Scorers: Tullett (3), Rodriguez (2), Laouar (2), Jenkins.
In last week’s match report I said hopefully we won’t have to travel too far with the 9s. That didn’t last long, so it was off to Harrow to play OL’s lowest XI – a new team like ours. For old stagers like Bagley and King trips like this were part and parcel of playing in the pre-regionalised SAL and of course we both have played cricket there regularly for AP down the years. Well done to everyone who made the journey. Due to a mixture of cry-offs, 2 no-shows and promotion for keeper Ram, the squad was down to 12, so I was glad to see Harry Rodriguez and Callum Dudmish pitch up to give us 14.
Aside from the result and the great goals we scored, it was the manner of our performance that pleased me. The football we played was excellent and like the 9s the week before, the boys gelled quickly right from the first whistle. The 8s players who came down had a point to prove and they responded in the right way. It is amazing what a bit of desire can do for players. Darren’s hat-trick was well deserved but everyone played well. There wasn’t a weak link.
Starting 4-4-2 we took the game to OLs with target man Adam Jenkins the pivotal figure of AP’s attacks. We were on top, but went behind to a good OL goal. Darren equalised by chipping the keeper. I think he meant it! OL took the lead again when a cross hit Tyrone Allan and the ball flew past Kingy. Back came AP with Harry Rodriguez causing mayhem on the right wing. By half-time we were 4-2 up with Harry scoring twice and Darren another. It was end to end stuff. Just after the re-start, OL scored twice for 4-4. We then changed to 4-5-1 to give the back four more protection. If Harry ran the game for AP in the first half James Kennedy and Joe Coward were outstanding in the second in holding roles. We played on the counter and could have scored 15. Darren completed his hat-trick, Mounir got two and Adam tapped in a deserved goal. He, Mounir and James could have had hat-tricks too as we carved open OLs. Darren hit the bar too. Overall, a very enjoyable 90 minutes and a first win of the season for some players. 20 goals in two games. We look forward to more this week.
Starting XI: King, Shah, Bagley, Brown, Day, P. Depala, Coward, Kennedy, Laouar, Jenkins, Tullett. Subs: C. Dudmish, Rodriguez, Allan.