This was always going to be a special occasion as Wilhelmus welcomed PGS/Vogel to Sportpark Westvliet on Saturday. PGS is the former home of the international section where we enjoyed 13 years of football at Ockenburgh. We moved to Wilhelmus 3 years ago as the international section expanded and needed more room, and were ready for 'Standard Class' football for our first team. Standard Class football is only for first teams and represents the highest level of local amateur football. Both teams were in the 4th Class for 2011/12 and, after good campaigns, were drawn together in the play-offs. Wilhelmus lost 3-1 last week at Ariston so had to win this match to have any opportunity for progression, needing to win by 2 clear goals to have a chance of winning the group or achieve any win to have a last chance as a best second placed team.
Saturday was a very hot day so hydration was going to be a key issue. Add in the enormous size of the Wilhelmus main pitch and it was clear the team who paced themselves the best and won the war of attrition was always going to be favourite. PGS were somewhat depleted due to disciplinary issues, but Wilhelmus also had their fair share of missing players due to work commitments and holidays. Wilhelmus had the better of the first 10 minutes and were rewarded when Martin Gillen burst through the centre, finishing with aplomb. 1-0 and hopes were high, but PGS gradually took control of the game with wave after wave of attacking football, particularly down the flanks. Wilhelmus stood up to the challenge well with stand-in keeper Martin Klima producing a series of fine saves. But even he couldn't avoid conceding a goal after 25 minutes after great work by PGS veteran Quinton Blokpoel. The game continued in the same vein until just before half time when the referee awarded a contestable penalty for a very soft challenge on the PGS forward who made the most of minimal contact. 1-2 at half time and, although Wilhelmus felt a little harshly treated with the penalty, PGS played much the better football and deserved their lead.
The second half became 'do or die' for Wilhelmus and they started with passion and determination. Serge Sambou came more into the game, creating chances for Gillen and Michael Sanderson, forcing PGS on to the back foot for most of the opening exchanges. PGS conceded a free kick 25 metres from goal and Sambou stepped up to bend the ball over the (very tall) wall and into the net. A goal which would have graced any level of football. From then on PGS were reduced to the odd breakaway chance as Wilhelmus piled on the pressure. Chances came and went as the game entered the final phase. After yet another goal-mouth scramble, Sambou found Sanderson on the edge of the 6-yard box and he made no mistake in making it 3-2. There was still time for another and Wilhelmus did all they could to bag that crucial extra goal.
Unfortunately it didn't come and the game ended with a fine 3-2 win for the Voorburgers. The mathematics says Wilhelmus now can't win the league, but a superb season was capped with a great win over our former club and both teams deserve great credit for the sporting way in which the game was played.
Many thanks to all involved, not least the Wilhelmus 'Tiffozi' who cheered the team on from start to finish. Days like this make it all worthwhile and we look forward to many more in the coming years.
If you'd like to get involved, mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org We are running informal sessions over the Summer and are looking for as many new players as want to join. We never say no so no matter what your level is, you are very welcome to play at our club. The annual international companies tournament will be on 30 June, so please contact us if you'd like to enter a team.