Norsemen 2 - 1 Alexandra Park
In what was a massive day for the Blues two's, 6 points were won to bounce them up the table to the lofty heights of 8th place. With only 5 matches to play the recent run of form, a 4 match winning run, has all but secured division 2 status for next year.
In what has become a pattern recently, Norsemen began the game on the back foot absorbing pressure while struggling to get any fluidity into their own game. Having fought their way into the match they went into half time on the front foot having created a chance or two of their own.
Not long had passed in the second half when Larry Laniyan broke the deadlock. Jerome Johnson played a defence splitting pass to give Laniyan what should have been a one on one with the goal keeper. However Laniyan, while chasing down the ball, pulled a hamstring and was caught by a defender. Composed as ever (did I just write that?), Laniyan cut back inside and fired past the keeper before squealing like a girl and rolling around on the floor.
1 nil to the Norse and the end of Laniyan's afternoon.
AP threw everything at Norsemen but were unable to reply so it was Norsemen who celebrated a further 3 points at the half way mark of the day.
On to game two.
Having lost the first game, most were expecting AP to come out firing in the second match, but it was Norsemen who running downhill made the brighter start. Few clear cut chances were created until a move which started on the left side deep in the AP half, moved back to the defenders and across to the right hand side, before being controlled on the chest of debutant Adam Moss who volleyed home to give Norsemen the lead. An exceptional individual goal which followed one of the best team movements of the season.
Turning with the lead the half time talk was about keeping the basics going - communication and defensive discipline. All very well and good but when your legs are fading its very hard to get goal side and continue to give good information to each other. Fatigue had well and truly set in when with 10 minutes to go AP levelled, there only seemed to one potential winner in this match and it wasn't Norsemen! A sour point of the day occurred when Tom Collier was cynically taking out in a two footed challenge that could, and possibly should, have seen the AP player see red. Yellow was shown and Collier was thankfully able to hobble on.
It was a good thing he did, as with only a few minutes to play Collier watched a JJ punt down over his shoulder, onto the outside of his foot, bringing it down into stride before laying off for Johnson to strike home the winner.
The remaining few minutes came and went without incident and the Blues Two's were victorious. 6 points won and spirits at a season high. The challenge now is to see off Old Stationers next week and potentially set the sights on a top half finish...? An unthinkable thought only a few weeks ago when at the foot of the table!
Norsemen 2 - 1 Alexandra Park