The Soche made their second trip of the season to the lovely Caterham this weekend, still in search of the precious three points they needed to hoist themselves off the foot of the table. A crisp autumnal air met the Soche off the train, and as they ascended the scenic route up Mount Caterham, the golden trees which were once green upon their last visit to these parts provided the perfect metaphor for the afternoon. With most of their deadwood in Somerset, the Soche blossomed into a beautiful bouquet of crisp passing, clever defending and well-taken finishes to clinch their first win on the season.
Battlebridge, who defeated us on the opening day, had failed to capitalize on their decent start and were sitting just a few places above the Soche after failing to win another game so far this season so the gaffer let us know this was must win 6-pointer.
The Soche dominated proceedings throughout the first half and deservedly led at the break despite TK and Billy trying their hardest to keep things level. Billy when clear on goal decided he'd rather not face the wrath of TK and unselfishly squared the ball (unlike the dropped Leach Senior) instead of opening the scoring. Leach Junior provided a constant threat down the left but the intricate approach wouldn't work. The breakthrough finally came when TK flicked on a Powelly punt to put Billy through who slipped the ball past the despairing keeper with a composed first time finish.
A commanding performance was helped by the midfield physicality of Ben and Oly, who would again leave Caterham without any new mates, inspiring the substitutions of two of their players who couldn't wait until after the game to provide analysis on his tackling ability.
The second half started with a new approach from the Soche that the gaffer and the captain had been planning meticulously all week at work using detailed statistics. TK had a pop from kick-off. The keeper caught it. Probably won't do it next week.
The Soche knew this game was theirs to lose as the game inched closer to its conclusion and the second goal wouldn't come despite us having the majority of the pressure. Then Battlebridge's 'keeper showed his generosity by standing behind his wall as TK lined up a free-kick on the edge of the box, fizzing it home into the bottom corner with aplomb to double the lead.
The Soche being the Soche, we couldn't enjoy an easy end to a game. The referee ignored D Fizz's advances and let the Battlebridge attack continue despite the raised flag with them getting a goal back thanks to a tap in.
A setback like this in previous games might have seen us sit back and fear the worst but the Soche went straight up the other end to seal the win. A dangerous TK freekick wasn't cleared and Leach Junior popped up at the back post, rising like a salmon to nod in a third with an attribute not usually associated with the Leach family.
And as the season's change, lets hope the Soche's season had changed, putting the win in winter. UTS
MOTM: Zol - best performance so far this season; didn't let his man have a sniff and won everything.