Scorers: Shaw, Kadua, Dakurah
And so to the first game of the season and our first game at our new temporary home ground of Preston Manor School in Wembley. We found an excellent surface, if not at a little dry, which should be up there with the better pitches when we have a drop of rain.
We had one late cry-off and 2 no-shows, so were down to the bare XI, when John loaned us a new player – David, rounding us up to 12. On a blisteringly hot afternoon, we started tentatively, as we had a rather makeshift look to our team, with Frazer and Dan Wilding taking one for the team and helping out in the backline. Carshalton had a classic big/little man combo up top and it took a while for the makeshift backline to get their bearings. We suffered an early setback when we gave away a penalty, which was excellently saved by Mike O’Reilly, diving low down to his right, and then getting up to smother the striker’s second attempt on the rebound.
A further set-back occurred when Skipper McLoughlin dislocated his shoulder in a challenge with the big lad up top. The gaffer banged it back into place but his movement (which at the best of times is limited!) was severely hampered and he was taken off at half time. We took the lead just before this however when Ricky controlled the ball well out wide on the half way line and skinned 2 oppo players before banging past the Keeper.
In the second half we looked comfortable, with Carshalton threatening little. However, they equalized – how? I do not know – I was dispatched over to get some water – you turn your back for one minute and look what happens!
We retook the lead however when Dan O’Leary swung in a free kick from deep which the keeper could not deal with, and Nana nipped in to hammer it in. 2-1. We made it 3-1 soon after when the hard-working Bruce McMeekin dinked a lovely free kick to the near post for David Dakurah to neatly head home on his AP debut. Straight from kick off we went lax and Carshalton nearly pulled one back with a volley that just went over the bar. Late in the game David could have added extra gloss but missed a chance that was easier to score.
At the whistle it was 3 deserved points, but the Gaffer was not happy with our defending in the last quarter of the game as in places we became cocky and a bit gung-ho. He let us know that sooner or later we will be found out with this.
Finally, a special mention goes to Danny Jones who played with a fractured metatarsal for an hour. Get well soon mate!
Team: O’Reilly, Fabb, Shaw-Morris, McLoughlin (Dakurah), Wilding, O’Leary, Shaw, Kadua, Manu, Jones, McMeekin.