Scorers: TC Ekunno, Fullerton
Another game another draw but with some positives to take from the result.
We kicked off with a strong line up and with our slick passing game we created several half chances in the first couple of minutes. Ed and TC up front were a physical presence and were causing their defenders trouble with their direct running. However as is so often the case with the mighty 4’s Finchleans scored against the run of play. After some concerted pressure Finchleans broke and managed to win a corner. From the corner we couldn’t clear our lines properly and the ball broke to their right winger on the edge of the box who smashed the ball into the top corner.
The goal seemed to give Finchleans a spring in their step and to be fair to them, they were all over us snapping into tackles and putting us under pressure in every position. After some great work from Karl, who had a great game, he released TC down the right. TC cut into the box and was clattered, stone wall penalty despite Finchleans claiming it was a fantastic tackle. TC dusted himself down and dispatched the penalty.
Not long after Ed was through on goal when their last defender, who was already on a yellow after abusing the referee, cleaned Ed out of it. To make matters worse their goalie arrived around half an hour late just to finish Ed off. Unfortunately the tackle happened out of the box, Ed had to go off and the ref didn’t even give the defender his marching orders. The first half petered out with Chris and Tim both denied by a couple of nifty saves by the goalie.
The second half continued in much the same vein with AP trying to play all the football, Finchleans putting us under pressure by any means, normally fouls, and trying to play on the break. Finchleans took the lead through one of the worst penalty decisions ever. Dan came out, cleared the ball for a corner and the striker fell over Dan. Somehow the referee saw this as a late tackle by the goalie! Finchleans tucked away the penalty to make it 2-1.
From here both teams went for it and we justly got our equaliser with Kurt demonstrating his ‘Inzaghi’ instincts tapping home from a yard following a mix up between their defender and keeper. Harry was denied at the death rising smartly at the back post to head a free back across goal only for the goalie to get an outstretched arm to the ball.
The game ended in a draw and we were disappointed not to come away with three points. On the bright side this is probably a game we would have lost last season so it’s good that we’ve started unbeaten and fought back to earn a point.
Our next game is a must win to kick start our promotion challenge. We need to be a little sharper all over the pitch and really start putting the oppo under pressure like what was done to us on Saturday, but in the AP way. Saturday was also another reason for all of the AP players to be proud of the way they conducted themselves (one yellow card aside for a ‘Mourinho’ foul). Not once did we ask for players to be booked, sent off or get in the refs face (outrageous penalty aside, and even then we were polite about our moaning). Maybe this is why we’re happy to play for AP and enjoy our football on a Saturday….
Team: D. Collins, P. McGlogan (Lambert), S. Johnson, J. Rae, J. Murphy, K Packham, T. Jenkin, H. Thatcher, C. Thurston, E. Barnard (Fullerton), TC Ekunno