Scorers: O.G, Blade(2), Jenkins
On paper, it looked like a tricky test for the in-form AP 8s. An away trip to a high-flying and unbeaten Old Finchleians was the task, a side who had won 10-0 in their last home game. As the returning Cem stressed pre-match however, the fixture list had so far been rather kind to our opposition. AP were providing a first real test of the season. And so it proved.
Alexandra Park were resolute, disciplined and solid. Foul throws from both full-backs ignored (I’ve not slept all week), the back four of Cem, Uli, Spinks, Wilson, were on the top of their game. During the 90 minutes, the division’s top scorers couldn’t even muster a meaningful effort on target. A clean sheet against a side who had scored 27 goals in 5 games previous is no mean feat and a real statement to the rest of the division.
Things could have been different. AP started slowly and were under pressure in the opening 15 minutes, but ultimately held firm. After waking up, the visiting side really got going and took the game to their opposition. In front of the back four, MOTM and 8s debutant Jason controlled the game with poise and class. Ably assisted by Sam and then Tom Kaverne, the centre of midfield was bossed throughout the game despite a numerical disadvantage. Out wide, the rotating Crawford, Reece, Shocky and Blade were all causing problems and Jenks alongside Tom and Louis looked dangerous up top.
The opening goal came courtesy of an Old Finchleain head, as a clipped ball over the top was nodded past the goalkeeper under pressure. “Don’t worry, we’ll smash these 6-1” was the culprit’s cocky response. Tom made sure to remind him of this at the final whistle.
Playing downhill with the wind in the second half, AP murdered the home side on the break. Goal 2 saw Jason play in an onrushing Rob cutting in from the left, who finished with aplomb at the goalkeeper’s near post. Jenkins then robbed the back four and rounded the goalkeeper to make it 3, before the luck of the Irish saw Rob secure his brace when his cross was palmed into the net by the keeper for 0-4.
Up to third and with games at the Racecourse against two of the bottom three to follow, the 8s promotion charge is gathering momentum.