Mid Sussex League Premier Division
Colin Anderson Playing Field, Dormansland
Admission and Programme: None
Attendance: 21 (head count)
Match Rating :4
My second 'silly season' game this season took me just over the Surrey border for a 6pm kick off, for my third Mid Sussex League Premier Division match in less than a week.
The Colin Anderson Playing Fields is located about a ten minute walk from Dormans rail station, a little further from the village centre, and enjoys a very rural location just off a quiet country lane. As one enters the ground, there is a very small car park to the right and the changing rooms to the left - built to resist vandals but still quite attractive painted in club colours. A little way up the slope is the pitch, which has a pronounced slope from side to side, The setting is attractive with fences bordering the top length and behind one goal, behind the other are trees. Looking down the slope, the views would be glorious on a clear day, stretching for miles towards the North Downs. Unfortunately, hazy conditions and low sun meant the view couldn't really be appreciated this evening.
This evening's game would pitch together last year's Champions - Dormansland Rockets of the Premiership and Rotherfield of the Championship. Dormansland are in with a shout of retaining their title, in fourth place, five points behind the top two but with two games in hand. After going 7 months without a league win, two in four days in the last week has probably been sufficient for Rotherfield to retain their divisional status although there is certainly work left to do to ensure that. They were in ninth place going into tonight's game, six points clear of the bottom two. When the two teams met back in October, Dormansland claimed a 3-4 away win.
On a dry sunny evening, the game was evening for the opening half hour, with Rotherfield having the clearest chances to open the scoring. However on 34 minutes it was the home side who took the lead when a perfectly flighted cross from the left wing was headed into the net. There was little further incident before half time and so the scoreline remained 1-0 at the interval.
Seven minutes after the break and Dormansland doubled their lead, when the ball was poked high hopefully towards goal from distance but the keeper made a complete hash of getting behind the ball and couldn't save it. Two minutes later and it was 3-0, when the ball was dinked over the keeper from the left hand side of the penalty area and it was tapped home from a few yards. On 62 minutes, a potentially pivotal moment occurred when a Dormansland striker was sent off for going in too forcefully for a 50-50 challenge with the keeper. This might have given hope to Rotherfield,who hadn't played that badly despite the scoreline. However five minutes later and Dormansland scored their fourth when one of their players drove forward and hit the ball with the outside of his boot over the keeper and into the net. On 75 minutes it was 5-0 when a quick break resulted in the ball being powered past the keeper from a central position. Three minutes later and it was 6-0 with a simple finish after the ball was played wide. Dormansland could have scored more in the end, forcing a great save and then hitting the bar from a corner soon after their sixth. But the emphatic scoreline improved Dormansland's goal difference, which could prove crucial in the final standings.