a few drop outs so we only had 12 at the start with Tom on route. Pablo was making a welcome return after a ~2 year absence and Sam was playing his penultimate match before he goes back to the UK
We started off with left to right, Bertie (GK), MattT (newbie), Colin, Pablo, Sanj, Ed, MarcD,Sam, Hao, Stef, Patrick and Luke(newbie) on the bench
We started brightly and had most of the possession however Patrick slipped on wet patch in the box 5 minutes into the match and came off shortly after with a fractured metatarsal, newbie Luke came on to replace.
No real chances from either side, however we were passing the ball around well and our defence looked solid. Hao made a sliding tackle in the box when their striker was through, however he managed to come up with the ball and the ref waved play on. We came in at time 0-0.
With our midfield looking a bit tired chasing the opposition youngsters we brought Tom on in midfield. Matt who had a great half at left back came off with Ed moving into his spot, Marc going up front and Luke moving out wide.
We continued as we ended the half, Tom and Pablo had apposition players bouncing off them however both teams were lacking the cutting edge in the final third. A mix up at the back with a late call from Colin so their striker steal the ball and feed out wide. Bertier scrambled to the edge of his box however he slid out and had to release the ball, an unlucky bounce and they crossed into the box to open the scoring.
25 mins on the clock and we still had time to pull it back, however play was bogged down in midfield and getting scrappy. Another switch with Sam moving out to the left and Luke pairing up with Tom – this seemed to be the masterstroke as the impact was immediate.
Sam raced down the wing, the ball went through the box to be met by Hao who delivered a low volley across towards the penalty spot, up popped Sam to level the score.
As soon was regained possession from the restart an almost mirror image goal saw MarcD smash one into the goal.
We rode our luck for the next 10 mins with a couple of great saves from Bertie and shot bouncing off the post and one just wide.
With Patrick trying to get everyone to slow the game down and see the clock out, we took our time on set pieces and kept the ball near the corner flag. Stef broke and had a great solo effort so settle the match with 5 mins left.
A great comeback after recent run of losses all in similar vein where we have fallen behind only to rally back. Also a good boost ahead of our cup match semi-final Tuesday evening.
Down to Soho to celebrate with some orange and lemonades all around apart from Patrick on the beers to numb the pain.
Hao got man of the match for one of the best games he has played (ever according to a few people), however from hero to zero as he left the kit bag in the taxi with spare yellow shirts and the gaffas boots (won’t be needing them for 10 weeks though)…….so a double with mug of the day and 2 Jägerbomb bombs for his efforts.
Here are a few corrections to the managers match report:
"As soon was regained possession from the restart an almost mirror image goal saw MarcD smash one into the goal."
This should read, "Stef, after a fine solo effort saw his shot across the keeper palmed out only as far as Marc who tapped it in."
"Stef broke and had a great solo effort so settle the match with 5 mins left."
This should read, Hao’s fine cross, met Stef’s left foot in the 6 yard area to seal the victory"
Once a teacher always a teacher…