After an unconvincing display last week the 4s had a trip to Fairlop and a match against promotion chasing Old Parks 5s. The reverse fixture had finished with a 3-1 defeat so we knew we were in for a tough game.
Old Parks started the strongest putting midfield under pressure with AP struggling to get passing game going. There were a few half chances for both sides before Old Parks took the lead following a cross from the right which found their centre mid unmarked at the back post. Old Parks went looking for a second but our midfield trio of Biss, Jones and Robertson were starting to get a hold of the game and the back four getting the measure of their opposing players. We brought Stevenson on up front and started to get back into the game with Stevenson holding the ball up well and playing Tolcher and Forbes in to win us a series of corners. Old Parks had a great chance to double their lead just before half time following a corner but their striker contrived to put the ball wide.
Second half was more evenly matched with chances for both sides early on. AP had the majority of possession with Old Parks looking to hit on the break with their speedy winger. We got the equaliser with about 20 to go when a Robertson through ball, worthy of a “Xavi Hernández Vision | ‘Killer Passes 2’” Youtube video, found Tolcher, just onside, who took a touch before firing past the keeper at his near post. The rest of the game was back and forth with both sides creating chances to win it with Collins in goal pulling off a couple of excellent saves, including a great tackle on the edge of his box, to keep us in it. We almost won it at the death with first an effort cleared off the line following a corner and then a swerving Jones shot that the keeper did well to tip over the bar.
On the balance of play the draw was a fair result with lots of positives to take into the rest of the season. We didn’t let our heads drop when we went behind and kept plugging away against a very good side. The two debutants Stevenson and Joe Smith impressed with APYFC product Joe Smith showing great composure at centre back along with a couple of crunching tackles.
Squad: Collins, Johnson, McMorran, Fox, J.Smith, Biss, Robertson, Jones, Forbes, Tolcher, Morris. Subs: McGlogan, Stevenson, Lambert