Alexandra Park 9s 5 – Old Lyonians 5s 0

SAL Minor Div 4 North | October 25, 2014

Scorers: Minton(2), Gallaway, Player(2)

“Got the body for it” and “Anyone but him” were quotes aimed at me last time I played against the Old Lyonians making this one of the most anticipated/ infamous fixtures on the AP calendar. With a team pre-assembled by Stevie Wakefield and Charlie Kelly which had great balance, we were in for a chance.

Playing on a pitch thinner than Victoria Beckham I knew it would be silly not to base some level of tactics around this. So informing a group of strangers that they are to ‘formate’ themselves in a style that isn’t even one of the defaults on FIFA or Football Manager was always going to be a tricky affair. But to my delight they immediately bought in.

And so the game began, we started very brightly indeed, for the first 15 minutes we were almost camped in the Lyonians half. Gavin Johnson immediately stamping his authority in the midfield, I took a couple of average shots at goal. The game then settled slightly but we still had the upper hand. The communication from start to finish in this game is some of the best I have seen…./heard. Joe Coard and Matt Brabon worked very well with the back 3, initially of Charlie Kelly, Will Selfe and Emlyn – it was glorious.

Always the fear of not capitalising on the pressure Gerry pressured a ball that was no right to be won, the mistake was forced by the opposition and there was Gavin Minton to crush a strike in to the goal which made the net ripple like Halle Berrys cellulite. Still 20 minutes to go it was important to focus on the advantage and to increase it whilst on top. We were solid up until half time, looking organised and motivated, my traditional first half sub rotation kept more of the same pressur and effort.

The second half began at 1-0, I feared a situation where we were the better team for 90 percent of the game and wouldn’t get the result. But fear not, a good throw in and flick on from Gerry allowed the ball to end up at my feet for an easy side footed finish. It was 2-0 and we were much more comfortable. Some scares followed where we found ourselves out of position allowing easy breaks from the opposition but Mike Pollard and Emlyn cleared the ball well. A great second half by Mike Player and Rory kept the Lyonians defence on a backfoot even when trying to get back in to the game. A brace of goals from Mike Player including one where an on rushing keeper was lobbed from distance and another goal from Minton was enough to give us a just deserved result.

It was great to see a game where everyone genuinely played well and communicated well, some lapses in concentration in the second half were not capitalised on but that gives us areas to improve. Deciding a man of the match where everyone contributed was tough, Mike Player got a good brace to finish off the game, Gavin Minton scored a crucial first goal, Will Selfe offered great quality in two different positions….but for this week the Man of Match goes to Emlyn for keeping a solid defence throughout.

MoM: Robbins

9th Team / Match Reports