Ealing Association 1s 0 – Alexandra Park Reserves 1

AFA Intermediate Cup Round 3 | November 21, 2011

Goal – Thrale.

How we only managed to score 1 goal in this game is beyond me. We should have hit double figures before half-time, but managed to ‘make a game of it’ when we really should have steamrollered them.

We arrived at the ground before the oppo, who thought the game kicked off at 2 instead of half one – the ref was not too amused. The pitch was an absolute joke – craters all over the place filled with sand – it made Albert Road look like Bank of England. We had plenty of time to warm up, whereas the oppo’s equivalent was putting the nets up. Kick off was further delayed so they could argue with each other about the starting line up and who plays upfront. At this point it was obvious to see AP players trying to stifle a snigger, and I think many people thought we would win the game.

The opposition were very slow at the back, and we are very fast upfront, so in no time at all we were in behind them. However, we were very profligate with our finishing, not helped by the unpredictable bobble on the pitch. It was a bit frustrating that we were not quite gambling on the back post, because we could have had numerous goal if people had bothered to follow in shots. We took the lead on the half hour however, when Dan Wilding slalomed through the box leaving a trail of defenders in his wake and squared across for Tom to hammer in from a tight angle at the near post. 1-0.

The first half continued with us opening them up at will – a particular highlight for me were the 2 EA fullbacks who near soiled themselves anytime the ball came near them, to the extent that their only real ability was to spank the ball 50 yards out of play.

At half time we spoke of doing the job and getting out of there – the skipper warned that if they drew us into a slog they would have the upper hand, as they were clearly used to playing that kind of football. To be fair to them, that is what they were able to do – the pitch was energy sapping and as time went on the men in tangerine grew increasingly frustrated at the vain attempts to get the ball to behave. However, they only really had one shot which fizzed past the post. Mike deserves a special mention for not falling into a coma through boredom.

We huffed and puffed, and did just about enough to blow their house down, but although solid were not spectacular in the slightest. Good to see we can play poorly and win, and also keep a clean sheet – our third in a row.

Old Esthameians next week will be a much greater test, as we need a positive result to push on in the league, as although our form is decent, our points tally is meagre. Let’s have it lads!!!

MOTM – Tom Thrale – a wickedly clever player who never stops working.

2nd Team / Match Reports