Alexandra Park Reserves 3 – HSBC Reserves 2

SAL Intermediate Div 2 | October 25, 2014

So. It seems that the curse of the white kit has well and truly been lifted. Another win. Omens looked good when we the team arrived early. We were changed and had a good chat about our bold 4-3-3 formation. After about 10 minutes of Keith’s explanation, we were all set and ready to go. At least we thought. The oppo were at the game, but their kit was not. Cue McLoughlin scrabbling around to find a fetching kit from 2007. However, when they were changed into it, they decided they didn’t fancy it (Not sure we blame them) and changed back into their own kit which had since arrived. All in all the delay made us kick off a good 20 minutes late.

We started slowly and took a while to get through the gears. HSBC had one offensive tactic of smacking a long ball over the top of the Macca and Monkey Alan at centre back for their quick striker to run onto. Despite the centre back pairing being possibly the slowest men in the SAL, they managed to get to grips with this. We were playing fairly decent football without really threatening, so we were somewhat stunned when the oppo took the lead, after pinball in the AP area their striker smacked home from about 4 yards out.

We did not let this faze us – in fact it had the opposite effect and fired us up. We equalised shortly before half time when a fantastic ball in from Wilding was headed over the despairing dive of the keeper by Graves – the man who was still hurting from the annihilation of beloved Charlton Athletic by the Mighty Fulham – there is no disgrace in defeat against such a mighty team G-Man, and I hope the goal went some way towards making up for your night of pain. The half time chat was positive. We knew we would win if we kept to the basics, but the skipper called for less shots from free kicks and more balls in to the box as we were totally dominating them in the air. The oppo centre backs were at best clumsy, and at worst hatchet men. Some of the teams favourite fouls were the GBH on Fevzi by one of them, and then the hand ball and rugby tackle on Tom as he was clean through, which astonishingly was not even punished with a free kick. Apparently Tom was ‘letting him know’ as well. An odd call by the Ref who was otherwise excellent.

We took the lead with a special goal – a great passing move saw the ball moved across the pitch several times before it worked its way to Ozan, who teed himself up with a volley which was hitting the net before the keeper dived. This was in no doubt down to the introduction of Mark Taylor at half time, whose calming influence in the middle as well as physical presence added to our balance.

We went 3-1 when another half time introduction, James put a beaut of a ball on to the keeper for Jay to nod in. We had further chances to score, which were spurned, and we allowed the game to get interesting when we conceded from a corner with 10 to go. Bardgie pulled off one of the best point blank saves ever. FACT. Honestly this had to be seen to be believed. Their ‘Let’s Get it On’ era Marvin Gaye lookalike striker spent the next 5 minutes mumbling about how he couldn’t believe Bardgie kept it out.

So all in all a somewhat scrappy win. We probably could and should have scored more and been out of sight, but a win is a win. We keep the momentum going with a trip to unknown entity Old Blues on Saturday.

Team – Bardgett, Demir, Wilding, McLoughlin, Hammond, Graves, Brown, Gunes, Lohasu, T Spencer, Hubbard, Taylor, J Spencer, Hughes.

Man of the Match – Graves – imperious in midfield.

Booking – Demir. Animal. Suspend him.

2nd Team / Match Reports