off against FC Barossa, and opened the scoring through a striker bang in form. A rather hopeful ball forward from Momodou Ceesay swirled in the air and led to the defender missing the ball not once, but twice, leaving Schofield with the simplest of tasks to tuck the ball past the helpless goalkeeper from ten yards.

Having got the early goal, North Camp continued to press in the early goings, with Peter Jarmyn providing good width on the right, and Nathan Davis slotting a number of good balls through to Schofield on the left. Defensively the home side also kept things tight initially, with Raiders limited to continually punting long balls over the top, much to the annoyance of their left winger, Ellen Degeneres.

The game’s first set of handbags were purchased midway through the first half by a Raiders centre back and North Camp’s midfield engine Josh King. The centre back was reportedly heard saying he preferred Luke Gurney’s calf muscles, however these rumours are unconfirmed. Whatever was said, King earnt himself a shove in face from the opposing goalkeeper, who came wading in uninvited. Yellow cards were issued to King and the centre back, but the keeper somehow managed to get away scot-free.

Shortly afterwards the keeper came flying out again and this time conceded a penalty as he clattered into Davis, despite the winger going away from goal.But the keeper made up for his mistake with a brilliant save, tipping Davis’ well-struck penalty on to the post.

The woodwork was struck twice more before half time, firstly by North Camp centre back Joe Schoenwerth, who has shown quite an eye for goal in his opening two games for the club. Then, as Raiders started to grow into the game, a free kick that seemed destined for the top corner was superbly tipped on to the post by Bogdan Chitu.

Half time brought about wholesale changes for both sides, but the pattern of the game stayed the same. Gilt-edged chances came and went at both ends, and a number of niggly fouls kept the animosity level high on the scale. One of the few players to play longer than 45 minutes was man of the match Gurney, who showed his versatility by moving from central midfield to left back. It is unknown in which of these positions he successfully managed to finger the bumhole of an opposing player.

North Camp continued to play attractive attacking football after the break, with Matt Butler finding Chris Pike on the overlap, but the right back’s square ball was intercepted just before Davis could tap in. The Butler-Pike combination almost worked again moments later after King’s through ball found Pike on another overlap, but his cutback was put just wide by the onrushing Butler under pressure from a recovering defender.

But it wasn’t all one-way traffic, with Raiders seeing another free kick tipped excellently on to the bar by second-half keeper Craig Hughes. Then, with about ten minutes remaining, came undoubtedly Raiders’ best opportunity. North Camp’s supreme on-field leader Tom Dallison put a rare foot wrong as his back pass was intercepted by an opposing striker, but having rounded Hughes, he could only shank a poor effort well wide of the gaping goal.

There was still time for Schofield to come back off the bench and sting the fingers of the Raiders keeper, but the lack of any further goals gave the hosts their second win of preseason. At times it wasn’t pretty, but winning is a habit and North Camp will look to extend that habit next weekend against Farnborough Youth FC Old Boys, again at the polo fields, this time at 10.30am.

Congratulations to Luke Gurney for being awarded the much-deserved Webber's Plumbing, Heating and Home Improvements Man of the Match.

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