Scorers: Adjekwi, Wood
The 1’s stepped out in their retro/classic/old af (delete as appropriate) white kit at The Racecourse to take on a solid, well organised Oilers side.
Lining up in a 4-3-3, AP started the game in an organised fashion allowing Oilers possession but pressing from the middle of the pitch to effectively nullify their forward attacks.
Unfortunately for me (Ronnie) I got injured in preseason and so missed the season’s preparations as well as the first two games of the league. I had been told this was a new look AP side with a new style of play but that only became apparent when my customary run into the channel yielded no high ball to chase. Passing out from the back and spreading play was now on the menu.
AP matched the Oilers for possession after the first 15 minutes and started to trouble their backline with runs in behind and stretching their defence.
AP took the lead with a free kick 30 yards out by the touchline which took a wicked deflection and Jed found himself on the end of a strike that he probably didn’t know much about. The ball cannoned off his thigh and looped over the Oilers keeper. 1-0.
The second half began with the Oilers temporarily down to 10 men. In an effort to not concede came a 5 minute spell of 100% possession, 250 sideways passes and shouts of “Ole!” from absolutely no one.
Oilers increased the pressure as the half wore on but AP’s defending remained resolute. Late into the half, yours truly attempted to pick out Johnny Marsh with a crossfield through ball in between two defenders. This was intercepted and Oilers came back on the attack finding their striker at the back post with a pinpoint cross for him to volley in the equaliser.
7 minutes to go and AP had to pick themselves up and remain in the game as the Oilers sniffed blood and attempted to go for the winner. Their zealousness left them exposed at the back however and a deflected through ball found its way to myself leaving me with 30 yards a defender and a goal keeper to beat. A rusty/dodgy/genius touch (take your pick) took me out wide however 30+ years of experience and a dash of composure allowed me to slip the ball home from a tight angle. 2-1. Redemption.
AP saw the game out and took their first 3 points of the season. A very encouraging display which brought praise from the opposition who exclaimed that we definitely took them by surprise with our measured play.
Old Finchleians away up next.