1st XI v Kew (A), League. Won 5-2
After a pretty successful ‘pre-season’ in Stationers terms, the new football season was upon us. Hopes were high after a close 1-0 loss to Semi-Professional side Hadley Wood. Unfortunately, the devil fools with best laid plans. Our 3 most experienced players were to miss the opening game. Perry sauntering around the middle east. Steve Watts on a holiday with a ‘gf’ that hasn’t been seen since the late 90’s! And myself, doing what I do best! Ruining weddings!
Even with both CB’s and the GK missing we managed to field a very strong side against South Bank on the opening weekend. Technically efficient footballers. Vertically challenged men. We lost 6-1. Inquests were held. Losing football matches is acceptable, losing in that manner whilst arguing amongst ourselves is not!
What you need after a 6-1 defeat at home is a trip across South London to play a very good Kew side. Numbers were short. After a 2-year absence a return to the 1’s for Tom Gullon. We travelled across London with 10 ½ men. James Keenan nursing a hamstring injury. Arriving a 2pm. No time for a warm up.
Unsurprisingly we started sluggishly, Kew dominating possession in the opening 15 minutes. They usually do. However, they were restricted to one long range effort that cannoned off the post. The early pressure was no good for James Keenan’s hamstring, with no subs he heroically went up top and was a menace all game. As the muscles warmed up for the rest of us we started to find a foothold in the game. A rare long ball forward from Kew was intercepted by Jackson, a neat/fortunate turn of the ST and pin perfect ball over the top for Marcus Archer. 1-0 Stationers. After the poor start, we deservedly made it 2-0, a lovely free kick from Ali ‘Cramp’ Lovett, met on the Volley by Marc Smith, saved, followed in by Steven Watts.
At Half-time, we talked about keeping the work rate high. We were basically a man down, lets protect this lead. Who listens to the manager?
Within 5 minutes we were 3-0 up, 1 legged Kennan swivelling in the box and teeing up Marc Smith to thunder home.
Soon after it was 4. Tom Gullon as he has been all game, whipped in a superb early cross which was met by new Signing Ronan to nonchalantly volley home.
Well it would be for pretty much every other team in the SAL.
Stephen Taylor was lobbed. Déjà vu. Then they smashed one in the top corner from 25 yards. Panic Stations. Some heroic defending and 2 great saves from Taylor kept it at 4-2. On one of our counter attacks Marcus rounded the keeper and was wiped out, reducing the oppo to 10. We added another late on with Marcus bagging a second. Reeves nearly added a 6th with a thunderous 30-yard effort that smashed off the crossbar.
Great result and some heroic performances.
M.O.M – Marc Smith – I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone cover that much ground, whilst also being very effective when he had the ball.