Old Parkonians 7s 2 – Alexandra Park 7s 1

SAL Junior Div 4 North | September 16, 2017

Scorer: N’Gola

As we were warming up with the obligatory running across the width of the pitch, whilst opening and closing gates, the two key questions of the day were answered. Firstly, studs or moulds? Despite the rain during the week it was a moulds pitch. Secondly, can the new keeper take goal kicks? During his warm up Vlad demonstrated he could get it to halfway and there was a visible sigh of relief from the centre backs.

The game got off to a bad start before we had even begun as the referee had cried off. After speaking to their captain we agreed to play the game with one of their subs as the ref, who was replaced in the second half by an Old Parks player from a different team.

The first half was a scrappy affair with neither team dominating and was a story of two corners. Some nice interplay between our two strikers, Banny and Ditmir, created our first chance but Ditmir couldn’t hit the target from a tight angle. Then from an Old Parks corner we broke quickly, well a hoof up the pitch found Banny, who managed to get a shot off from just inside the penalty area which rolled passed the keeper for 1-0. The No’Goala drought for 17/18 had been broken early.

Old Parks then created a chance from the right wing with the header hijng the bar and Vlad doing well to keep it out as the ball bounced down, with most of his body in the goal but thankfully the ball wasn’t. Despite cries of Goal!, even their own player/referee was not going to give it.

Paul Turney, whiter than a ghost despite spending the last 3 months in LA, came on up top and almost tackled his way to a goal as their centre back dallied on the ball. Just before half time, Old Parks got a corner. We had a couple of chances to clear it but the ball fell to their midfielder in the penalty area whose slow shot went agonisingly between Vlad and Steve Thompson on the post. 1-1 at half time.

The second half was a different game with us dominating and crea]ng chance after chance. Andrew Tosolini and Pat McGlogan were solid at the back, intercepting potential through balls and supplying Scants and Alex Fellowes in midfield and the Cheshire Cafu (John Spinks) at right wing back plenty of opportunities to take the ball forward.

The first of many chances of the half fell to an unlikely source, as James Ludley, first half centre back turned second half defensive midfielder, “raced” on to Ditmir’s through ball only to shoot straight at the keeper. Alex then broke down the right hand side, played a beautiful ball across to Ditmir whose shot went straight at the keeper when it seemed easier to score. Next up in the miss-athon was Banny. Spinks got some space and whipped over a cross from the right, Banny decided to outfox the keeper who would surely be waiting for the standard header at goal and instead decided to use his face to score, the result a limp effort straight at the keeper.

At the other end Old Parks created a chance and Vlad kept it out with a strong left hand, pushing it around the post. Another cross from the right hand side made its way through a crowd of players to Ditmir in the six yard box who took a touch which allowed the defenders to get to him and block his effort.

We then broke down the right hand side, the ball was played across the penalty area and as Alex was about to run on to it he was crudely fouled by their centre back, a definite penalty. The “ref” however, played advantage as the ball ran to Ditmir at the back post with only the keeper to beat, he took a touch and fired, yes you guessed it, straight at the keeper who was rushing out.

In the final minute of the game we were racing forward for the winner – which was later ques]oned by Pat in the postmatch de-brief “it wasn’t a Champions League game where we needed a goal to get level on aggregate, we should have taken the point” some wise words after the event there – and an Old Parks hoof clear, or counter ahack if you prefer, found them with a two on one, which despite the best efforts of Pat and Vlad, their striker slotted the ball home for 2-1.

Another disappointng result, but the performance was a lot better than the first game of the season. We are creating chances and if we can improve our finishing, then the results will come.

MOM – Andrew Tosolini

7th Team / Match Reports