Scorers: Hughes, Kelly, Fabb
Team: Simpson, Irvine, Williams, Egan, Patterson(c), Carlin, O’Leary’s., Nicolaou, Hancock, O’Leary’s., Fabb, Kelly, Shaw-Morris, Morris, Hughes.
A wet and sunny day trip to Surrey saw the 1’s put in a credible performance to secure another win against 2nd Division opposition.
Having demanded the team assemble on time at Vauxhall and threatened them with German’s punishment, the gaffer struggled with London’s public transport, and was late to the meet…which later cost him dearly in the bar!
With healthy competition for places we again took a strong 15 man squad to south west London. With an emphasis on movement, distribution, and concentration, we settled into the match quickly, and confidently matched our opposition. On a small and slippery surface, with both sides eager to close down fast, it was ‘cat and mouse ‘. Half chances fell to Hughes, Shaw-Morris and Morris, when we created space and crosses mostly down our right flank.
Simpson was called into action on a couple of occasions, stopping a strong drive and tipping over a header. Egan and skipper Patterson were firm in the heart of defence, with Kier, Irvine, Carlin and Williams taking it in turns to show their quality in fullback positions. So after a tight affair, we went in at half time 0 – 0, but confident we could build upon a solid first half.
The second half again started in much the same fashion, but with superior fitness (reward for our commitment to Egan’s rigorous pre season training regime) and a bit of class, we stepped it up. Our midfield of Hancock, Nicolaou, Dan O’Leary and Fabb were winning the lions share in the middle of the park, with Nicolaou in particular adding extra composure and proving to be an excellent addition to the AP ranks this season.
We first went close when Danno put in an excellent corner from the left, and much like last week Egan stole in at the far post to see his diving header flash over the bar (more like a beached whale this week Martin!).
Having given notice of our desire to win, we then proceeded to take a deserved lead. Breaking quickly on the left Shaw-Morris played a delightful ball into Hughes path, who burst onto it and lobbed the keeper from the edge of the box. Now really into our stride, Morris got onto the end of a quick Egan free kick, and a better first touch would surely have seen a second.
German then had a dizzy spell…dodgy header or just old age…which gave Williams the chance to demonstrate his assured defending in his preferred position at the heart of the back four. Tails up and the increasingly impressive Morris played in Kier on the left flank, who pulled back for Kelly, another really encouraging newcomer, to score with decisive side footer from 16 yards. Shortly after Morris again found Kelly who cut in from the left, and unselfishly laid it on a plate for Fabb to net from 6 yards for 3 – 0.
So a good all round competitive performance saw spirits high and the team bonding, assisted by jugs of lager from the gaffer, German, clean sheet Simps, and skips.
P.S. A special mention to Ross ‘ Brucie ‘ McMeekin for making the long trip on crutches to watch his team mates…hope to see you back in action soon.