A good away day in Essex for the 8s. An excellent pitch, a new goal scoring hero and a first ‘double’ of the season over Old Parks.

There were welcome returns to the squad for Gavin Johnson and Jan Lott, and even a brief appearance from a heavily bearded Adam Jenkins, who’d spent two months on loan at FC Olympic New Delhi. The club were keen to make the deal permanent but Jenkins couldn’t settle abroad, saying he found the language “weird” and the food “too spicy”.

A closely fought and even first half saw the 8s a goal ahead thanks to Pete Croft’s side footed finish for his 8th (or 9th) of the season. Dave Potter and Jan Lott caused the home side many problems with some lovely attacking football and both went close to adding to the 8s advantage. There were also decent efforts from Croft and Parsons, who both had shots blocked. Even Dan ‘Jason’ Ware rolled back the years with a forward burst into the opposition’s box and an excellent cross that nobody in orange could convert.

AP didn’t have it all their own way though, and Old Parks threatened on several occasions with some good passing and attacking of their own.

The second half continued in much the same as the first, until Emlyn Robbins leapt like a Salmon to head home a perfect Jan Lott cross for 2-0. A brilliant header by the big defender and his first for the club.

Shortly afterwards a superb pass from Jan Lott was buried by Potter for 3-0, which put the game beyond the hosts. AP may have added more goals, with Potter and Kevin Soar coming close, but a defensive mix up led to the home side pulling a goal back to make it a nervy last 20 minutes for AP to hold on to the points. Old Parks came close to a second goal on several occasions but Jamie Roberts was in fine form between the posts, and a number of well timed challenges and interceptions from Jack Parsons made sure of the win. The determination of this AP side to hang on for the victory was typified by captain Parsons, who took it upon himself to actually head butt Ware following a slight defensive lapse. The bloodIed Ware seemed to respond well to this and went on to make several vital clearances despite being heavily bandaged. The manager, SPT, played down rumours of any ill feeling afterwards saying it showed his team’s winning mentality. Parsons was later seen sitting on Ware’s lap, in the back of Waldrum’s convertible, suggesting that any rift had been more than dealt with.

Over all a very pleasing win. Big performances from Jan Lott (2 assists) and Jack Parsons and a good effort from Gavin Johnson after a long spell out through injury. Also Emlyn Robbins for scoring his first AP goal. Another great moment to add to this season’s highlights.

Yet again all of the lads contributed a lot and showed good determination and spirit to make sure we got a good result. MOM though goes to Dave Potter, who scored an excellent goal and was always a big threat with his pace and touch. DIFFERENT GRAVY.

8th Team / Match Reports