The easiest way to take apart a 10 man team is to pass the ball
Scorers: White (pen)
The boys came into this match wanting to make amends for the drubbing of the previous week. Will Lewis was dragged up from 7s to add a bit of calm in the centre of the park, Big Mo from the 6ths came in for his first AP team photo and Thrale came down from the 4s to give a helping hand back in his usual left back birth. The skipper stuck to his word and rewarded performance, Astroboydropping to the bench and the evergreen 40 year old Wayne Rose coming in up front.
Playing on AP’s very own 7-aside pitch (devastated it’s our last match on it this season), the game looked likely to be dominated by the wind and aerial presence. AP started brightly, looking in control defensively and pushing up front against their static back four. Big Aus Mo’s throw was launching nearly the length of the pitch in the wind frequently beating the OF defence. Fifteen minutes intothe game the tables turned in AP’s favour with Doddy, through on goal, being sliced down by the OF skipper. A straight red was the right call and AP heads went up. We dominated most of the first half with the wind behind our backs, plenty of corners were won but with only two shots on target our dynamism in front of goal was not good enough.
The half time talk was all about passing the ball, tiring OF out and getting shots on target. We managed to do the opposite for most of the second half. Finchleans used the wind to good effect, pressing hard down the wings and getting men forward on the counter. A cross from their right looped over Mo to land in the side netting and AP found themselves 1-0 down against 10 men. It took a while to wake up and with the fresh legs of George Wharton and Astroboy coming on AP started to lift their game. Doddy was turned down a cold cut penalty and then a few minutes later was given one as compensation (still justified). Tom White stepped up and coolly slotted home – now time to get the winner.
The lads, in particular Wharton, were taking apart the tiring OF defence and midfield but numerous long throws by Lewis and corners were too easily defended. AP got lucky towards the end, OF continuously working on the counter managed to use the back of Lewis to leap highest and slot a header over Mo, fortunately the ref was up with the play and blew for the foul.
The match finished 1-1 and the boys were rightly disappointed with only one point but the last fifteen minutes is the brand of football we want to play when pushing forward from now on and hopefully it can inspire us to get a big 3 points away from home next week.
MoM: George Wharton looked excellent on the left, always available for a quickpass and added a bit of urgency into the proceedings.
Team: – Mo, Burwell, Rae, Thrale, Kralik, Piner, White, Sulimajni, Lewis,Astropalitis, Dodimead, Wharton, Rose