Old Finchleans 3s 2 – Alexandra Park 3s 3

SAL Junior Divsion 1 | October 4, 2014

Scorers: Johnson(2), Shaw-Morris

Was it the last day of summer or the first day of autumn? I’m not sure and neither was the weather, on a day that started with bucketing rain and would end with glorious sunshine we made our way to some nice looking pitches at Mill Hill.

There was early discontent at the kit odour that made some question whether it had been washed by the banks of the Lea. But with the smells that come from our changing room the kit odour was soon smothered and we took to the pitch with 14 players and all there reasonably on time. No really it’s true. The pitch was very nice. Flat, wide, if a little short. In fact from the touchline it almost seemed like a square pitch. We realised this would inhibit our pace up front but on the flip side it meant we were unlikely to get caught out at the back.

We lined up with “One sock” Dan in goal, and a back for of “Don” Fabbio, the good doctor, Zigster(as he will now be known), and washer woman Jones. Midfield was Jed “How’s that not a foul” Wood and debutante Nick. The front four were JJ, Shaw “Ringmaster” Morris, perennial injury doubt Brade, and perennial debtor Fullerton.

The bench was made up of Khiry, Charlie and “the gambler” Mark.

As expected Finches were a decent side full of running and intent if lacking a little creativity. They slightly bossed the early exchanges with us concentrating on keeping a tight ship especially with Nick having to settle in next to Jed. Never an easy task. Gradually we began to create openings usually from through balls which on a bigger pitch we may have capitalised on but today there keeper was swift to spot the danger and swept up well. Similarly we limited Finches to the long ball which we easily dealt with. Generally there were few moments of real danger at either end although we began to play the better football with Fraser, Nick and Jed linking up well. The guys up front worked hard for the scraps. The couple of times Ash broke loose his lack game made me think I might not be finished yet, as the ball ran away or he miscontrolled. Khiry came on for Kurt after half hour. Eventually from a cross we got a penalty for handball which had it not been given Jed was ready to give his latest audition for “Splash”. A second followed before half time when we broke down the right with Jed putting in an inviting cross towards Ash on the 6 yard line, he leapt into the air like a salmon lining up the spectacular overhead kick what followed was the now classic “Wellbeck dummy”. The ball zipped of Ash towards the edge of the area where a Fraser pile driver was waiting. The ball rocketed into the goal giving their keeper no chance.

2-0 half time, happy days.

2nd half, and Charlie came on for the Zigster and Mark came on for Nick. Finches obviously had to go for it now and played with 2 up top. This put us under pressure a bit more but also gave us more space to attack into. Before we could extend our lead Finches got one back from a whipped in cross which was headed in beyond Dan. Disappointing. We reacted well with Ash breaking through a few times and JJ and Khiry both doing well when they broke. Finally we got a third from I quote “a bullet like header that skimmed of the defender”. JJ scored it from a lovely corner from Fraser that had been preceded by a duff corner by …you guessed it, Fraser. Then for a bit we looked like we might grab another but Finches sneaked another after a wayward defensive header was met by another header which looped past Dan. Two goals from headers, very disappointing. Nevertheless we got over the line and into the next round.

Well done to all, it was good to get the win and settle the team down. Hopefully we can push on with the season now starting with Old Westminster Citzs this week. Performance wise we were pretty good all round although sometimes our decision making needs to be quicker.

All the debutantes played well and contributed to the play and also the banter. We look forward to seeing more of them this season. All the strikers were a threat although we need to be more clinical, as this game should have been put to bed before it got to 3-2. Defence was solid, but still quiet and two goals from headers is poor. But we looked a better unit which is encouraging.

Generally good but still plenty to do, so no slacking. Also the manager will be less gung ho with the roll on roll off in future. So remember we are a squad and I know we all want to play all the time but I will be as fair as I can be, but some people may not get 90 mins every week. It’s up to you to raise your game to ensure you get 90 mins.

MoM: The Manager

3rd Team / Match Reports