Highlight: Ozan’s goal in the 87th minute as it came at a crucial time in the game and it gave the team a bigger boost.
This was the last pre season game to be played before our league campaign begins next week against HSBC away.
Once again the team was lacking five first team players and again players stepping into the breech did a tremendous job and did not look out of place.
We faced a very strong and organised and physical Actonian side and it seemed we were in for a very difficult and punishing game.
It took us twenty minutes to establish a firm base in terms of our attacking play with the game becoming quiet narrow at times.
The first goal was a gift for the opposition in part, but I have to say not against the grain of the game, twenty two minutes in the opposition took a long range 25 yard shot which our keeper parried only to have the striker pounce on the rebound to score.
The team looked a little shocked and disappointed as I do believe this was the first time we have had to come from behind in the early stages of a game.
Not to be disheartened the AP team immediately went on the offensive and two minutes later produced an excellent move via the right flank with Ozan connecting with a good header on target.
The game got a bit feisty around the twenty sixth minutes with both teams getting lets say physical, the ref manage to have a word with a few players and things settled down again.
30 minutes into the game I noticed we were once again being drawn into a very narrow game and needed width as they seem to be struggling when we did.
The game was continuing to be played at a high tempo and the AP team looked comfortable at that pace, however towards the end of the first half the Old Actonians players were struggling fitness wise.
AP continued to pressure the Old Actonians and in the 32nd and 35th minutes into the game we created two good chances.
Half Time came and a change few changes were made, again the match set off at a quick pace however the AP team looked the stronger and were getting into a set rhythm in terms of their passing and moving, using the flanks well to create opportunities.
it was good to see the AP team not getting too frustrated with not scoring but concentrating on playing ball to feet and creating opportunities, the young defence were not being intimidated or bullied as what was happening to a certain degree earlier on and looked very strong towards the end of the game as confidence in the ranks grew.
The break through eventually came with a lovely through ball which Ozan got on to, to finish as calmly as ever 1-1.
This was a deserved goal that the whole squad had worked for, visibly Old Actonians sagged and smelling blood the AP team turned it on for a decisive goal, with minutes on the clock AP created two good chances via Ozan and Leslie but alas it was not meant to be.
I am more then happy regarding how the match went it was a good opportunity to have a good look at certain players again and makes the decision on who starts the first game extremely difficult, but it is a good situation to be in as it means we have more depth and strength not just in the first team but the club.
The team has performed well against higher opposition and the experience will hopefully give the squad confidence and belief in our up coming league games.
I am extremely pleased with the younger players who have made it into the first team squad; they have shown good maturity and character, and with the senior players have bonded well thus far.
As a team we have a long way to go and this is still early days, but I am optimistic that with the right attitude from all and commitment we will have a good productive season.
Team: Martin Smith, Louis Cain, Rob Soutar, *Ozan Gunes, Paul Jannece (Capt), Sylvester Cornibert, Leslie Manu, John Valencia Gonzales, Shaun Reid, Claude Mbelo, Nana, Jason Smith, Dodo Levin, Richard Hyde.