Scorers: P.Banks (2), Arowosafe
After a frosty week, Saturday wasn’t actually that cold as the AP 1’s travelled to the Broomfield pitches for their third round AFA cup game. What struck me as peculiar on my arrival was how the field didn’t actually have any brooms. It must be some sort of weird joke that even I, a comedian, don’t get. The lads were comforted to know Chris Bollington had washed the kit this week. I say that because he put comforter in the wash.
A Christmas miracle has occurred; Tim is available two weeks’ on the bounce! The squad remains similar once again with only Onique and Brough out. In returns Redford following his break to see Sofia. That’s the capital of Bulgaria, not a lady friend. Ash Joshua returns for a substitute feature. Duncan’s Orange Powerhouses were once again startled at the start of the game by the opposition’s ability on the ball. Broomfield, mid table in the league below comfortably played the ball out of the defence. But once again though they struggled to penetrate the organised AP machine.
Not before long, Browse and Jason link up for a break away and Browse is put through with Paul to his right. It’s a two-on-one situation and Browse bursts into the box, skins his man, but gets clattered to the ground. A penalty and a clear one at that. Reader steps up to exorcise his demons. But he’s hit the beans on toast! Can this guy catch a break?
The rest of the first half chances were pretty mediocre so I’ll skip to the weird stuff. Actually I won’t because I think Bailey will be annoyed if I don’t mention his long range efforts which weren’t that bad. Also, Reader followed up on a keeper spill 1 yard out but could only kick it into the keeper. He did well even getting there. There were a few corners and scrambles but nothing to write home about or write here about.
Back to the weird stuff. There was a moment in the middle of the first half whereby the ball had ricocheted off an AP defender and was bouncing towards the corner flag. It was difficult to tell if this would concede a corner or a throw in. One person who didn’t want to leave this to chance was Tom Redford. He sprints 30 yards across the pitch, like a cheetah hunting a frightened gazelle, leaps with both feet off the ground and viciously two foots the ball out of play along with the unsuspecting corner flag who could barely stand up afterwards.
There was no player anywhere near him but I’d still say that tackle was dangerous. Turns out it was probably going out for a throw in anyway. Redford only has one setting and that is ‘100%.’ The half ended 0-0, which was probably fair except for the missed penalty.
The second half brought introductions of Timothy Banks and supersub Emmanuel who was celebrating his official last game for the club. It didn’t take long for Emmanuel to make and impact as Gravesy slots him through down the left hand side. He only has to square it to Banks which he does, so uncharacteristically, and lays it on a plate for a 1 yard tap. But what’s this? Banksy gets it all wrong and manages to somehow sky it over. Miss of the season. It wasn’t even close as it must have gone a couple of yards over the bar. Is this the end of his rich form?
Broomfield had a good chance early in the second half. Their striker works his way through on the edge of the box and gets a good low shot away. But David de Wood was out and large and gets down low to save. This was big.
AP were on top now and they are knocking at the door. Much like last week, Tim is gushing forward past the back line and Banksy picks him out through on goal. With the composure of primal being, Tim scuffs his shot at goal which the keeper makes a hash off by trying to clear it with his feet. Reader is quick on the rebound but kicks it into the sea of bodies. The keeper pokes clear which sneaks between Tim’s legs but only as far as Banksy who side foots it into the top of the goal. 1-0. The rich form continues.
The flood gates open now as Emmanuel gets through once again, Mesut Gravesy the architect as he picks him out with a perfectly weighted and timed eye of the needle pass. One touch from Emmanuel to bring it in his path and he clips it over the keeper from a very tight angle to give AP the lead. From Gravesy having the ball in midfield, within a flash it’s in the back of the net. How can you stop such clinical play?
Emmanuel misses a big chance at 2-0 when Tim picks up the ball to stop a counter attack and finds him with the outside of his boot. Screams of offside but clearly the backline have been lazy to get out. Emmanuel is confused though and deliberates for an age before getting a scuffed shot away.
Usually they are the ones that go in for him but I guess it’s not his day? You figure that one out. AP finally close out the game by making it 3-0. Browse goes on a mazy run down the left, exchanging one-two’s where necessary. He finally gets enough space to clip a lovely left foot cross into a good area at the back post where Tim is lurking. But so is Banksy and he is the one who gets his noggin’ on it and comfortably puts it home for his brace. 11 in 7 for the striker. Tim still searches for his first goal for the club.
AP forwards have scored over twenty goals this season. The midfielders have not scored one. But the mechanics seem to be working as AP complete their seventh win on the trot, becoming known for their emphatic firepower in the second halves which kill off the oppositions. The defenders are doing their jobs too as they add another clean sheet to their tally. Unfortunately we picked up our first card of the season as Tom Redford gets a booking for a cynical foul. This was for a challenge on a player, not a flag.
Man of the match this week was Matt Browse who was like a broom himself the way he swept up at the back. But mostly it was his forward link up with Jason and Emmanuel which earns him this award, getting an assist and winning a penalty too. He was a real asset throughout the game. Tim could also be compared to a broom this week as he looked rather wooden and got up people’s arses. That’s what brooms are for, right?