Fresh from our exploits at Polytechnic, we welcomed another 1st division outfit..Old Parks..to the hallowed turf ( can’ t recall the pitches looking this good at this time of year ! ), for what was going to be a real test of our progress this season. With a 13 man squad, and 3..yes 3..officials, we set about the game in a confident and determined manner. Early on we pressed hard, but with little penetration, and to be fair Old Parks soon got the measure of us.
Despite our success in targeting/closing down their centre forward ( credit to skips ) and their deep midfielder ( ginger and certain distant cousin of the O’ Leary’s ! ), Old Parks movement, ability to keep better possession and find space, saw them take control of the first half and forge a 2 – 0 lead. The goals were similar and equally disappointing, in that we didn’ t close down or track effectively, and neat passing interchanges combined with clinical finishing were our undoing. Our normal 4, 2, 3, 1 formation was found wanting and we were particularly exposed down our right flank, and thus we made the tactical change to 4, 4, 2 at half time, with Dan O’Leary and Tom Spencer coming on for Nicholoau and Kenga. Whilst we looked more solid and restricted Old Parks to just a couple of chances, they were still in control and we were limited to half chances.
So the AP 1st XI unbeaten run came to an end, and whilst we were disappointed we were not disgraced, in being beaten by probably one of the best teams in the SAL. However, we now have the opportunity to redeem ourselves, keep up our unbeaten league form, and maintain our top of the table status away at Southgate Olympic this Saturday…and I am confident the lads will relish the opportunity !.
MOM – Alex Patterson.