Alexandra Park 7s 4 – Crouch End Vamps 6s 0

SAL Minor Div 3 North | September 19, 2015

Scorers: Ramirez(2), Glassar, Law

It was a beautiful sunny day at the Racecourse for our first home game of the season. Unfortunately we were left waiting around for the kit to arrive (mentioning no names Derek!) till 20 mins before kick off leaving us again less than adequate preparation time. Despite winning the toss we started playing down the slope, largely due to me mixing the ends up! We were on top from the whistle and for virtually the whole half had the Vamps pinned back defending waves of attacks. They couldn’t clear their lines with virtually every goal kick going straight to Scants, who put it straight back in the mixer. About 20 mins in Louis gave us the break through, planting the beyond the keeper, 1-0 AP. We pushed on and should have been 3 or 4 up by the half hour mark, but unfortunately despite our dominance we were wasteful with our chances. At the back there was really nothing to do, Jamie had time to make a cup of tea while Rudy napped in goal. Vamps usual bite was missing, and we were given time on the ball, which we should have made count. Marco and Ditmar made some decent runs into the box and John and Louis were looking lively. We must have had about 10 corners and despite several free headers and shots over the bar it remained at 1-0, which always makes me a little nervous. When Jamie’s powerful header was cleared off the line frustration began to creep in. Thankfully just before half time Jorge came up trumps and put the ball in the net to make it 2-0.

The second half saw the Vamps finally getting in our half and putting us under a bit of pressure, but almost immediately we hit them on the break. Robin who had just been thrown into the action was played through by Ditmar, he beat the defender for pace and Robin skilfully scuffed his shot through the arms of the hapless keeper, to make it 3-0. Vamps did wake up a little, but Derek and Roman snuffed out any danger and Rudy demonstrated sound handling of any ball into the box. Paul, David and Jamie defended resolutely. Again we had a number of chances to wrap things up, Louis had a great opportunity, which he created himself, but his brilliant run wasn’t match by the finish when the goal seemed to open up in front of him. Roman headed narrowly over the bar and John should have got on the score sheet. Finally it was Jorge who again gave us the reward our efforts deserved, smashing into the roof of the net from a tight angle at close range. So the game finished 4-0, and if anything it was a score line that flattered the Vamps. We can and will play better this season, and we will need to as there will be tough tests ahead. Still it was pleasing to get a good win and keep a clean sheet. It is a result that sends us to the top of the table. Still early days!

Man of the match was tricky this week, because despite scoring 4 goals all the forwards could have been more clinical, and despite keeping a clean sheet the defence barely had enough to do to warrant it. Paul had the winger in his pocket all game, having a strong debut at left back. But the MoM goes to Ditmar, who showed skills and good vision down the left wing, frequently getting in behind the defence a creating a host of chances.

A final word: being a good team member isn’t just about playing well on the pitch, it is arriving on time, helping out with the nets, volunteering to wash the kit, paying your money and staying to socialise for a drink and some food (which is included in your membership fee so you may as well get your monies worth!). So try and clear some time in your busy diaries so you don’t have to shoot off the second the whistle blows.

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