Fitz 0-1 Downing
Billed as the title decider – Downing take command of the first division
Downing 1-0 Fitz
Downing remain top of the table as they continue their 100% league record
after a victory over Fitz.
This fixture had been billed as a ‘six-pointer’ and the two sides did not fail to disappoint, with Downing just having edging out their opponents.
The only goal of the game came in 26th minute when Fitz’s Eddie Burrows made a
tackle, won the ball which then bounced off a Downing player and skimmed
James Corcut stepped up to take the resulting free-kick;
Gillingham parried the shot away, but after a deflection in quite a chaotic
scene in the box, it was found by Tom Marsh who bundled it over the line with a pelvic thrust to
make it 1-0.
Fitz Captain and goalkeeper James Gillingham commented on the goal saying
‘The goal was a huge slice of luck. On another day with better conditions,
a free-kick from that position would be no threat at all. It becomes a bit
of a lottery on a wet pitch though. Fair play to the lad who reacted
Downing Captain and goalscorer Tom Marsh denied it was a lucky goal, saying
‘No! I didn’t think the goal was a fluke at all. We had been working hard
on our set pieces at the training ground during the week and what you saw
today was just rewards I feel. A great finish to a great team move’.
The rest of the first half passed with little action, and it was much the
same in the second half. Akram for Fitz and Tom Nutt for Downing were
tireless, and were unlucky that their efforts didn’t bring much to
fruition. Whilst neither side really threatened the other, if a second goal
were going to be scored in the game, you’d have said Downing looked more
likely to grab it, and former Blues’ player Sam Isaacs demonstrated pace
and a good first touch.
It was a game in which the defence out-shone the attackers. Centre-back Tom
Johnson was probably the pick of the Fitz players, making some important
tackles and along with Marc Stettler was solid in defence. However, Man of
the Match no doubt went to Tom Marsh whose performance at centre-back was
crucial to the defence of the lead his goal had given his team.
Following the game, Downing Captain Marsh praised his team for a
‘passionate performance’, also saying ‘Despite the fact that our strikers
couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo, our holding midfielder was acting
like a seven year old, and one of our centre-halves had forgotted how to
head the ball, this was a very pleasing performance’.
Fitz Captain Gillingham said ‘I’m obviously disappointed with the result. I
felt that we were just a little flat and short of ideas in their half of
the pitch. It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort, but we will need to up
the quality… that was a very poor Downing team compared to last year and
they were there to be beaten. I think one of the big sides will give them a
hiding very soon.’
One point on which both captains agreed was that they are both still in the
title race and will be challenging come the end of the season.
Gillingham said ‘We’re definitely still in the title race. Downing will
drop points no doubt and we were missing 3 or 4 players this week.’
Marsh said of Downing’s title prospects: ‘We are one of several teams
battling it out. However, we’re top of the league and history shows that
once we establish a lead at the top we are very unlikely to relinquish