Goals; Sulemanji (2), Chvojka, Horner
An early kick off at The Racecourse found the 5s squad in a good mood following the encouraging draw from the week before. Despite the hick up of attempting to put up cricket nets when setting up the pitch, whilst we waited on the skipper and the kit, it was encouraging to have a full squad.
Howarth named the team with Hancox replacing Dudnesh at right back and Donnelly dropping in at centre back alongside McGlogan with McGoohan making his debut in centre midfield alongside skipper Howarth. Horner and McGahey on the wings and D Howarth partnering Chvojka up top. Dudensh, Sulemanji and Taylor made up the bench.
Having won the toss we selected to shoot up hill first half and although that gave an experienced Norsemen team an advantage they only had an 11 man squad. Early on they used that advantage with the pacey (and mouthy) strikers giving McGlogan and Donnelly a real test. Norsemen took the lead after 10 minutes as they had threatened to do on a few occasions.
AP then picked up a bit but as the passing 6s skipper remarked “we look a little off the pace.” Just before Norsemen went 2 up D. Howarth had a great chance to equalise when good work out wide by Chvojka was met with a shot that sailed over the bar. Norsemen’s second was from a cross floated to the back post, which was nodded down and then finished off superbly by the Norsemen striker, somehow getting a toe on it just before McGlogan could clear. Further chances were created by both Horner and Chvojka but both selfishly chose to shoot from a tight angle with better options in the box.
At half time the skipper read the riot act, describing the first half performance as unacceptable and admonishing those who had elected to be greedy. In a reshuffle he brought Taylor on at right back (with Hancox moving to centre back, Donnelly pushing into centre mid and McGoohan making way) and Sulemanji on for McGahey on the right.
Both subs made an immediate impact with Taylor intercepting a through ball and releasing the skipper in the middle of the park, the skipper played a lovely ball through to Chvojka who running at the defence at pace chose the right option and laid in the advancing Sulemanji who fired into the bottom left hand corner. Game on.
An equaliser then seemed inevitable and although it took some time to come Norsemen rarely threatened and looked like they could’ve done with some fresh legs. Unfortunately I don’t really remember the equaliser which, although it continues his fine one goal per game ratio this season, is likely to be because of the hideous celebration. Chvojka netting, ripping of his AP top to unveil the Slovak shirt bearing his name (spelt correctly) and screaming “golden booooot”.
Whilst this was going on (much to the waiting sixth teams amusement) the defence huddled together to talk about keeping a second half clean sheet which with Edelman in fine form and Donnelly providing a disciplined screening job in front of us, seemed like a genuine possibility. Chance after chance then came, Horner being described unpleasantly several times by the skipper when he fired over from inside the box.
We finally nudged in front when Dudnesh (on on the left for D. Howarth – Horner having gone up front) played a lovely chipped ball over the top which Sulemanji met with a delightful lob over the keeper. If he continues to finish like that Chvojka might have a fight on his hands for 5s top scorer.
More chances came our way as Norsemen heads went down. We could and probably should have had 6 or 7 but Horner got the goal his performance deserved when he found himself with acres of space and time in the box to set himself and fire into the net and secure the victory.
MoM: Sulemanji – came on and changed the game.
Team; Edelman, Hancox, Kralik, Donnelly, McGlogan, McGahey (Sulemanji), McGoohan (Taylor), K Howarth (C), Horner, D Howarth (Dudnesh), Chvojka