SAL Minor Div 1 North

Old Parkonians 6s 2 – Alexandra Park 4s 4


30/01/2016 | Alexandra Park FC

Scorers: Kenga, Wilson, Cadrot, Osyindu

On transfer deadline weekend, the gossip mill was at work for the 4s. Can we push on in the second half of the season with the team we have, without a need for a transfer? Will any new joiners turn us from a good team into a great team? Just what position will Captain Pat play Chris Wilson in for the remainder of the season? On a windy Saturday in North East London this weekend, a few questions were put to bed.

The 4s started by keeping the ball relatively well, but often over thinking things and being slightly indecisive at the back. Wilson, now at full-back (meaning other than in goal he has played in every position this season [nb, he played in goal in preseason]) for instance misplaced a number of early passes, teasing the aggressive Old Parks winger to run at the defence. On the break, we looked bright, with Cadrot and Charles in particular looking threatening and Kenga a constant nuisance. However, there was a huge gap between the midfield and defence and one long punt up field saw our back four channel their inner Sunday League qualities and completely miss the ball, allowing their centre forward to run through and slot it under the evergreen Sievewright. 1-0 down, we responded brilliantly. A lovely move involving McGlogan at the back, then White, then Cadrot out wide with a lovely ball into Kenga – the forward slotted it home and we’d levelled the game. A quick, deserved response, and we were on top. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a second before half time, but the difference came from our centre midfielders, starting to win the second ball, disrupt play and get the ball down. Casswell in particular was starting to control the game, winding up the opposition no-end with fair, hard tackles and clever passing.

We went out into the second half full of confidence. Both full-backs working well with the wingers in front of them, Osindyu now on, threatening every time the ball was at his feet, the 4s were quite literally all over them. We still couldn’t find the second goal, with our attacking players blazing the ball over from a couple of yards out – an all too familiar story for us this year – the inevitable happened. Old Parks won a free kick 35 yards out, lofted it into the box and instead of challenging, we watched the ball fly over our heads again. Needless to say, the opposition nodded into our net, going 2-1 ahead completely against the run of play.

So the 4s went again. The passing game improving, and believe it or not, we looked fitter than the oppo. As Old Parks started to tire, N’Gola started to impose on the game. Holding up the ball, battering the back four, chasing loss causes and defending for once, he really made a difference. Cadrot was doing much of the same, and as we started to win the physical battle, Old Parks dropped deeper and deeper. After about 70 minutes, we won a free kick about 25 yards out. The age old argument of who wanted to take it began, but McGlogan pulled rank and told Wilson to step up. Low and hard, the bottom corner was found and we were back on level-terms.

After that, Old Parks didn’t get a look in. We won every tackle, every header, we were winning every single battle. Johnson was organising the team defensively, and whenever a sniff of danger came from them, we took care of it professionally. Then we took the lead, Cadrot finally getting the goal his hard-work all game deserved, smashing the ball past the keeper from close range. 3-2 up, we never let them back in the game. In the end, Osindyu put the icing on the cake with a neat finish from a great team move and at 4-2 we saw the rest of the game out, calmly keeping the ball and winning the physical battle in the midfield. Old Parks started trying to get a bit dirty, but we kept our heads and broke no legs to take home the valuable 3 points to keep us close to the top of the league.

If we can just start games how we finish them and play with a little more confidence, the team will be very difficult to beat.

MoM: Casswell

Team: Sievewright, McGlogan, G.Jones, Johnson, Wilson, White, Casswell, Biss, Charles, Cadrot, Osyindu, Kenga, N’Gola

 

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