Broomfield Res. V Old Stationers Res.
Goals: Kieran, Mark, OG, Louis, Pani (2).
Sporting the all white away kit for the first time, Stationers resembled Real Madrid’s ‘Los Blancos.’ Without Mickey to oversee proceedings, Kyri became player/manager for the day however with the responsibility came the headache. A suspicious flu had ruled out several gooners from the squad (nothing to do with the Arsenal v Spurs derby scheduled for 5pm).
The line-up was; Mario in goal with Kyri and Sean at centre back, Rob and Tom at right and left back. George and Niam in centre midfield with Kieran and Sam on the flanks, Pani and Mark up front. The squad was missing six players, although we were thin, Kyri still managed to field a very competitive line-up.
Off the back of last week’s victory, Kyri asked the attackers to help the team with an early goal. With the Ibis defeat in mind, conceding early could prove costly. The idea was to pressure Broomfield to chase the game whilst gaining space behind their defence.
Stationers started the game with a ferocious tempo, answering the team’s call for an early goal was Kieran. He brought the ball out the air on the edge of the box, chipped the oncoming defender and sent his shot into the bottom corner. A great individual goal from Kieran, setting the tone for the rest of the match in the tenth minute, 0-1.
The second followed after the ball was worked up the left through Sam and Mark latched on and finished into the left corner, 0-2. Broomfield’s decision to play the offside trap on such a small pitch was suicide, the forwards exploited the space and the floodgates opened.
The introduction of Lenos into the middle changed the formation to a 4-5-1, George and Lenos sat into the defensive midfield role, putting out fires before they start. Niam became the attacking midfielder, driving forward with penetrating runs countless times. A jinking run with the ball saw Niam attempt to chip the keeper, it was saved but the ball took a ricochet off two defenders and rolled into the net for an own goal, 0-3.
Just before half time a bit of complacency crept in. A Broomfield free kick from the right was headed in at the back post, a lapse in concentration that cost the defence a clean sheet, 1-3. Although being two goals clear is an advantage at the interval, the next goal would be crucial. Getting another quick goal after the start would surely fight off any comeback Broomfield was planning. The fourth came from Louis who rocketed the ball into the top left corner from 25 yards, a splendid goal after a silky move between Sam and Mark.
The fifth and sixth goals came from Pani. His first came after Sean emerged with the ball from the back and found himself on the left to curl a beautifully weighted diagonal cross over to Pani, who beat the offside trap and brought the ball down on his shoulder to fire home, 1-5. The final goal was the result of a cross from Mark into Pani, he attempted to play in Lenos after a driving run into the box but the defender intercepted. The ball fell back into Pani’s feet before drilling the ball into the bottom corner, 1-6.
A Strong performance from the team, man for man each player won their individual battles and pulled together for the cause. Two league wins on the spin was the perfect response to the Ibis defeat, hopefully the team can take this momentum forward into the next game verses Old Vaughanians in the MEC Cup.
By Pani Apostolou
Sunday 28th Sept
Mega Vets v Old Finchleians WON 3-1 (Jenkins, Davy 2)
The Mega Vets secured a deserved 3-1 victory against local rivals Old Finchleians in our first outing of the season. With the introduction of a few new faces we started steadily but nevertheless had the better of the opening 20 mins and probably should have been leading before a defensive lapse allowed the oppo to take the lead against the run of play. We soon regained the initiative and equalised 10 mins before half-time when Jenkins slotted home from 15 yards. Jenks departed at half-time to take his son to football and was replaced by Gerry Keown who arrived at half-time having just dropped his family off elsewhere (and Arsene Wenger thinks he's got problems running a team!). We continued to have the upper hand after the interval and Garfield Davy scored a couple with powerful strikes to secure the victory before a number of our players started to pull muscles they didn't know they had and we were forced to take full advantage of the roll on roll off subs system after assessing who was less afflicted than who. A good all-round performance and result, with the oppo claiming that we were younger and fitter than them....now that's something we haven't heard for a while!
Old Lyonians 5th XI 2-5 Old Stationers 5th XI
League - WON Goalscorers - Duarte (3), Billy, Dan.
What a good game of football! Two decent teams playing the ball on the ground and both totally committed throughout the 90 minutes. We seem to have found a firm foundation for the 5s now, using a 4-5-1 shape with the immensely impressive Duarte Santana leading the line. The trio of central midfielders, perm any 3 from David Campbell, Craig Jones, Mike Douglas, Jay Gladdy, Dan Avis, etc will give any opposition trouble with their strength, know-how and spirit. And out wide we have Billy Phillips and Ross Wright to use their pace and trickery to get beyond defences and to support Duarte, as well as offering huge amounts of work to help out the full backs. I’m sure John Murphy and Zaf were pleased to be playing in tandem with Billy and Ross today given the pace of the opposition down the flanks. And if they did get by, our regular rock Alan Amato and the mighty Darragh Deering got the tackle in that was required. This huge team effort meant that our goal was rarely troubled, but in the second half in particular, with Ron Hanson coming on as keeper for your hamstrung match reporter, there were a number of important moments that helped us win the match.
The first half began with us pushing Lyonians back into their half and we dominated the ball and territory, playing with poise and confidence. The midfield trio were spraying the ball across the pitch and both Ross and Billy latched onto through balls at pace to link up with the ever available Duarte. D’s movement was a real lesson in smart football, always offering an outlet and playing some elegant balls around the corner for his midfielders to run onto, not least Dan Avis in the first half who got the ball stuck under his feet when inside the penalty area on a couple of occasions. With 10 minutes gone our pressure paid off when an oppo pass forward was intercepted by Darragh, who prodded the ball to Billy on the edge of our box. Billy touched the ball wide to Zaf at left back. Zaf curled a beautifully weighted ball into Duarte up front, who held off his marker and laid a neat 5 yarder into Billy’s path as he moved upfield in support. Quickly closed down, Billy used his quicksilver feet to find space and curled a wonderful shot over and beyond the keeper into the far corner of the net. A goal of grace, precision and teamwork at its best.
For the next 30 minutes we dominated but found ourselves blocked at the last by determined Lyonians defending, although they made the occasional foray upfield but in the main were well marshalled by our defence, limited largely to shots from distance. Having said that they had some decent footballers and this game was clearly going to be hard work. A few minutes before the break we got the second goal we deserved when Zaf and David Campbell combined to play Duarte through on goal and D finished as we know he can- with total conviction.
We spoke at half time about workrate as it was clear the oppo were a decent team and we should not let them back into the match. From the off they came at us and we found ourselves under a lot of pressure, with everyone working hard to keep them out. Not long into the half we found an out ball though, with Mike Douglas breaking up play, David Campbell clipping the ball forward to Duarte, and D ran beyond their centre backs to lob their keeper from 25 yards. A goal of real quality.
Fair play though the oppo came at us hard, but in the main they broke like waves on the rock of Darragh Deering with Alan mopping up anything that fell loose. However, a loose ball on the edge of our box was snaffled up by the oppo and a decent strike into the far corner brought them back into the game. What they didn’t know was that we had a secret weapon though. Ron Hanson. First of all he pulled off a diving save after a close range effort and then dashed from his line to beat a clean through winger to the ball and save a certain goal. But he wasn’t finished there - after John was adjudged to have brought down their pacy midfielder in the box Ron got down quickly to his left and saved their penalty kick. By this stage we had gone 4-2 ahead when Dan Avis coolly headed in from Billy’s whipped corner. The penalty save was a turning point as with 10 minutes left the oppo could have got back in the game if they had made it 4-3 but as things turned out, after such a massive effort by everyone all game, we hit them on the break with a Mike Douglas through ball only to see Duarte brought down in their box for a clear penalty to us. D stepped up and showed how it’s done with a calm finish low to the keeper’s left. The referee blew for full time a couple of minutes later and we all trooped off exhausted but very satisfied. A fantastic team performance against tricky oppo, especially notable for huge performances by Darragh Deering and Billy Philipps. but today there was only one MOTM - Duarte Santana. Just brilliant. And modest with it.