Alexandra Park 7s 1 – Norsemen 6s 2

SAL Junior Div 4 North | September 9, 2017

Scorer: L.Smith

Fresh from pre-season, bolstered by a few new and returning players, we expected a better start to the season than this one proved to be. The pitches looked better than ever (credit to Mark Carter), while the glorious angle of the slope was as steep as in seasons past: from the lofty heights of Peak Clubhouse, down to basecamp Thorn bush.

Last season we beat Norseman in both fixtures. This time they turned up looking strong. Dare I say suspiciously strong. Further encouraged by the fact we were sitting deep on the slope first half, Norsemen looked confident and completely dominated the first 30 min; with our defence doing well to keep the score down to 1 – and not 5 – nil. Harry Cool was having an impressive but busy debut in goal, while the post and the bar kept out one or two. Matt Garner also shook off a hangover to manage two almost identical goal line clearances to keep us in it. We genuinely could have been 5 down at this stage. At the other end, Banny was bullying defenders but having no luck in front of goal. Lewis and Ben worked hard on the wings, eventually paying off when Lewis arrived on the end of a cross to get a goal back: 1-1. We picked it up a bit before half time when Luca and Robin came on and we switched to a 3-5-2.

Our hard work and improved formation looked like it would pay off in the second half, but unfortunately Norsemen caught us with a sucker-punch on the counter. The latter stages of the game we put up a good fight, but didn’t take our chances. Lewis Smith had maybe the best opportunity to slot home at close range, but opted for a wayward pass (raising questions about whether this was deliberate payback for all the times we destroyed his team when they were the 7s), Robin made a run and squared one to Luca who was wide open in the box – shot just blocked, and Spinks turned up battling in the box for a late chance – one that could have been spectacular – but the shot cruised comfortably into the keepers hands.

A disappointing first game but we need to put this one behind us. The positive was the way we fought back later on – and nearly gained a point from a match against strong opposition. We need pick our heads up and play like that from the start this Saturday against Parks.

MOM: Matt Garner

7th Team / Match Reports