Scorers: Irving(2), Fullerton(2)
1st of October and summer comes to North London’s finest sports venue with picnics, kids games and most important girls back in their summer clothes aaahhh. The 3s also got in the mood with Moruzzi looking like he had just stepped of the plane from the Costa Brava (with only a sombrero and donkey missing), Jonesy having a hint of Miami Vice and our Captain strolling in like he had just done a box of Red Stripe under a Caribbean palm. Magic. Meanwhile there was a game to play.
With the luxury of the main pitch to play on we were determined to play our best football, especially with at least four people watching from the side. We started where we left off last week with some fine passing. Harry and Jed in midfield soon had a stranglehold of the game and kept the ball constantly moving with Harry picking out some fine passes.
Ash and new boy Max Kemplen were the wide outlets with Max having plenty of space to play in, which he made the most of. Malachi was buzzing across the pitch making darting runs and smart passes to torment their defence. With Stroller up front making his presence felt we looked threatening every time we got up to the last third. The back four of Fevzi(whippersnapper), Moruzzi(wrong side of 30), Jonesy(old bloke) and myself(OMG how old) looked solid and assured with Michael in goal sweeping up any loose balls. We continued to play on the deck with slick pass and move attacks which at times tore Ibis apart. You felt it was only a matter of time before we scored and Stroller duly supplied a bundled finish to a sweeping move which saw their keeper unable to hold a fierce shot, Stroller dragged the ball from him and somehow got the ball in the net.
A second soon followed when Ash tricked his way into the area and drew a tackle from their defender who conceded the penalty. Who wanted it, Moruzzi was keen but Stroller asserted his seniority and stepped up. The old boys at the back now popped a couple of valium whilst Mike in goal started praying to Mecca. He strode up and calmly finished. We never doubted you skips!
For all the calmness of the penalty skips contrived a miss of biblical scale when he beat the offside and found the ball at his feet only two yards out with the keeper prostrate on the ground, but he took mercy on Ibis and put it wide. I dread to think what the Chairman said from the sideline but it would not have been “oh bad luck”.
2-0 at the break and we were well in control with Ibis hardly having a sniff at goal. After some refreshment we started again and it was normal service resumed as we created chance after chance and should have scored but we tended to overcook the play when the simple pass was on or just shoot rather than pass it until we dissappear up our own backsides. When we play quick and incisive we are deadly so why not do it all the time?
Ibis now had their best chance when the Old gits at the back got caught out by a long ball, their forward raced on with Mike advancing out. Mike then made a fab save to deny the attacker and keep the score at 2-0. Had it been 2-1 and the game could have changed but that moment seemed to spur us on to greater effort and we began to wear Ibis into the ground with our passing. Malachi extended the lead after Ibis failed to clear their lines.
Moruzzi who was able to push on almost all game backed up both Max and his replacement Will and whipped in plenty of crosses. Unfortunately Paul doesn’t know his own strength and we failed to realise that he was always aiming for beyond the back post or beyond the byline!
Ibis then had a bizarre chance when Fevzi’s throw was intercepted by their attacker who took a touch and lofted a shot towards goal with Mike standing on the byline as an option for the thrower, Fortunately the shot skimmed the outside of the post. A good effort though. The fourth came when Malachi met a corner at the front post and flicked the ball into the net. We saw the game out with some great possession play as Ibis continued to chase shadows.
A well deserved win with some wonderful passing. The movement off the ball was excellent with people always trying to make themselves available. We defended as a team unit which was satisfying but also attacked as a unit with the whole team being quite fluid with players covering others who are out of position. As mentioned before we need to be a bit more clinical around goal, because this scoreline should have been greater. Everyone was excellent although Harry in centre mid was the mutts nuts throughout with his passing. Jed did what he does best by harrying and snapping at the oppo. Max slipped into the team set up effortlessly and showed what an asset he could be. Fevzi as usual was up and down the pitch, although some of his antics (quality play) tends to make Jonesy a bit twitchy.
Finally I want to thank everyone for buying into the team ethic this season. We put the goals etc up together and did the reverse after. And when we go away I expect people to be prompt at meets or at grounds so that we can warm up properly and get the momentum building prior to kick off. Thanks to Mike for doing the stint behind the bar, your time will come Jed! Again discipline was excellent with no one reacting to tackles although Moruzzi did call one of them a “hairdresser”. There’s always one!