Alexandra Park 5 – Ibis 3

League | March 17, 2012

This is where you should be reading a match report describing the moment when the first team secured the Senior Div 3 title.

Rest assured, this match report had twists and turns, drama and the occasional bit of humour.  This report however was on a laptop that was stolen outside a soho pub yesterday.

I cannot help but feel that without knowing Kieran O’Leary a little, the thief will not find his description of Chris Nicholau’s final ball (‘so good it’s a farce’) remotely amusing.

Anyway, tapping away on my blackberry, I do not feel I can do it justice.  I also look like something of a tool on this 10.20 to Bracknell.  So barring another crime of the century, the match report will feature next week.

In the meantime, congratulations to all involved and keep an eye on your personal belongings.

Alex Patterson

The Match Report

(Kelly 3, Gunyon, Hughes)

A delayed match report due to the crime of the century. Worthwhile nevertheless, this being the game the title was secured.  Ibis had given us a real tussle at their place so it was always going to be a difficult assignment.

The oppo had been bang on it from the start in the corresponding fixture, so we knew we needed to prepare for a high tempo opening.  They donned a lovely white strip which one must respect, simply due to how inappropriate it is to play in at this level. Someone, somewhere must be using a lot of Daz.

We started superbly and were all over them early doors.  We dictated the initial exchanges yet somehow found ourselves behind.  A back pass kicked up at Stimpy who sliced the kick into the path of the onrushing forward.  Policemen within a 3 mile radius were put on ‘amber alert’.

To be honest, the reaction was a collective shrug of the shoulders.  This isn’t arrogance, we can, at times, really dig each other out when we concede.  On this occasion however, I knew we would hit back if we didn’t panic.  Obviously I say this with the benefit of retrospect but there really was a confidence and assurance from a team that are in the habit of winning.

We replied relatively swiftly, a lovely move down the right played Nicholau away who pulled back for Gunyon to pass home from just inside the area.  Kieran O’Leary on occasion this season has run out of positive descriptions to describe individual elements of a game.  It is at this point that he reverts to using negative terms to describe a positive outcome.  I enjoy this.  If you didn’t know him, you would think he was being critical.  He can happily say, ‘that finish was an absolute disgrace’, or ‘his distribution is a total joke’.  With a Nicholau cutback proving the killer ball in a number of our goals Kieran was left describing his end product as ‘a farce’.  This is, if you don’t follow, a good thing.

We opened them up down the right hand side again for our second, as Chris linked with Jay, eventually finding Matt to slot home.  This lead was extended when a suicidal back pass was picked off by Matt to round the keeper and tap in.

3-1 at the break and in control.  The shape of the game became a little stretched second half, largely due to the showery conditions.  The ground was still quite firm underfoot, yet the top layer was as slick as Matt Kelly in Moors at 2am on a Saturday night (‘girls, girls……..girls, where you been tonight?’).  We gifted Ibis a route back into the game, Stimpy was having a rare tricky afternoon on the kicking front and walloped one into the back of the onrushing forward.  It looped up and in.

A nervy few minutes played out at 3-2, however victory was all but assured by Jay Hughes.  Kieran hit a glorious area on the diagonal, Jay beat the keeper to the ball and slotted home.  Matt put us further ahead with a lovely little dink, before their wide man actually curled home a beaut to make it 5-3.  It was a strange game, whilst I feel a 3-2 win at their place flattered us a touch, the score line on this occasion made the game seem like a closer contest than it actually was.  Well done to Matt for hitting the 25 goal mark, a real achievement playing in the number 10 position.

The news filtered through that HSBC had lost at Lyonians and the title was therefore in the bag.  We collectively got smashed at Egan’s birthday, I can’t remember much from 9 onwards.

All said and done, we have been the best side in this division all season and there is a lot of pride in picking up a senior level trophy for the first time in a while.  The level of consistency we have shown is testament to the hard work we have all put in and the strength in depth we now have as a club.  There honestly hasn’t been a game where we have had to field a significantly weaker team or a player who was out of their depth.

We will celebrate properly in good time and can’t wait to test ourselves in Div 2.  However, an unbeaten season is still a possibility! We haven’t got a game for a few weeks; please keep yourself in some sort of shape gentlemen!


1st Team / Match Reports