After last week’s media circus, AP’s finest were looking forward to playing without the added pressure of 350 screaming fans.
The pressure was however on Egan after providing everyone with one of his racing ‘hot-tips’. The Oracle failed (again) with his predictions with said horse now being prepared for a Tesco ready-meal. Apologies to those of you who placed a wager – but you really should know better by now.
To the game I hear you cry, and what a great game it was.
Following last week’s disappointing result AP bounced straight back with performance of grit, energy & flair.
Old Salesians are a very strong club, have been an established team in the top division for years and in 2012 were crowned champions.
After a bright start from AP in which good chances were spurned by the lively Kelly and waspish Morris, Old Salesians got a foothold in the game and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession.
Why is it called a ‘lions share’? I once went to the funeral of a lion tamer – he wasn’t very good.
Old Salesians managed several shots from distance which cleared the crossbar or sailed wide, but an early effort struck the goalpost and reminded AP’s finest that life in Division 1 will prove tougher than previous seasons.
As Billy Ocean says (or is it Lionel Ritchie?) when the going gets tough – the tough get going, and that’s what AP did with great effect.
Half-time was a 0-0 stalemate, Old Salesians happy with their greater possession, but AP the more content with their chances created – if only they could take one!
The second half was a far more open affair with both teams playing a more expansive game and more space opening up as players began to tire.
The holy trinity of Morris, Kelly & Adjekwei continued to create excellent chances. Fernee also provided more offensive firepower on the left flank and on another day may have had 2 or 3 assists.
Fernee was also busy after the game with his phone constantly ringing – with calls rumoured to be from a Romanian STD clinic.
And then AP scored. A goal so important that it really deserves a better description – but it was crap!
A booming kick from Pennycook saw the ball land deep in the Old Salesians half. Their keeper advanced to collect it but then caught sight of the charging Adjekwei – a frightening sight fully clothed, but the stuff of nightmares in the shower!
It’s often said that goalkeepers are crazy and mad. Well, this keeper proved very wise in getting out of Ronnie’s path – half a ton of striker bearing down on you, nostrils flared, horns pointed, war face on, will only result in one winner.
After the Old Salesians keeper ‘missed’ collecting the Pennycook punt (The Pennycook punt – it hasn’t got the same ring to it as the Cruyff turn), Adjekwei had the simple task of prodding home from a few yards, 1-0!
Following the goal the game then resembled a game of basketball with both teams taking it in turns to attack. Sex is like Basketball – I’m not terrible at it but I guarantee there is someone out there doing it better than me.
Old Salesians attacks rarely made the AP penalty area with play largely being kept in front by the impressive Nicholaou & Munero who shielded their back four brilliantly.
AP played on the counter-attack for much of the second half, and did it incisively if not ruthlessly with several chances again being missed.
Old Salesians make the pitch very big when in possession and gave the AP fullbacks Carlin & Hubbard a thorough examination. Both players stood up to the task and broke up play at crucial moments.
With 20 minutes to play AP lost their skipper to a nasty looking shoulder injury resulting from a fall, caused by a reckless challenge/shove from the Old Salesians striker. – forwards can be real cowards at times.
Munero slotted in effortlessly alongside Egan, Hubbard moved into midfield with great effect and Hillier came on to make the left back area a no-go for any Old Salesian player.
This was an important afternoon for AP’s finest, maybe even pivotal.
We have proved we can compete at this level, but could we win? Yes we can! (Barack Obama I think?)
Anybody trying to draw 2013/14 season conclusions would be veering on the side of madness. I should know – I used to be schizophrenic. No I didn’t. Yes I did. No I didn’t…
This was a good performance, a big 3 points and a massive confidence booster. However, a successful season it does not make.
Next up is Civil Service away, and another chance for AP to prove they can mix it with the big boys.
Finally a get well soon message to Captain Marvel Alex Patterson, who will hopefully be back soon to lead the team – if he can wean himself off the morphine and nights in watching the X-Factor.
MOM: Difficult one with so many good performances and battles won all over the pitch. Sam Morris & Chris Nicholoau just edge it and were arguably our most effective players over the 90 minutes