Scorers: Dawkins, Brooks
Our first home game of the season turned out to be a very competitive affair. We matched Norsemen for ability, fitness and desire to win but conceded a sloppy opener that was to be the decider between the teams on the day.
From the kick off we linked up well and began to impose ourselves on the game without having any clear cut chances. Mid way through the first half, from a Rory Delap style throw, Norsemen scored their opener from a flick on from their centre forward that bobbled inside the near post. Their second came shortly after when a long ball found their centre forward in a definite offside position, who slotted home to make it two nil.
To our credit, we kept our heads up and continued to play confidently, not allowing the two goal deficit to dampen our spirit. This positive attitude was rewarded when Craig chased down a ball that seemed like a no hoper. After rounding their full back and finding their keeper off his line, he scored our first with a curling shot to the far post. We were very much back in the game and continued to dominate with Rich and Jack doing some great work on the wings and Anthony and Richard dominating in the middle. The half time whistle came too early unfortunately as we were really playing with purpose at this time.
The start of the second half is a bit of a blur to me now but their third goal came quite early from a corner. One area we need to improve on is our defending from corners and throws and set pieces in general.
Antonio and Spencer entered midway through the second half on the wings and not long after his introduction, Spencer coolly passed the ball into the far corner leaving the keeper with no chance. At 3-2 we were still in the game. We created more chances but unfortunately were unable to score a third. It was a very positive performance from everybody in an AP shirt on Saturday and the signs are positive ahead of our cup fixture at home this Saturday.
Best for AP were Chirac, Anthony, Uli and Craig.
Team: Andy Ritchie, Chirac Shah (Peya Yanci), Melvin Loughnane, Uli Kanyebekov, Mike Myers, Rich Bowhill (Antonio Grisi), Anthony Shaw, Richard Fryer, Jack Dudmish (Spencer Brooks), Craig Dawkins, Sean Phelan.