Having slipped to a disappointing first league loss the previous week, AP 9s were eager to bounce back in this away game against one of two Vamps teams in our division. There was briefly some doubt about whether ‘Storm Brian’ would stop the game going ahead but, fortunately, it turned out to be blustery but essentially harmless (much like our own Jon Gallaway).
Vamps lined up in a 3-5-2, which everyone at AP 9s knows is now so out of fashion. It made them narrow but quite solid. However, AP quickly got on top of the midfield battle, winning 60-40s, 50-50s, 40-60s, 30-70s etc etc.
Up front the Hungaro-Spanish partnership of Serge and Arnie looked really lively. At the back our almost all-injured back 4 looked very in control, with Uli repeatedly shepherding the ball back to the keeper, often from the opposition’s half.
We also played some lovely quick passing stuff, with rampaging full backs and everything. However, we couldn’t get the goal we deserved and were perhaps a little wasteful/rushed/one dimensional in our attacks. At the same time we always ran the risk of a Vamps long distance shot or setpiece undoing us and Henry was called into some smart saves.
At half time Uli diagnosed our problem: “be more clinical”. The goal came when Tim Davies was put through and reached a bouncing ball to lob the keeper. AP got a bit of a rush of blood this point and started treating the ball like a hot potato, which led to a spell of some (very light) Vamps pressure. However, this also left acres of space on the counter and Arnie put Tim D through again to kill the game.
It’s the big interclub derby up next – it should be an absolute thriller.