Alexandra Park 3s 4 – Merton 3s 0

Junior Division 2 | November 9, 2013

Goals: Tabram (2), Wood, Hughes

Things you may not know about AP 3s….

1) We have the tightest defence in AP and the second in the whole North London AFA having conceded only 4 in 6 games (an Old Finchleans team who have only played 3 games have conceded less).

2) We have two of the oldest players in the club in our ranks. I’m not sure what Jonesey and Jason Smith’s combined age is. But it’s old. Trust me. And f#@k me are they fit.

3) I think we set a record for the shortest right sided team in footballing history Saturday with Ziggy and new lad Asa having the combined height of Mini Me in Austin Powers.

I digress…

Another home game but what a difference. We made the long trip to Wembley and all bar one made it there with at least half hour to spare. The team on paper looked strong with talismanic forward Tabram back in the ranks and Adam Bruce starting at left wing.

The game started slowly, in contrast to last week, and it took a while for the squad to settle down into a passing rhythm. The big wet pitch was taking its toll on the quality of the football but Jason and Jed started to impose as the game progressed. The first came after good work by Adam and Tabs, resulting in Tabs having a shot saved off the line and Jed providing some aerial dramatics to smash it past the keeper. It was a bit scrappy but well deserved. The ref didn’t seem to like any physicality and the big Merton lads were whining more than Micky Porter on fireworks night. Despite this we never took our foot of the gas and pressed hard all over the pitch, utilising the system of pressing throw ins from the Egan training drills.

The second was, well, obnoxious. Unfortunately he’s done it twice now this season so it’s not an accident!! Tabs drove past two players to hit the by-line, then stopped, looked up, waited for the keeper and defender to commit and then lifted it deftly over them from a ridiculous angle into the far side netting. 2-0 at half time, message from the skipper was keep it going, never give up and, as Jay Hughes stated, next goal kills the game or lets them back in.

We started well, new boy Asa replacing Elion and linking with Jason Smith and Ziggy well. Adam was still pumping up and down the wing and the third was inevitable. I can’t really remember it but Tabs scored it and I’m sure it was amazing. Whether it was or not, the fourth was pretty special. Jay, having been introduced in place of Ben, was enjoying the No10 role, dictating the tempo of the game. A free kick near the half way line was expertly swung in to the corridor of uncertainty and uncertainty was what it caused, the keeper rooted, Merton defenders not dealing with it and the ball slamming home into the right corner of the goal. First 2013/14 goal of many for the resurgent man hopefully.

4-0. a dominant performance. The defence were solid as ever, well organised and are really starting to look like a unit. Jason and Jed worked hard to get the team pressing and never give the Merton lads a second to think and Adam and Tabs added the flare when required.

MoM: Jason Smith (not the tubby GK). I don’t know how he keeps running for 90 minutes but he does, at pace and he really was the general in midfield Saturday with some crunching challenges.

3rd Team / Match Reports