Unsurprisingly, Norsemen started the game like relative strangers, as the Vamps, with the wind at their backs, started the stronger. Kalli in the home goal was forced into two great saves in the first ten minutes to keep the blues in the game, but there was nothing he could do midway through the first half when Murray got caught in no-man’s land from a corner, lost his man and could only watch on as the Crouch End winger slotted in after a flick on.
This set-back gave Norsemen a bit of a kick start, and they started to attempt to get the ball down and play some football. A flowing move saw the dangerous EJ find Os on the overlap, his cross was deep and pinpoint to Darran, who normally takes these chances in his sleep. The big man mistimed his leap and could only direct his header over the top when the keeper should have been tested. Just when the score looked like it was going to stay the same until the break, a bit of magic brought Norse back onto level terms. Olly one a tackle on the edge of his own box, getting injured in the process – the ball fell to Ross who played it out to EJ on the right. The young winger set off at speed, turned 3 defenders inside out before the third brought him down in the box – a clear-cut penalty. Os kept his cool despite some attempts to put him off, and levelled the game.
Half time 1-1.
The second half started and Norse were on top. Half chances came and went to Darran and TC (who had done a fantastic defensive job in the first half but had now managed to get on the ball more in the Vamps’ half), and the game was played entirely in the away side’s half in the first 20 minutes, but the second goal wouldn’t come. The game became very scrappy, and neither side managed to play much football or create many chances. The game looked like it was going to peter out into a disappointing draw, but with 5 minutes to go the dangerous Vamps winger picked the ball up on the left and drove towards the box. Ross took him out in what was a clear foul, and as the ref blew his whistle another Vamps player crossed the ball for the centre forward to scramble home. The Vamps were outraged that the ref hadn’t played the advantage, but not as outraged as Norsemen were when they realised the referee had awarded a penalty rather than a free-kick for the foul. Fair to say it wasn’t a great 30 seconds for the official. The Vamps midfielder sent Michael the wrong way and won the game for the away side.
Full time Norsemen 1-2 Vamps
A disappointing end to a disappointing game for Norse. It was a game that the home side didn’t deserve to lose, but didn’t do enough to win. Now we must pick ourselves up for the visit of Old Garchonians next week.
MOM – Big shout for Kalli in the Norse goal who made 3 great saves in the first half, but I’m going for Macca who made his first appearance in 2 years and barely put a foot wrong at centre back.