Alexandra Park 5’s 8 – Old Woodhouseians 1

AFA Senior-Novets Cup Rd 2 | December 1, 2012

Scorers: Dodimead, Magee, Bowhill, Jenkins (3), Piner, OG

Following a last minute postponement away to the Vamps the week previous, a cautious AP 5s arrived at the Racecourse on Saturday morning mildly surprised that this game was to go ahead considering the rainfall which had engulfed North London (and judging by the flooding) the wider country, earlier in the week. In many ways we were about to experience a proverbial flood of our own…of goals.

In all seriousness though, even at the best of times, we all have our opinions regarding the state of the back pitch and maintenance of it during the winter months must very much be a thankless task. However, I think the 5s would all agree that Mark Carter deserves much credit for preparing a playable, albeit inevitably muddy, pitch.

Following Matt’s pre-game Will Lewis impression, I gathered the lads around for a typically rousing, inspired, but at the same time tactically spot-on, team talk. We were up the hill in the first half and pretty much dominated the first 20 minutes, playing some lovely attacking football. Our first real chance came within the first few minutes. OW started to complain quite forcibly about the flatness of the ball, subsequently deciding that the best course of action was to stop playing until it had been changed (it wasn’t even that flat). During this OW-only lull in effort, we (quite rightly) carved out a chance which the morally generous Magee missed. We weren’t so generous a couple of minutes later when a Burwell mis-control played Dodimead through, who calmly volleyed in. Magee then redeemed himself with a cool finish from a Dodimead cross.

At this point it should for all intents and purposes have been game over. However, as we started to rest on our laurels, OW started to bring the game to us, without really creating many goal scoring opportunities. Eventually, following an unlucky penalty concession, OW pulled one back. I suppose we improved slightly towards the end of the half and were rewarded with a penalty of our own – Bowhill smashing it into the top corner to make it 3-1.

At half time there was an inquisition into why our performance level dropped off with memories flooding back of our lucky escape against Reigate a few weeks earlier. Tim Jenkins came on which marked his debut for the 5s.

Pleasingly, despite sporadic substitutions throughout the half, the second half was one way traffic. Particular highlights included a fantastic Jenkins hat-trick, composing of a classy long ranger, a good finish from a wide angle and a third which represented a ludicrously cool finish following a calm dribble through the heart of the OW defence. Even more remarkably, Piner confounded popular opinions that his goal scoring form this season had thus far represented a crazy, unbelievable anomaly, with a volley (!) from the edge of the six yard box. To cap it all off, their captain, who had put in some meaty challenges throughout the game and at one point demanded to be educated about the intricacies of the offside law, scored a comedic own goal at the death. In fairness to him, he was their best player by a mile.

Delirious with our win, the 5s embarked on a massive post-game xmas lash-up, with a pleasant evening in the clubhouse followed by a more raucous trip to Angel. Hyde’s behaviour in McDonalds on Upper Street is in particular something that he must now severely regret.

Anyway, so another win to build upon our unbeaten November, let’s try and win our last two games and end 2012 on a high.

MOM: Josh Hyde

5th Team / Match Reports