It was a nervy start from the boys in blue as Finchleians looked to get the first goal and when the right winger stole a yard on Muzza he was through on goal but a good save from Zak and then some scrambled defending ensured the game remained goalless. From the resulting corner Finchleians went close again, but once more they were thwarted by the large lime in the Norsemen goal. The team were calmed down and marshalled by Muzza at the back & slowly they got themselves in to the game, dominating proceedings. Some great link up play between Kamali and Michael saw the explosive winger pulling the Finchleians left back this way and that and putting some deadly balls in to the box.
This saw the start of the chances and but for some poor decision making in the final third and great goalkeeping from the Finchleians number one the game was still 0-0. Norsemen were pushing on and with Ross Coleman doing the leg work in the middle of the park it allowed Kamali, who had definitely eaten his Weetabix, to become the creator threading balls through to Leroy and out to the two wide men. Norsemen will feel aggrieved that they didn’t go 1-0 up when a great shot stung the palms of the Finchleians goalkeeper and went looping up in to the air towards the goal, it beat the goalkeeper, the centre half and appeared to drop a foot over the line. Only for the goalkeeper to claw it out from behind the line, on to the post and for the second time in 3 weeks the referee unable to determine if the ball had crossed the line or not.
Unlike in previous weeks Norsemen were fired up from the refereeing decision and with Ross launching throws in and around the 6 yard box they were threatening. Darren was a big presence as always and Norsemen always looked like they were going to nick the first goal. It came around the half hour mark when a perfectly taken Ross Coleman free kick was sent towards the edge of the box, Darren won the first ball, Muzza the second and it fell to Kamali on the edge of the box who struck the ball sweetly and it careered off the bar and in, an unbelievable strike from a player who really found his form today. An incredible strike and up there as a contender for goal of the season! The goal settled the nerves and Norsemen looked in control. Ballers and Olly were playing well together at the back and looking collected and with Ozzy constantly offering an attacking threat the right hand side of the pitch was proving fruitful.
HT Old Finchleians 0-1 Norsemen
The second half started at an electric pace and Finchleians threatened straight from kick off but again some more great defending from Muzza and Ross Coleman saw the danger averted. Michael was putting in a shift even when he switched wings, Norsemen were in control and the chances came and went for the away team with Leroy, Kamali and Michael all having good chances saved or deflected out for corners. Ross’ throw-ins were a constant threat and when he launched one in from the right hand side he found the big man Darren and he flicked it deftly over the keeper and in to the far corner, a great goal and Norsemen were 2-0 up.
The lead would have been cut almost instantly when the Finchleians centre forward found space in between Olly and Ballers and although he appeared to be a few yards offside he found himself 1 on1 with Zak but once more, a great save kept the clean sheet intact.
The game should have been killed off and the story has been the same a few times this season but once again some poor decision making cost Norsemen dearly, a dubious free kick awarded the way of the home team after minimal contact from Ross on his opposite number saw the Norsemen defence lose their men and a free header at the back stick was duly converted; 1-2 and game on with just 10 minutes to go. The clearest cut chance of the game was to go Norsemen’s way, a good knock from Muzza down the left hand side which Leroy latched on to and burst in to the box he played the ball in to the corridor of uncertainty and it should’ve been converted but Darren was just 15 minutes too late to convert the chance which would have surely put the game to bed. Time was being wasted and Norsemen were desperate for the referee to blow his whistle. A long hopeful ball from the goalkeeper was headed straight up from Michael and wasn’t cleared by the away team. The Finchleians winger got in behind Ozzy at right back and he made no mistake this time, absolutely gutting for the Norsemen boys with just 20 seconds left they’d conceded the equaliser. The kick off was taken and the final whistle went, a good point on the road but it should have been all three.
Special mention goes to Michael who was full of running & put in a great shift as well as some great deliveries in the box and he was unlucky to not get himself on the score sheet with a goal or an assist. Kamali also gets a mention and for the first time this season when he found himself in his preferred position for 90 minutes he has certainly given the gaffer a selection headache.
However, MOM for me was Ross Coleman. His energy levels were phenomenal and his defensive work was superb, summated by a great diving header to clear his lines 85 minutes in to the game. He offers a threat with his long throws and I think he is certainly staking his claim to be the first name on the team sheet.
Up the Norse!