Scorers: Dodimead, OG

Unbeaten since October, the 5s went into their first game of 2013 in high spirits; still in the AFA cup and, if we continue our tremendous run of form, with every chance to snatch promotion. Having all successfully negotiated our way to Fairlop on time, with only a few hiccups (for instance, we lost Josh at Holborn station for a while), we were ready for a potentially tricky away game against Old Parks.

Unfortunately, football disaster stuck just 30 mins before kickoff, when we realised that somehow the kitbag didn’t contain any socks! Burwell, the natural leader that he is, stumbled around the Old Parks clubhouse like some aggressive oaf, knocking on each and every changing room, in the slightest hope of some sock handouts, but to no avail. The situation called for a couple of heroes, with Krefting and Dodimead stepping up (with the aid of some Burwell cash – thanks), beginning what would be an anxious race against time to make it to Sports Direct and back for the 2pm kick off.

Having made it back in the nick of time, we began the half facing the direction of what I would describe as a non-aggressive, but nonetheless noticeable breeze. Despite a solid, if unspectacular start, Old Parks scored an unbelievably fluky goal; a throw-in landing between Krefting and Wright, and their striker scoring – he must have literally thought Christmas (2013) had come early (nice pun, but it was actually a long ball, played from their half by their centre back, which no-one touched. The fact Joe obviously wasn’t watching probably explains some of the reason why –ed.)

The rest of the half saw a watchful AP exert attain some control and we were rewarded with a cool Dodimead finish to equalise, followed by an Old Parks O.G after some exceptional work from Bowhill. We could have had more, with Burwell causing all sorts of problems for the Old Parks defence.

The second half again represented a bit of a mixed bag. Without looking under too much threat, we took a foot of the gas (how many feet do you normally have on the gas? -ed) for large portions of the half, dropping too deep and ceding possession. A 20 minute spell in the middle of the half, which involved us playing some quite sumptuous football is a more accurate measure of the team’s potential, and how it has largely been playing for the last few months.

Anyway, the match ended in victory and they all count. Some good performances across the team, with Littledale highly influential in midfield, Magee looking tidy when he came on in the second half and Wright again dominating in defence.

It’s very much a clichéd term, but from now until the end of the this season, every game is a cup final – apart from this Saturday’s game which is clearly a quarter final. From the dark days of those first three games of the season, we’ve come a long way in the league, to the extent that, with significant portion of the season still to go, we’re not too far away from last season’s respectable points tally. However, the aim needs to be to throw everything at second place, particularly as we have fixtures remaining against all our main rivals. While there are no guarantees, we definitely have the ability to achieve this.

MOM: Al Wright

5th Team / Match Reports