Scorers: Cowen, Wilson, Kanybekov, Arowosafe
“25 years I’ve played at full-back, i know what a foul is me”. Those were the words that would come back to haunt the referee as we piled into the pint-sized away dressing room in what was our most rural away day of the season. After a long chat with the ref about the vices of swearing and the glory days of ‘old school’ tackling it was now time to focus on the task at hand. With Glassar and Spinks donning full ‘Spice Boys’ regalia, we knew we were ready for battle. *Crawford take note, next week its gotta be back on.
After a biting result against title rivals Crouch End Vamps last week, we knew we had to bounce back against Old Stationers 5’s who were languishing at the bottom of the table. Having said that, they proved hard to break down and were dogged in midfield with ‘the blonde one’ having some joy in spreading the ball around and dictating their play. The Stationer’s keeper had somehow injured his back in the warmup and so on came ‘the sub keeper’ but the referee wasn’t having any of it, and forced Stationers into fielding a outfield player in net.
Right from kickoff we were up for this match, smelling blood as we hassled and battled Stationer’s into making early mistakes. A nice exchange of play near the edge of the box between Cowen, Wilson and Glassar led to Glassar being fouled, within close shooting distance of the oppo goal. Glassar fired the ball with dip into the right side but the newly crowned keeper did well to make the save. It was just a matter of time now…
Moments later and from clearing our lines off a corner, Harrison Cass broke down the left wing, mesmerising the opposition with his dynamic skills and turn of pace. Cutting in and out, left and right at speed, he had taken the ball all the way into the opposition area and fired a brilliant strike across his body which ricocheted straight back into Cowen’s path. Cowen’s decision to play further up the park had been fully justified with the instincts of a predator, he fired home into the roof of the net and we had deservedly taken the lead.
Stationers soon equalised however, the windy conditions playing into their hands with a lofted ball over the AP defence being converted well by the Stationers striker. With the equaliser coming shortly after we had just opened the lead, it was time to act like a team near the top of the table. A sequence of one touch football and dynamic interplay led to the second goal. Madgwick to Cowen, Cowen to Glassar, Glassar to Wilson who had found himself in acres of space down the right flank after a lung-busting run. His delicate first touch placed well to set himself with just the keeper to beat, Wilson had the picking of where he wanted to place it. In truly stunning fashion he dinked the ball for a sublime finish. Think Di Maria vs Leciester but better.
John Spink’s delivery from set-pieces this season has been nothing short of sublime, with real whip and pace on his crosses adding menace to the 8’s attacking threat this season. This game was no exception. Spink’s launched an out-swinging ball towards the edge of the box, the Stationer’s defence looking onwards hopefully that they could clear their lines but to no avail. Making a darting run in came Uli Kanyebekov at pace with a bullet header hitting the top of the net, a great finish from what was a laser-guided ball in. With Kanyebekov having a great game marshalling the defence with Robson next to him, would he be able to continue his attacking threat?
On came Arowosafe who provided class and composure in the advanced positions. With a mazing run past the Stationer’s defence, Arowosafe looked up and found the very same man who had just scored. The ball was played square to Uli, whose massive run had gone to waste! Somehow managing to fire metres over the goal with chants of ‘thats why you’re a defender’ ringing out from the AP bench.
AP were firmly in control of the game by this point. Stephen Korek who had been bossing the midfield with his ferocious tackling and impressive range of passing, cleared forcefully from a corner and into Glassar’s path. Glassar did well to turn and head the ball into the path of the menacing Arowosafe who took a great first touch and glided past the stationer’s defence, cooly slotting in for the 4-1 lead.
In the final stages of the game, Cass played a chipped ball over the opposition defence into Glassar who ran onto the ball and past the full-back only to be cynically grabbed to the floor by the last man, who was already on a booking. Glassar turned to the Ref in protest, risking the wrath of the pot-bellied scotsman. Free-kick given, no sending off. Robson took aim, and mis-hit the ball across the face of goal to his disappointment, after putting in a stellar defensive performance. Final whistle went, hand shakes and cheers commenced, with many complementing the referee on his choice of Nike Airs to officiate in #swagger.
With other teams around us dropping points, and a good run of form, promotion remains firmly on the horizon. Three more cup finals gentlemen.
Up the 8’s but more importantly spice up yer life!