Starting line up:
Henry (GK), Stef/JasonE/Terry, Ed, Flabbo, Colin, SteveG, Cowley, ScottK & Jamil
Going with 3 at the back in a 3:5:2 formation we were looking to hit Thunder hard from the start, having lost 1-nil earlier in the season when we squandered a ton of chances we wanted some early goals to get settled.
We started brightly camped out in their half, the bumpy "pitch" did neither side any favors for passing football however we used the width of the pitch and had most of the possession some highlights from the half:
- Stef crossed from deep for Terry to intercept, Cowley controlled and passed to SteveG whose looping chip came back of the bar.
- Flabbo headed onto SteveG who picked out Ed "not a hair out of place" Ginola steaming down on the left, Ed volleyed across the goal mouth however no one was there for the easy tap in.
- A repeat move from SteveG and Ed saw Jamil latch onto the ball on the far side and shot across the goal mouth, ScottyK inspected the ball on the line but did not kick it so the keeper managed to scramble back and save….
- A break buy Thunder saw Terry at full speed chasing the ball to cries of "Terry Run" from Cowley on the right.
- Colin "I have played that position before" did a delight full step over from Stef’s throw-in to evade the threat of Thunder plays all 20+ meters away.
- A backpass from Cowley? Saw Henry come off his line, dribble round their oncoming striker only to loose the ball, chase the player out of the box to the sidelines, the ball was crossed into the middle and stroked over Jason’s head on the line – 1-nil down! 15mins in.
- Ginola was ever dangerous down the wing, chipped into Cowley who chested down but shot wide
- Another Ginola run into he box and the cross was handled by their keeper, surprisingly the ref gave it, Cowley was ordered away from the box by yours truly and Flabbo smashed the ball home to level the math, 1-1 on 21mins.
- Tactical change with ScottyK & Cowley trading places for the last 10 mins of the half, a few chances with SteveG shooting over, Stef picked out Cowley in the box but the shot was saved. Jason picked up a yellow card for impeding a free kick and Jamil getting on the end of a spilled ball got another yellow.
- Last minute saw Cowley connected to a Jamil corner to head over earning Cowley the riposte "it would have been a good header if it was 2 ft lower"
Half time: Ed in goal, ScottK& Jamil off, SteveG pushing up front with Dan on, Cowley back on the right, Stef pushing up to left wing, Colin dropping into defense, Henry into midfield and AndrewMcK into midfield.
- Moment into the game someone their striker on our back line manages to shoot, evade 3 defenders and our keeper 2-1 down.
- Cowley back on the wing to use his pace latched onto a long ball from Terry, evaded their defender and passed into SteveG in the box, SteveG got brought down by their defender but manager to pass the ball on for Andrew coming in at the back to calmly slot in the equalizer 2-2 with 25 mins to go
- Final sub of the match with Flabbo straight swap for Chi who got the quickest booking in the history of soho/nite Spartans ~15 seconds.
- Dan held up a long ball and laid off to SteveG whose shot went wide
- SteveG won the ball dribbled round a few players before passing right to Cowley, Cowley chested down and volleyed the ball which went over their keepers head. 3-2 – Jamil offered some encouragement from the side lines " you only need one more goal to equal my tally for the season"
- Moment later Terry picked out SteveG in the box with his back to goal, swiveled on the spot and lobbed the keeper 4-2
- Moments after than Cowley again down the right crossed the ball for SteveG to head in 5-2 and coasting with 10 mins to go
- Thunder broke, a mix up between Jaseon and Ed saw them smash a ball in 5-3
- SteveG put Cowley through on goal with a ball behind their back line, Cowley 1-1 with the keeper in the box shot wide earning him a comment from Terry "Cowley have a shot"
- Stef went down in the box with cramp and let out a scream and their keeper physically dragged one of their players away from stef to stop anyone stretching his leg…tosser!
- We labored to get goals going; however we totally dominated the match against a weak side that must have spent 20-30% of the match feigning injury and wasting time as they hoped for a draw. Another lesson in taking our chances when we have them as we could have easily been 5-nil up at half time.
Some notable performances from the back 3 especially Terry with some intelligent long balls for Cowley and SteveG, Ed gave a master class in working the left wing in the first half – always in space and getting behind their back line to cross the ball. SteveG had a good 2nd half once he was out of the mudbath in the centre of the pitch and pumped up Cowley worked the wing linking well with midfield and putting some great crosses into the box.
Next league match 2 weeks time Fri 8th April v 9:30pm
We are sitting in 5th spot 2 pts off 4th and 5 pts off 3rd .With games against both teams above us we could move up the table although they have games in hand.
Goals (assists): Flabbo (Ed), AndrewM (SteveG), Cowley (SteveG), SteveG (Terry), SteveG (Cowley)
YC: JasonE, Jamil, Chi