The first league game of the season saw Whiteley FC short of 5 first team players take on Forest of Bere.
The game started brightly in intense temperatures and Forest of Bere started strongly, taking the game to Whiteley. They had a few chances but a combination of good defending and the midfield digging in saw us keep them at bay.
Unfortunately the ref for this match was not available and as a result their manager stepped in kindly to referee the match. He was reffing the game fairly giving decisions both ways.
Late into the first half we had a free kick just past the half way line. Marv thinking quickly stepped up and placed a quick free kick into the area whilst forest of Bere were still trying to organise themselves. The ball moved out to the right side of the area where ran onto it and thumped a very well taken shot past the keeper into the corner of the net. It was against the run of play at that time but Oz took his chance well to put us one up.
We continued to attack at every opportunity with Ally having a free kick neatly saved at the near post and Nial trying to angle a difficult header into the net. Again Nial nearly scored with a great cross coming in from the right but he couldnt get enough on the ball to steer it home, it was unlucky and we were unlucky not to be going in at half time three nil up.
Half time followed ten minutes later and we went in one up having had Dan make a few decent saves to keep them out.
We went out for the second half and Forest of Bere had brought on their striker to try to get sometihng out the game. Again, they came at us with everything they had and created a few decent chances which Dan either saved or they blasted wide.
Twenty minutes into the second half and the referee was giving every decision to Forest of Bere. Offsides which were being flagged by our lino were being ignored whereas any flagging by the opposition was met with a whistle and a free kick.
forest of Bere on the attack again put in a high ball to the edge of the area, Damo went up for the header but was pushed in the back of his neck and with Whiteley claiming a free kick, they slotted the ball home.
We continued to keep them at bay restricting them to wild long shots that were going way wide.
Fifteen minutes before the end came the game changing decision. Their left winger put in a decnt cross and their centre forward threw himself at the ball to get something on it. He missed the ball and the ball sailed out for a goal kick. Everyone (including their team) jogged back up the pitch to wait for Dan to take the resulting goal kick. To our horror we saw the referee had awarded a penalty. Even their strikers claimed they hadn't been touched but the referee (their manager!) was not going back on his decision. Their centre forward then smashed the ball home to put them two one up.
We continued to attack and Oz was unlucky with a,most a replica chance where he scored in the first half smashing the ball to the near post. Their keeper pulled off the save of the match diving low at point blank range and getting a strong hand on the ball to keep it out.
With five minutes left Ally got chopped down in the area with what looked like a definite penalty but the referee was having none of it.
The game ended and we had lost the game to two very dubious decisions from their manager. Considering we had five reserves playing they stepped up to the task superbly so credit to everyone who battled well in the game. Unfortunately due to the cost involved we will not be reporting the referee (their manager) to the league for his bias towards his own team but I will be writing a letter to the league to make them aware that we were not treated fairly in the game. Good luck to the reserves next week because he will be refereeing again for Forest of Bere.
Man of the match will be decided shortly.