Norsemen 3 - 0 Merton
With four players injured & two unavailable we knew that it was going to be a more difficult task especially when all six players would have started the game. However with the squad getting larger and both teams growing with confidence and expectation we were able to put out a competent team on the day. One position needed filling at right back which was put to the players, and up stepped Laurence Connolly who doesn’t really do defending! But someone had to do it so after much deliberation Laurence plays right back behind a debutant!
The first half was forgettable with low energy, missed passes and a complete dip in form. I can only put that down to a disrupted team on the day as the players on the field were all very capable, and I have now forgotten the half already.
Moving on, I would like to say it was much better but despite the score line it wasn’t. I would say three players played to their potential, our new right back, our centre back James Bex and our captain Jake Lawrence. Luckily we were playing a team that looked like they were playing for a draw against a team that have a 100% record. If only they knew we were so vulnerable on the day, it could have been different for them. I hope this is a wake up call for the players as we have won nothing yet and on this performance we will end up with nothing. It doesn’t look much better when only 8 players from the top 2 teams in the club are available for training which was subsequently cancelled. Make sure everyone reads this and reacts with a good show next week at training to show that we want to achieve something this year.
Well that’s my rant over, back to the game! The first goal came after ten minutes from a surging run from one of the three musketeers on the day, James Bex who passed to Marcus Fatogun who then found a way to bamboozle his way through a packed defence and toe poke the ball into the back of the net. Was it a shot or a pass to Gavin Suddell, you will have to ask Marcus that one. The second was from a corner that was struck perfectly by Matt Roles and went straight inside the back post. The Third made by another Musketeer, Laurence Connolly who made an overlapping run and crossed perfectly to the giant of the team Gavin Suddell who was unmarked and headed home. As I have mentioned three goals to nothing flattered us as Merton were not the same team once the first goal went in, we should count ourselves very lucky on the day.
Our man of the match could only come from one of three players that turned up on the day. It was a close call between Jake Lawrence who ran the show (The rest of team should thank him) and our new right back who hopefully might have learned from his overlapping run that he would be happy with cover when doing so! The vote goes to our new right back, Laurence and hope this knowledge brings even more from him for the rest of the season.
Gary Harrowell, First XI Manager
Polytechnic 1 - 0 Norsemen, AFA Middlesex Semi-Final
The Semi final of any cup is a huge game! The boys were buzzing about playing this fixture all week, however things didn't plan out how we wished.
We arrived to the game in the worst possible condition we had all season, against possibly the strongest side we will play. Three players were out injured and also as many as four players were playing still ill from a sickness bug throughout the week.
We battled hard throughout with Charlie King putting a left footed volley just over the bar was the closest we come in the first half. We conceded a sloppy goal on the 3rd minute of stoppage time in the second half which left us chasing the game.
Chances in the second half come few and far between in a very scrappy game and fought until the very end, even sending our keeper up for some potential last minute drama. On this occasion it wasn't meant to be.
A learning curve for the boys that we do not have to be worried about any team we play and as long as we arrive in our best possible condition against these good sides, we will be more than able to compete and also get the win.
Garry Harrowell, First XI Manager