Scorers: Dodimead (2), Burwell, Bowhill
One of the major stresses of being an AP captain is making sure every player is aware of where they need to be and what time. Sure, this might sound simple enough, but you’d A) be seriously overestimating the intelligence of some of the players at my disposal (only joking Burwell), and B) underestimating the playboy lifestyles of others.
So, I wasn’t at all surprised – but all the same, slightly worried – to receive a phone call from Dodimead, just two hours before kick-off explaining that, having woken up south of the river, he was going to struggle to make the meet and was instead going to make his own way there. Oh how I scoffed: how was this hung-over clown ever going to be able to negotiate the intricacies of the north London bus system? (I could potentially have said, but being polite I kept this to myself).
Having done my own extensive bus research, I successfully reached Bounds Green in time for the 1.30 meet, ready to catch the 184 to Oakhill Park. At this point, I myself was unfortunately undone by overestimating the intelligence of my team mates. Having waited for everyone to arrive, Matt Piner clearly shouted “is that our bus?”, which preceded a chase to the nearest bus stop. Having managed to get there just in time, we sat back, safe in the knowledge that we were going to be there early and would thus benefit from a full Will Lewis warm up routine.
Anyway, so it was the wrong bus (bloody 102!), which meant we had to get off somewhere on the North Circular and waited for Will Lewis to pick us up (Dodimead was there waiting for us at the ground). I could go on about the ensuing argument over the subtle differences in meaning/suggestion between shouting “isn’t that our bus?!” and “is that our bus?”, but that’s where this rather pointless transport anecdote ends (and I definitely said ”is that the bus”. It’s not my fault that you lack the brain power to remember a 3 digit number – ed.)
We went into the match off the back of an impressive two-game winning streak and spirits were high. We began with the same starting line-up as last week, apart from Mark Chilab, who replaced the injured Andy Ritchie in goal. So a 4-2-3-1, with a back four of Hyde-Wright-Robinson-Piner, Scudamore and Lewis at the base, Dodimead (left), Bowhill (middle – number 10) and Marek (right) and Burwell (the White Heskey) upfront.
Basically, to sum up, this again represented a strong performance and we have well and truly put the first three games behind us. Our first goal came towards back-end of the half, via another goal of the season contender from the ever-impressive Bowhill, who struck a delightful volley into the top corner from the edge of the box. From then, until the end of the half, we squandered several chances to extend the lead. Finchleans then equalised with a soft goal right on half time, following the concession of a contentious free-kick which was subsequently floated in for a free header.
Pleasingly, with the exception of the goal, Finchleans were completely blunted by a strong, resolute and organised team defensive performance and failed to provide any other real attacking threat. AP controlled the second half, with Dodimead thriving in his new left wing position, scoring with two delicious lobs and setting up Burwell (who is proving a revelation in his lone forward position) for a header from a yard out that not even he could miss.
So, a third win in a row for the 5s. We were strong across the pitch – with standout performances throughout the team.
MOM: Could easily have been Hyde, Bowhill or Wright. However, Dodimead deserves it for another impressive display.