Scorers: Balasz Lazlo, Joseph Brobby
Having been asked during the week to captain the first ever game for the AP 10s and then seeing a team list of 19 players, I felt when turning up to Albert Road not thinking how many rotations of subs I am going to have to make but how all the players were going to fit in the little cabin they have as changing rooms.
With 4 players already there 3 mins after the meet time, I felt a huge amount of optimism that I will have a number of players eager to not only play for the Alexandra Park, but for the 10s. Alas, with time approaching 2.30pm, the 4 players had only doubled and thoughts to having to play the game against a very young opposition with a couple of experienced players to help them was not an appealing prospect. Thankfully, Tom Whitbread wandered through Albert Road Rec looking for a game without boots and shin pads, he was prepared to put bits of cardboard down his socks to ensure he got a game…that’s what I call dedication but also nuts!
Onto the game, we managed to somehow get 11 players by the start of the game and yours truly started in goal with a formation of 4-2-3-1. With some players having to play out of position for the sake of the team and the first time that they had played together, it was only natural that understanding each other’s game and the quietness on the pitch to call for the ball hindered us. We struggled to string passes together and work their back four and with the pace, energy and movement of the young oppo we found ourselves on the back foot regularly.
The first goal was conceded within the first 15mins after a ball over the top put through their striker and he calmly slotted home one on one. They caused us problems with their numerous corners but as the half went on we started finding our feet and started to put a few passes together and with Kane Finnigan and James Martin being a constant and only threat in the first half, we managed to equalise soon after from out of the blue as a long shot from Joseph Brobby just sailed under the bar with the keeper flapping at the falling leaves.
This gave us the confidence to take the game to the oppo and with Michael Capone starting to take control in centre midfield we took the lead when a move down the left ended with Finnigan crossing across the 6 yard box for Balasz Lazlo to slot home at the back post. Unfortunately, we could not hold onto the lead to half-time as a corner half cleared fell to one of their players who decided to launch a shot towards the goal via orbit and fell under the bar and in the back of the net.
Half-time, the players were still confident and determined of getting a result, but 2 mins of the restart we were already 2-3 down and from then we couldn’t get going and cause a problem on their goal. With no subs to rotate the team and to freshen it up thanks to the no-shows of upto 8 players, the team worked tirelessly and never gave up, however the lack of fitness and tiredness began to show and naturally we lost our shape and were beginning to lose goals in regular intervals.
I would like to thank all the players who turned up as you are guys who made the game more enjoyable to captain. A great bunch of lads!
MOM – Kane Finnigan