Thankful for a large squad of talented footballers and despite a number of injuries, we travelled to HSBC with continued high expectations. The squad is getting to the size that missing away games or training could have a serious effect on game time which can only be a good thing. The boys that stepped up fitted in to our team as if they had been playing all season and with good numbers at training it can only improve our performances for the rest of the season.
George Barton cheekily said our performance was like Barca! Not quite but on the best pitch we have played on this season we were able to play some entertaining one touch football on the ground which was a joy to watch. Gavin Suddell suffering from foot & mouth (the mind boggles with what kind of company he is mixing with) had a number of opportunities which could have got him to the top of the Ian Charles Top Goal scoring Chart, but alas will stay near the bottom below our centre backs. He did score a couple, one in each half but had to take him off because the cars in the car park were getting too damaged! His first goal was assisted by Matt Roles and the second by Jake Lawrence who had another impressive game breaking up the opponents attacks before they started. The other goal in the first half came from a sweet strike by Matt Roles assisted by Laurence Connolly which rocketed into the bottom corner of the net.
There were a number of good performances, George Barton who has played all the position along the back had a great game and was in the frame for man of the match until he started shooting and taking free kicks, resulting for a throw in. I have already mentioned boys stepping in, but they should be acknowledged! Louis Burlton, Austin Gash and Callum Robery all made the trip at short notice and helped us get the points. This gives us the confidence that we have the depth in the club which is very healthy place to be in. Archie Lloyd is looking sharper every game and his brother Alfie is consistently giving the opposition headaches in the numerous positions he has played in. However my man of the match goes to Jake Lawrence who marginally beat Chris Morgan for totally dominating the midfield not allowing any possession for our opponents and redistributing to his own players which was only wasted when passing to Gavin!
The big question, can we deliver on the big day in front of the “sell out” crowd?
The answer was yes but only just! A slightly under par performance from the way we have been playing, and this could be due to the large crowd but also to give credit to Bank of England.
The opposition looked like a side that wanted to get back into the top division.
They were well organised and had their fair share of possession which made it hard for us to get the momentum we have been used to.
The game started well with an early goal from Chris Morgan assisted by Gavin Suddell and the referee, who allowed the game to play on after Gavin was fouled.
For the rest of the first half it was quite even which could have changed when Matt Roles unleashed a strike that in most games would have been a spectacular goal. However their goalkeeper pulled off a worldy and kept them in the game to half time. Even though it looked like a close game we tested their keeper a lot more, unlike our keeper who did not have a save to make!
This was to change in the second half. As is common in these games, the opposition came out fired up and we had a contest on our hands as the game went to and fro.
Bank of England scored a scrappy goal when the ball apparently hit a dip in the pitch and sent Jack Robery the wrong way. That was the story from one of the committee members who saw it, but I think he might be Jacks Dad!
So game on, the contest continued with a few chances from both sides, with Norsemen having the upper hand but wasting some good opportunities. Some of the best opportunities were made by one of our substitutes, Laurence Connolly, who has just come back from a knee injury.
That was the best he has played since joining Norsemen this season and looks like a selection problem for the starting line up next Saturday. The game was decided by a great run into the box by Matt roles making a tackle, winning the ball and squaring it back to Gavin Suddell, who then passed the ball into the empty net. This ended up being the winning goal and continues our 100% start to the season. We saw the game out with a bit of nervousness by playing very deep which is something to think about in the future.
The game was spoiled a little by a nasty clash of heads when one of the opposition jumped into James Bex Face leading to a cracked tooth and a nice broken nose. We wish him well and hope he is back playing soon.
The man of the match this week goes to Matt Roles who has probably been overlooked as our most consistent performer considering the amount of assists and tackles he makes. Not the fastest but covers every blade of grass on the pitch coming off exhausted having given his all. Also a special mention to Jake Lawrence whose disciplined performances sitting in front of the defence allows Matt and the other midfielders to get forward and play their uninhibited and exciting football.
I hope the large crowd enjoyed the game and would feel it wouldn’t be an afternoon wasted by coming down and supporting the boys.
On a beautiful sunny day, what should have been a feast of football, was levelled by a strong wind and long grass. This didn’t suit the kind of football we have been playing recently, with the ball slowing up in the long grass and the wind catching the balls in the air. This helped both teams to give the ball away far too easily which is certainly not what we have been about so far this season. Kicking against the wind in the first we had a couple of good chances and a few ballooned shots over the bar. The first half however finished goalless and the less said the better.
The second half started the same way but we had the wind on our side so we didn’t balloon our shots as much as give their goalkeeper some practice. It was going to be one of those days until Gavin Suddell popped up and scored what was to be the only goal. The pass came from Matt Roles who ran himself into the ground all game and whose performance was as consistent as ever. There was some great interplay between Chris Morgan And Gavin which will reap better rewards when we get back to our ground or any other decent pitch. It is so nearly there, but it will come when these new players get the understanding with more game time. There was a couple of nervous moments at the end of the game when we let the Vampires get a sniff of our goal. One was headed wide and the other saved by Jack Robery who deserves a mention for pulling off great saves when he has very little to do through most of the games.
My man of the match goes to Gavin Suddell for his match winning goal and his ability to use his 5 foot/8 stone frame to hold and protect the ball when it is played up to him. Also a special mention to our central midfielders of Chris Morgan, Matt Roles and Jake Lawrence who on another day would have ripped the opposition apart.
The first round of the AFA cup was a trip to Old Vaughanians on a very wet & very cold Saturday afternoon (just ask Jack just how cold it was).
The pitch was tucked away behind a David Lloyd fitness centre and attracted 2 spectators who looked like they had to be there and not by choice. The game had to be played and we wanted to get into the next round but it was far from enjoyable. Even the David Lloyd members turned their bikes away from the window view to avoid the scrappy game.
At half time it was 5 -1 which should have been more, with goals from Matt Roles (Penalty),Gavin Suddell, another one from goal a game James Bex, Jake Lawrence and Alfie Lloyd.
Unfortunately we conceded again so we still have not managed a clean sheet, although to be fair the shot was a miss hit & went in off the post.
The second half was just as wet and cold so we made a substitute every 5 minutes to stop players getting frostbite on the side line. This only stopped when James Bex got injured whilst driving into the opponents box from a run from his own box.
We had it arranged so maybe he will remember he is a centre half in future! Our left back Anton Johnson also went on a few runs, which led him to scoring the 2 goals in the second half making the final result 7 -1. It could of and should have been more if we could shoot straight and maybe, swapping the defenders with the forwards, possibly next week.
The highlight was definitely finding a goalkeeper that can keep a clean sheet which happened by chance. Alfie Lloyd feeling sorry for Jack Robery swapped the goalkeepers jersey for the last 20 minutes. Alfie was outstanding, using all his height and presence to command his area plus an extra 5yds that he wasn’t supposed to.
The man of the match goes to Anton Johnson with 2 goals and an accomplished performance despite the cold. This should give him the impetus to get forward and create and score more goals in the following games. The other highlight was to see Alfie's little brother Archie playing again, Archie will add an extra dimension to the team for the rest of the season once he gets himself fit.
What a day! The team met at 11am ready for a trek and a 2pm kick off, only to be held up by Matt Morgan who was still in his slippers when his brother picked him up. Left at 11.30 to get across London. Not long enough as we arrived at the ground at 2.10 with 10 minutes to change and start the game. Luckily were given the 20 minutes by the generous referee. No warm up and straight into a frenetic goalless first half. Not much to report except the passionate and tough opponents of Merton giving us a hard time. With only 11 men we struggled a bit when Charlie King got injured early in the first half.
The second half started at the same pace with Merton coming out all guns blazing and opened up the scoring with an unexpected shot when their striker took the ball early and surprised everyone, not least Jack Robery the keeper.
The game needed some inspiration and our most reliable scorer to put us back in the game. Great individual play by our injured Charlie King who cleverly back heeled the ball to put the ball on a plate for Tyrese to score, making its six goals in 4 league games.
The second goal came soon after, Up rises James Bex for his fourth goal in four games from a Chris Morgan cross what was to become the winning goal. It’s a habit we are all getting used to and expect every week now. We then had to manage the game to the final whistle which our centre half James Bex thought was the time to run the length of the pitch and assist the forwards. When the ball was lost and we were under the cosh, there was obviously no panic by Bexy as he was sitting on the left wing where he proceeded to put a cross into the box in the final minutes???
The man of the match goes to Max Harrowell for keeping his head when his partner goes missing and being composed & consistent in his ball retention and all round game. A special mention to Charlie King who led the line, made it difficult for their back line and assisting the winning goal whilst carrying an injury most of the game.