Alexandra Park 6 – Crouch End Vampires 4 AET

AFA Senior Cup | September 30, 2017

Scorers: Arowosafe(3), Neill(2), Hillier

With the Banks brothers away for the weekend today’s match report will be not as funny (to Tim) and worse written. See what I did their! Duncan’s all stars were against local rivals ‘The Vampires’ having played them as recently as the previous week (see last week’s match report for further details).

Last week’s 3­‐0 loss ensured that we knew everything about the opposition, but cunningly they knew nothing about us. AP lined up with 7 changes to the team from last week’s loss, out was Banks, Korek, Ralph, Browse, Bollington, Lanigan, Hawke who started on the bench and in came Wood, Charlie, Graves, Asamoah, Hilllier, Rowland and Neil. High pressing and big tackles from Graves (A.K.A Gareth Barry) and Wood (A.K.A Reo-­Coker) saw AP start the better in the first 15 minutes of the game. With AP in causing all sorts of problems Neil (A.K.A Sturridge) picked up the ball and twatted it in the top left hand corner of a 7 aside sized goal. The Vampires keeper (all 5ft 8 of him) didn’t stand a chance.

The following 10 minutes saw Vampires come more into the game, some would say they finally got their teeth into it, but I won’t, as I’m not Tim. As the pressure built AP gave away a penalty, well I (A.K.A Mascherano) did anyway, it wouldn’t be fair to blame the whole team for my mistimed tackle. Up stepped a member of the Vampires team to calmly slot the ball home into the bottom left hand corner like the cold blooded bastard he was/still is. Vampires struck again with what can only be described as an offside goal. Having gained the useful piece of information from the referee that offside goals would most likely be allowed, Reo‐Coker played the ball into an offside Arowosafe (A.K.A Zaha), who slotted the ball past the goal keeper. YES.

Before half time Sturridge picked up the ball outside the area, most likely around 30 yards out and hit the ball into the top right hand corner. GOAL.

AP went into HT 3­‐2 to the good (or bad, if anyone from Vampires is reading). Vampire’s team talk most likely centred on the fact the referee didn’t believe in an offside trap and they put this into full force after the break with another goal which can only be described as offside goal (part 2). AP were open and the Vampires knew it. A long field ball to the chest of the Vampires ST (who for the first time in the game wasn’t standing offside) left AP exposed with Mascherano caught 2 vs 1, the ST chested the ball onto the runner from midfield who put the ball into the box for an easy tap in at the back post. Now that’s enough about the Vampires attacking quality, as they didn’t score anymore goals (spoiler alert).

By this point everyone feared the worst (apart from everyone reading this. I’ve just let you know the Vampires didn’t score anymore goals), were AP going to have the minerals to come back against their fiercest rivals…The answer is yes, yes they did. Reader (A.K.A Walters) put the ball into the mixer from a corner for Hillier (A.K.A Hibbert) to get his big right/left shin on the end of. The crowd went wild. AP pressed in the final few minutes, chances came and went. The referee called the game to an end (with his whistle) and we were going into extra time.

The first half of extra time started and then finished with AP looking the better and fitter than its opposition. 5 minutes (estimated) into extra times AP found the break through, Reo‐Coker dinked the ball into Walters who flicked the ball through to Zaha, who managed to slot the ball passed the keeper finding every bobble on its way. AP changed tactics and sat deep relying on their counter attack to put the game to rest. And boy did they counter. Asamoah (A.K.A Wanyama) slotted a delightful reverse through ball to Zaha who rounded the goal keeper and slotted home sending every single person at fortress AP (who saw the goal) mad.

Man of the Match went to Gareth Barry who spent more time on the floor then he did on his feet (in a good way) and also came up with all of the mentioned player comparisons. Special mentions go towards Zaha and Sturridge who were a real threat all afternoon.

This was a much needed gutsy performance from AP, who will be looking to take this new found form into next game.

Tom ‘Mascherano’ Redford – A fan of the offside trap, even if the ref isn’t.

1st Team / Match Reports