Scorer: Kelly (penalty)
A busy pre season, a few new faces and AP’s premier team took to the fields of Wembley (well Preston Manor School, our temporary new home ground … it will be worth it!) to get our new season underway in Division 2, following promotion last year. With a squad of 13 (having lost Fernee to the D.I.Y enthusiasts of West London … got called into work!) the mood was positive as AP lined up with German at the helm (skips still in his New York summer camp).
The early exchanges were a little frantic as both teams sought to establish a rhythm and gain control. AP struggled to get any real fluency, giving the ball away too cheaply and putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure. A well organised, physically strong and mobile Old A’s established the upper hand and tested our defensive credentials. Pennycook saved well from a one on one, whilst Will (I can talk for England!) Osei-Bonsu made an impressive start to his AP debut having come through the junior ranks. But AP laboured and went behind having given the ball away again in the middle of the park, with Old A’s breaking quickly and decisively to finish cooly just inside the box.
However showing some of the grit that served us well last campaign the team dug in and started to work the ball a little better, with Brown and Kelly linking up well to cause Old A’s some trouble. With 10 mins to half time AP were awarded a penalty following a push on Brown in the box, which Kelly calmly slotted home to take us into the break at 1-1.
Having ironed out a few tactical issues and brought on Kenga for Morris (the Vaseline didn’t work!) AP started the second half in more confident mood. Whilst still a bit disjointed, AP kept the ball better and as Old A’s tired we found a bit more space and created a couple of half chances, falling to Brown and Gunyan. With 5 minutes to go a half cleared corner was whipped back in by Nicholaou for Osei-Bonsu to head over from 6 yards (it did come at him at real speed!).
So the game finished 1-1, but whilst the result was satisfactory, our overall quality of play needs to improve if we are to really compete in this division. Pointers for next week :
- Wear the full and proper kit supplied
- Only use black tape on black socks
- Don’t wear white ankle socks over black socks
- Bring your passing boots!
Mom:- Will Osei-Bonsu, a very self assured 1ST XI debut, from a very talented young man.
P.S. Remember last season started with a draw… and that didn’t turn out to bad!
P.S. Credit to Macca for securing good quality facilities…and detailed signage on site !.