Goals: DiBiase / Tolcher(2), Hirst, Morris
This week saw the 4s travel to Norsemen to take on their 5s in a double header. With John Murphy worried that the listed 12 players would not be enough the AP scouting network went into overdrive and we enjoyed the rarity of a full squad welcoming Andy, Chris and Chetak to the team to make their AP debuts.
We started the first game creating the better of the opportunities with DiBiase and Chetak giving their fullbacks particularly hard times with some jinky runs and excellent crosses. With our midfield three of Biss, Reilly and Andy Hirst controlling the middle of the park we managed to limit Norsemen’s attacking threat as they looked to play directly from the back to their striker but the back four were up to the task and aside from some shots from distance Mittermaier in goal was largely untroubled. We kept creating plenty of goal scoring opportunities with Andy and Jack going close but the Norsemen keeper was having a great game managing to repel everything we threw at him. With about 10 to go in the first half Luca cut in from the right and aimed a shot at the bottom corner which the keeper appeared to save but the referee judged to have crossed the line and awarded the goal to all round confusion. Norsemen’s best chance came at the end of the half from a corner as their midfielder hit a volley on the turn but Tobi pulled a fine save. The second half continued in the same vein with AP playing some nice passing football but we were unable to add to our goal tally.
We switched things up a bit for the second game with James Earle coming into midfield for Biss, Boyake replacing Chetak and Tolcher coming on up front. We started off where we left off and were soon 1-0 up after a Hirst made a late run into the box to get on the end of a cross from the left. Norsemen upped their game and came back at us and brought the scores level from a freekick that Tobi was unlucky not to keep out. We restored the lead shortly afterwards after DiBiase was brought down in the box and Tolcher put the resulting penalty just out of the keepers reach, 2-1 at halftime. Coach/Kitman for the day Jimmy Lambert’s instructions were to keep playing as we had and keep playing the ball down the wings where we were having most success. We brought Boyake and Biss back on giving Murphy and Riley a well deserved rest. We took a two goal lead with when Tolcher turned in a through ball from Morris who got on the scoresheet shortly after with an unstoppable shot from just inside the penalty area. To Norsemen’s credit they never gave up and created several half chances while we looked to hit them on the break with several players going close but we weren’t able to extend our lead further.