Crouch End Vampires 6s 1 – Alexandra Park 6s 3

SAL Minor Division 3 North | September 20, 2014

Scorers: N’Gola, Ramirez(pen), Raynes

After the thunderstorm the night before the referees pre-game talk was focused on the near certainty that anyone wearing metal would get instantly struck dead by lightning. AP started looking like we didn’t want to hang around and find out. We had a new look midfield, and in the early exchanges there was a lot of effort but we weren’t quite clicking. We were just starting to grow into the game when the Vampires struck the first blow, going 1-0 up after a defence splitting pass found their pacey forward who had a good head start on the defence (forlorn cries of offside fell on deaf ears) and slotted past Matt in goal.

For a few minutes AP were rattled and nearly went 2 down, a Vamps free kick from the edge of the box beat the keeper, but fortunately the ball ricocheted off the bar with the captain sweeping clear. We were under pressure, but the defence stood firm and Matt kept us in it with a good save with his feet, then the 6s rallied. With 10 to go to half time a good through ball found John racing clear with their keeper rooted to his line, just as John was about to pull the trigger the defender took his legs and the ref pointed to the spot. In higher leagues that could and probably should have been an early bath for their centre back, but the ref had already stated the cards were only coming out if you really try and injure someone! The moment called for a steady head and up stepped Jorge to confidently sweep the ball home, 1-1 and back in the game. We could have had a second before half time as a great cross into the box beat their keeper, but no one was there to meet it. At half time we knew this game was there for the taking and we headed back out with renewed confidence.

The second half saw AP press Vamps further with some good attacking play and our corner count started adding up. Tris held the ball up well up front and Banny harried their defence into mistakes. We started bossing the middle with Jack intercepting their counter attacks, Harrison making good progress down the left and Terry linking things up.

Our defence had now cottoned on to their long ball over the top and were sweeping everything away, while Jamie had marked their striker out of the game. About 15 mins in the breakthrough came, Tris cut across two defenders and played an angled ball over their defence, their keep came (Banny claims he jinked it past him, but to most onlookers the keeper completely missed it) and as time seemed to stand still Banny rolled into the open net, 2-1. Banny sprinted for the corner flag to celebrate with absolutely no-one. From this point on AP always looked stronger and the more likely to grab the next goal, though Robs ambitious half way line shot was never going to be it! Vamps dropped deeper and deeper and were looking the more tired of the teams and finally the third came. Jorge played it to Banny, who crossed it into Tris, the defender headed away but only found Ben, who pounced on it and drove it past the helpless Vamps keeper, 3-1, game over.

Overall it was a relief to get our first win of the season and something to build on. We worked hard and will look to continue to improve as we integrate the new players into the side. We had 3 players making their 6s debuts and all did well. But for his work rate and good positional play allowing others to get forward Jack P gets man of the match.

6th Team / Match Reports