First 8 games of the season average of 5 goals per game conceded. Last 3 before the Christmas break, 0.3!! What a turnaround. Credit goes to the whole team as we defend from the front, harry them in the middle and the back five (including Lagerberg in goal) have become an obdurate and imposing obstacle to pass.
So it was another solid defensive display that formed the back-drop to a thoroughly deserved point against the high flying Guildford in the early start at Warlingham. It could be argued that Trinity should have taken all three points
From the start Trinity took control of the game. By staying compact, always looking to recycle the ball and then hitting on the counter with pace, they looked the team far more likely to score.
Guildford are not second in the league by fluke and their forward line in particular carried a lot of skill and tactical nous. Until injury, Hellier superbly nullified their main threat allowing Trinity to move the ball around via Ferrigan and Gilbert on the left through Knott and Pacey in the centre to the influential Quelch and the over-lapping Pennel on the right.
Trinity were not short of chances. Skinner, Pennel and Patel had all gone close before a short corner shot from Fairchild was stopped by a foot on the line. Penalty Flick! Knott stood tall and stepped up, however this time the Guildford keeper guessed right and made a great save low to his right. So honours even at half-time.
More of the same for the first 20 minutes of the second half. Skinner and Patel were proving a handful for the experienced Guildford defence These two are growing in stature game by game. Quelch also was excelling in his creative role. He really has developed some sublime touches to his game this season. Trinity need to make sure they capitalise on such periods of dominance as Skinner, Pacey and Gilbert all went close.
As you’d expect the second placed team in the League, once the storm was weathered, would launch attacks of their own. However, Aston was doing a great man-marking job on their centre forward playmaker. Ferrigan, again was timing his tackles and picking good passes down the left. Pennel was showing his defensive worth is as strong as his attacking on the right. Fairchild was his at his beligerent best to mop up any advances that breached the first line. Lagerberg made a couple of great saves as Guildford, to their increasing frustration, were kept at bay.
It still felt like Guildford were there for the taking. In the last minute Fairchild advanced forwards and as the opposition backed off, hit a sweet ball into the D from 40 yards out. The unsighted Skinner was unlucky to see his deflection scrape the outside of the post. Then great individual skill from Patel was unlucky not to be rewarded. As the keeper made a fine save.
Honourable mentions for MoM went to Pennel, Patel and Fairchild. This weeks deserved winner, Skinner.