And so to the first preseason game of the new campaign – the cool before the warmth, the calm before the storm, the day when established and prospective players can work their way into the reckoning for each team. AP had 6 teams playing in Enfield, as it seemed did everything other club in North London – it was how I imagine Sunday morning football is, and I for one cannot wait to get back to the hallowed turf of Fortress Racecourse.
The team assembled on time, and enjoyed the spectre of a keeper who did preseason training AP, but was unable to commit due to work changing his working hours on a Saturday, wandering along with another team –oh how we laughed.
Several new players made their bow for the 2’s – last season’s 3’s player of the year Steve Glynn stepped in to boss the midfield, alongside new recruit Ben Wilkinson. Also, coming in from the McLoughlin school of excellence were Centreback Pete Nugent and Midfielder Zack Amankwaah, who respectively showed great solidity and flashes of brilliance throughout the team.
This game would be the first for the reserves under the reign of John Morris as Manager, and the new Gaffer did not take long in stamping his authority, instituting a controversial 3-5-2 formation.
Despite the misgivings, we took to the game with gusto and were 1-0 within 5 minutes. A dangerous ball was fired into the Broomfield box, and their centre back handled under pressure from Jose. Claude stepped up to coolly slot home the pen. Despite the odd Broomfield attack (which were usually snuffed out by an AP backline of McLoughlin, Simpson and Nugent, which was in turn superbly marshalled by Chris Simpson) the half was all AP – crosses were being fired in beautifully, and the oppo keeper did really well to deal with them. Jose and Matt Zweck came close, but the half came to a close with no further scoring.
We battled hard in the first half and dominated the game, but like Sam Cooke before us, we knew that “A change was gonna come”. Broomfield had about 7 subs, and a real headwind had picked up.
In the Second half it was backs to the wall – and we defended in the main superbly. There was the odd panic and scare, but when the back 3 were breached, they could not find a way pass the rock solid Chris in goal.
So all in all, a really good work out for the season ahead. Broomfield were good opponents, but we looked good for our win – we adapted well to an unfamiliar formation, and we looked lively due to a good preseason.
2 more games against the Intermediate AFA cup finalists and the SAL Champions respectively before the season starts, so let’s get along to training to build on the good work so far.
C Simpson, I Simpson, McLoughlin, Nugent, Fabb, Moruzzi, Glynn, Wilkinson, Amankwaah, Morris, Mbelo, Jose, Zweck, Bob.