With Bourne Deeping Men’s 1sts unbeaten at the Dragons Den since 2014 and Old Southendians undefeated this season, if you were a betting man this fixture had a draw written all over it. And you would have won, finishing all square at 2-2.
The opening exchanges were rather cagey as both teams were very aware that there was an awful lot at stake, both teams had a couple of half chances but nothing clear cut.
It took a set piece from Old Southendians to break the deadlock, when after about 15 minutes their drag flicker dispatched the ball low into the left of the goal.
Immediately from the restart Old Southendians went to a half court press, for which they now had a notorious reputation of doing.
This however was no issue for BDHC as the pre-game tactical chat had been centred around combatting this style of play.
The home team continued to apply pressure and it was Tom Richardson who, after making an excellent tackle, slipped the ball to Andy Williams, Andy drew his defender then caressed the ball to an unmarked Ben Slack on the penalty spot who deflected the ball first time through the keeper’s legs to level the scores.
Both teams had further opportunities but the score at half time was 1-1.
The second half was a more open and expansive affair than the first with a plethora of chances coming at both ends.
Old Southendians number one runner at short corners was doing an excellent job of stifling the usually dependable Stuart Biggs with his sheer pace to the top of the D.
It was Old Southendians who put their noses in front after some uncharacteristic poor marking leaving the opposition striker with a simple finish.
The reaction was almost immediate with Dragons moving the ball well and building up the phases. Ben Slack picked out Stuart Biggs at the top of the D with a pin point accurate pass, Biggs beat his defender to the ball, turned and hammered it to the back post where a grateful Aaron Dawson was waiting for a simple tap in.
With a couple of short corners for both teams in last few minutes the game could’ve gone either way however when the final whistle blew both teams seemed happy with a 2-2 draw. Man of the match was awarded to Ben Slack.
Bourne Deeping Men’s 1sts continued their unbeaten run at home however promotion is now looking highly unlikely as they are now reliant on the five teams above them in the East Men’s League Division One dropping points.