An early game in pre-season for an AP 5/6’s team against the Sunday league outfit MAMA FC. Despite raining as we arrived at the Market Road Astroturf the weather turned to blazing sunshine and the atmosphere was good as debutant Akanu led a light warm-up.
With the emphasis firmly on getting fit, this makeshift AP team had the better of the opening exchanges as we looked to try and bring the ball down and play football. Chances were few and far between for both teams but Smith made a decent blocking save whilst Taylor tested the keeper at the other end with a powerful volley.
With rolling subs the game became a little scrappy in the second half and it was difficult to keep to our game plan. Robinson and Bingley moved into centre midfield for the second half with Taylor and Pietrzykowski joining the wide position and full back merry-go-round with Warren, Jackson and Hayward all impressing with their versatility.
Shortly after Foster had made a dangerous mazy run – Kralik picked the ball up around the half way line. Shifting forward to about 35 yards out the enigmatic Slovak hit a swerving pile driver into the net. There might be questions over the MAMA FC keeper but then again perhaps we wasn’t expecting a shot either.
AP managed to create a further couple of chances for Chovka which he’ll need to do better with in the league season to claim the golden boot. The Mills marshalled defence had managed to limit MAMA’s chances throughout the game but the win was only sealed in the last few minutes when Smith pulled of a superb save with his feet, having had to change direction at the last minute. The experienced Warren backing his keeper to clear the follow up effort of the line.
Early days but a satisfying win.
TEAM: Martin Smith, Kralik, Hayward, Mills, Warren, Foster, Taylor (C), Pietrzykowski, Bingley, Chovka, Akanu (subs) Robinson, Jackson