Alexandra Park 8s 2 – Alexandra Park 7s 1

SAL Minor Div 3 North | October 7, 2017

Scorers: McGrath, M.Wilson

The fourth game of the season for an 8s side desperate to record their first victory came against our biggest rivals, Banny’s 7s.

A shocking performance in a 4-0 loss two weeks ago was followed by a heroic battling 2-2 draw away to high flyers Old Owens, giving encouragement for this game, more of the same would be needed here. The 8s lined up in their new 451 formation with the tireless Miller leading the line and new man Sushko in goal. The excellent new midfield trio of Billington, Kaverne and Di Domenico were flanked by the pace of Newson and the guile of Kennedy, whilst the back four remained unchanged after their brilliant performance the previous week, with the imperious duo of Robson and McGrath supported by hard man Kravchuk and Singh, who has found his position now at left back. On the bench were wingers Wilson and Davies, as well as the return of the inspirational captain Glasssar, his return certainly a major boost for the Team.

The game started at a frantic pace and within the first minute the 7s found themselves in behind the 8s defence, however the cross was inevitably dealt with by Robson as he smashed it clear, the first of many telling contributions from the Aussie. Just a few minutes further into the game and a free kick was won on the half way line, in a seemingly innocuous position. McGrath stood over the ball and beckoned his teammates forward, it was Ime to get the ball in the mixer. McGrath is as fine a striker of a ball as I’ve seen in an AP shirt and he struck it perfectly, and now with the help of a headwind and the slope of the pitch the ball was hurtling towards goal, dipping under the bar at the last moment to leave the 7s goalkeeper helpless. The 8s had the lead.

The rest of the half was a real battle, with the 7s competing excellently despite kicking uphill that half. When they got their equaliser after a well worked move down their right wing resulted in a cross, fizzed into the six yard box for captain N’Gola to convert, it was tough to argue they weren’t deserving of it. The score was now 1-­1 and it was time for the captain to return, replacing Di Domenico as the 8s returned to a 442 formation. The rest of the half passed by without much of note happening, then at half time captain Glassar made use of his four wingers by swapping the two already on the pitch for Wilson and Davies.

Early in the second half and the 7s were still enjoying more of the play than the 8s were happy with, whilst we were now outnumbered in midfield, leading to a truly admirable moment as Miller suggested to Glassar that he be subbed off for Di Domenico, in order for the 8s to be able to win the midfield battle.

This change in shape proved crucial, with the 8s regaining a foothold in the game, although we had to ride our luck as a thunderous strike by Turney rebounded off our crossbar. The winning goal appeared to come from nowhere, as the battling Kaverne won the ball out on the right wing, looking up and playing a perfect through ball down the line for substitute Wilson who ran towards goal before firing his shot past the keeper, giving the 8s a 2-­‐1 lead.

From here it was clear it was going to be a battle to hold on, which was encapsulated by the brave keeping from Sushko who came out at the feet of the onrushing N’Gola to prevent him from levelling it up in the final moments. In the end the 8s did hold on, a huge three points for the team made all the sweeter coming against their AP rivals. The celebrations went on long into the night, where all in Camden were made aware of the historic events that had just occurred.

8th Team / Match Reports