The boys had to make a decision on their boots for the first time, after a bit of rain, and we get to see if they can make use of the quick surface on our large pitch. This combination, with the opposition turning up with 10 men was looking promising. However this soon became frustrating with Ibis being well organised with all their players behind the ball and our passes being a bit wayward - early days. We did get a penalty when Gavin Suddell, playing up front for the first time, was brought down whilst jinking his way into the box. But it looked like it was going to be one of those days when their keeper pulled off a great save and the game was still a stalemate. Soon after, Jack Robery, kept us in the game by pulling off a great save himself after we lost the ball sloppily in midfield, whilst playing out from the back. This was going to happen early in the season while we are getting used to the conditions and playing out from the back, which we will persevere with.
Eventually the pressure from our possession and probing, gained us a corner which gave the opportunity for “goal a game” centre back James Bex to get us off the mark once again rising like another salmon at the back post. Ibis were back up to 11 men with a late arrival so the game began to open up a little. Before the half time whistle we were rewarded with a second goal with a second assist from Matt Roles passing to Alfie Lloyd who smashed the ball past the Ibis keeper, which was no mean feat after witnessing their keepers performance in the second half.
The second half was far more open and could have given us a good lead if it hadn’t been for some outstanding goalkeeping from the Ibis man of the match. We did manage to get another 2 goals separated by one response from Ibis which was another disappointing goal which could have been avoided. A clean sheet is our top priority in the coming weeks! The third goal was an own goal from a ball driven in by Matt Roles who is claiming another assist! The fourth headed in by the towering Gavin Suddell from a James Bex assist.
All in all, a good all round performance and looks like we are heading in the right direction. Getting used to the large pitch and keeping the ball on the ground with fewer touches is sometimes a joy to watch and can only get better. The man of the match for me was difficult but goes to Alfie for his second goal of the season and his driving runs from his new position of left midfield. A special mention to Matt Roles for his workrate and three assists.
Norsemen 7 – 3 Carshalton
After a good start last weekend, we were expecting another tough game against Carshalton who also started off their season with three points.
We started off brightly missing several chances with our attacking players often deciding to go solo instead of finding the final killer pass. Carshalton then come into the game slightly often looking dangerous from set pieces, especially the long throw.
After twenty minutes of good sustained pressure the deadlock was finally broken. A great corner from Laurence Connolly of course found James Bex to make it 2 goals in two league games for him.
A strong 40 minutes see us playing some good stuff. However the last five minutes of the half see us continue to try and play from the back, inviting pressure. Everything become a bit frantic and led to a great one on one save from club captain Jack Robery on the back of a 50/50 offside call give in the advantage of the away side.
1-0 to Norsemen at half time.
An edgy start to the second half see the introduction Charncey Dash along with Tyrese Reynolds just starting to find the rhythm of the game after coming on in the first half. But it was Carshalton to strike first after we lost the ball and our midfield all caught high up the pitch. A good counter attack move from the visitors, 1-1.
After this we picked up the tempo and never looked back with the substitutes making a good impact.
Max Harrowell put up 2-1 up after two great long passes, first from Jake Lawrence across field and the second from George Barton crossing back into the box for Max to finish with a great header.
Tyrese made it 3-1, with George getting his second assist of the match with a through ball, Tyrese just beating the keeper to the ball.
Another good save from Jack saving a close range volley at a key point in the game kept the score at 3-1. But then some good work first from Gavin Suddell and then Chris Morgan see Tyrese score his second and third.
Goal of the game then come from some good team play finally finding Charncey to dink a ball into Alfie Lloyd who chested down for Tyrese to smash home on the volley claiming his fourth!
The scoring ended with Charncey deliberately spinning the ball round the oncoming centre half and then smashing past the goalkeeper.
Two goals conceded from corners amongst all that will see us with plenty to work on in training!
Man of the match of course goes to Tyrese Reynolds. Scoring four goals for the first team at the age of 19 is some achievement. Well done Tyrese and well done to the boys, on to the next one!
Our season starts with a home game against Old Finchlians with the expectancy of continuing our successful preseason run. A bit of a shaky start to the game probably due to “first game of the season nerves”. This all settled when James Bex “rose like a salmon” at the back post and headed in the first goal to get our season off the mark. From then on, there was no turning back against a competitive Old Finchleans side. The second came from Chris Morgan from the left side of the pitch into the top right corner, which he later admitted to being a cross (not many would have admitted that). This left us with a nice 2 goal advantage, which was helped by a great double save by our club captain Jack Robery in goal just before half time.
The second half started with a small set back when the opposition scored to make it 2-1, a goal that could have been avoided when we had three chances to win challenges and clear the ball. However the response was almost immediate replying with three goals in the second half. The first, from a clever reverse pass from James (Nose bleed) Bex which led to a chip over the oncoming keeper by Alfie Lloyd, who was immediately rewarded by being substituted to right back. The second was a well struck shot by Matt Roles which went into the top right corner. The Third bumbled in by Tyrese Reynolds, although Gavin Suddell insists it was his goal. The jury is out for that one! The fourth & fifth goal went in whilst we only had 10 men, this is a tactic we may use in the future by taking Laurence (sin bin)Connolly off for 10 minutes.
A great start to the season where everybody played a part including the opposition. The stand out player for me was James Bex with his first goal calming the nerves, his second half assist and his overall play. Well done James and the rest of the team, a great start and let’s make sure we continue the commitment and passion for the rest of the season.