Saturday found us down by the A406, to play the mighty Old Actonians, hoping for another giant killing of a first division side by the lowly AP 3s.
There were a lot of first on Saturday, some of us arrived a full 1 ½ hrs before kick off, and with 50 minutes to go before kick off we were all present and accounted for, completely unheard of, not even at home games, keep it up boys, while not being the clubs premier team we must set our own standards, although its taken till nearly Christmas to get there.
Now the game, started with a few changes, including the walking wounded (aka Skips). We lined up in our customary 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 formation, Mr. I only can shoot Jay Hughes playing in the hole behind Captain Crocked. Liam And Junior made up our wide options with Jed and Jason in the centre. The back four made up of Tom, Ziggy, old man Jones and Nurse Hancox. Steve continued in goal. For the first half hour we were lacklustre at best, second to a lot of the play in midfield however, holding firm at the back with Gary and The Nurse marshalling the defence. After a lot of the play being in our own half, and Actonians hitting the bar from 6 yards, we were blown away by a left footed curler from the right of the 18 yard box into the top corner, Steve edelman who very little to do, despite Actonians’ glut of possession, had no chance.
Like so many times before, the beast that is AP’s 3’s only woke up when that goal went in, some citing that, while we will be beaten, today was never going to be that day. A long punt up the pitch was latched on to by Mr. One leg himself, who managed to shrug off the attention of the defender to slip the ball past the Goal keeper into the bottom corner. Actonians sensing they were in a game now, got more physical, and when the average height of their players was 6”3 (1.90 metres), you can see why we would be overpowered, but as the captain of Old Actonians later confessed, when we got going, there was nothing they could do. Some MMA moves from our Rock that is Jed, saw him muscle his way into the box, while it was happening on a football pitch, I am not certain what he was doing would be legal in rugby, regardless his pull back was a thing of beauty which the onrushing Jay Hughes, side footed into the bottom corner 2 – 1 (half-time).
Most teams would have hope for some reprieve, but we up our level even more in the second half, after 10 minutes of untold pressure, on Actonians who were now wondering if they were the visiting team as we clearly own the patch of grass that we were playing on, a through ball from midfield, caught their backline square, running from the left wing was Jay hughes, what happened next took everyone by surprise, a rasping drive (I say drive but it was more like toe poke), caught the keeper off guard and even while there was nothing wrong with his position, the power and accuracy of the left footed strike, left him diving at shadows, while the ball past him into the back of the net, via the top corner.
The fourth followed 2 minutes later, Jed Wood will tell you he meant it, as he re-enact visions of Lionel Messi, taking on three players from the centre of midfield, walking into the box (personally I thought it was a hopeless excursion), before calmly passing the ball into the far left corner of the goal away from the keeper 4 -1. Skips and Junior went off, on came Stewart “time wasting” Johnson, and our newest recruit from up the north, Darren Heels, however, instead of keeping the momentum going, all we did was invite them onto us, which led to them scoring from a corner. The game petered out as a contest as AP showed their superiority on the day by keeping the ball, Jed in particular thinking he was in the premiership, constantly running with the ball to their corner flag to run down time. The battle was won, now two more games to go in 2011 to finish the year unbeaten, and I do mean unbeaten, as we have not been beaten neither in pre-season or since the season starts.
Bring on West Wickham
Attention all. Having edited what our illustrious skipper believed to have happened I would like to add how pleased I am for the whole team. With our position in the league and our cup runs I think as a unit we can beat anyone. This team though is not just 11 players, we must realise that as a squad we can trust each other on and off the pitch. And that the players selected in the squad are all there on merit. With the games piling up the Skips and I will have tough choices to make regarding starting line ups when everyone is performing so well. We will always pick what we feel is our strongest starting line up but all will get a crack. We are not trying to upset anyone but just pick a winning side and we want everyone involved in what could be a memorable season. So please be patient and if necessary have a chat with us. We don’t bite, but if Kurt does I suggest you get a Rabies shot!
See you Sat. The management.