Another wet & windy Saturday afternoon, this time a trip to the other side of London to play Old Dorkinians in the AFA Senior Cup. They are fourth in the first division of the AFC league so our work was cut out for us especially with 4 squad players missing. After an hour and a half drive we were slow to get our game going and conceded a goal to a very competitive Dorkinian side. This period could have been a lot worse if we didn’t have our consistent shop stopper in Jack Robery who pulled off at least 2 great saves that kept us in the game. We had 12 players and utilised the roll on roll off rules to make an early substitution which instantly changed the game. On came Marcus Fatogun which gave the opposition something else to think about, allowing us to score 2 goals in quick succession. The first from our centre back James Bex with another goal from a Matt Roles corner which will hopefully bring on another run now he is completely recovered from his broken nose. The second from “Hot shot” George Barton who smashed the ball into the bottom corner from 40yds out as a result of a bad clearance by one of our opponents. The first half finished with Norsemen back in control and looking forward to the second half
The second half carried on from the first as we started to dominate possession and it wasn’t long before we got our third from another long range effort. This time from Matt Roles assisted by Marcus Fatogun who hit it over their keeper who got his finger tips to it but failed to save it. This made it 3-1 and unfortunately we got a bit sloppy and conceded to let them back in. The confidence & spirit in this team enabled us to get straight back into the driving seat with another goal from Gavin Suddell assisted by Tyrese Reynolds who robbed their full back and passed into the oncoming Gavin. At 4-2 we again switched off and lost concentration to allow Old Dorkinians to score and get their hopes up but there was only minutes left. Full time, 4-3, and into the next round.
We had a debut by an 18 year old, Louie Remy, playing in the centre & then wide on the right giving a confident display pushing himself into the squad. The future looks good with the 2s winning emphatically with good reports on many other players. Another plus are the goals that are coming from all over the pitch, from all different players especially the thunderbolt from George Barton, who is getting better every week now he is getting fitter and more confident. The man of the match goes to Matt Roles for his goal, his assist and being the best player on the park on the day! Let’s also not forget the early saves from Jack Robery that should not be taken for granted.
One more important note. Keep yourselves fit over the Christmas break and make sure you turn up to the Saturday 29th December training session at the club that you will be informed about. We have won and achieved nothing yet!
Gary Harrowell, First XI Manager
After a pitch inspection on Friday afternoon, the game was to be played on the first team pitch as long as the weather stayed dry. Happy days, the opportunity to widen the gap and keep the run going against our toughest opponents to date, NUFC Oilers! Marcus Fatogun had his second start for the first team and the second start against the Oilers which broke the oppositions hearts for the second time with an inspired performance and the winning goal in the first half. We were missing our captain and our CDM so up stepped Matt Roles into both roles which he carried out with ease. Not his chosen position because he like to roam forward and his assists are invaluable to the team further up the pitch. But with the help of Gavin Suddell who sat and helped Matt jeopardising his goal scoring record, we kept a clean sheet which is a target we are setting ourselves for the oncoming games.
The game was fairly tight but Our Keeper Jack Robery did not have a save to make, yet we both made their keeper work much harder and hit the woodwork three times. It was a solid all round performance with the defence being resilient and more organised with more communication especially from Max Harrowell which bodes well for the future. We are still a work in progress but moving in the right direction looking at playing one more game this year to maintain our 100% record. Do extra training and be available to make sure this happens!
The man of the match goes to Marcus Fatogun for stepping up and causing chaos amongst the Oilers back 4 for a second time this season. His bullish performance topped by a contender for our goal of the season steads well for the rest of the season. Also should be an inspiration to any reserve team players who have the desire to play first team football as Marcus has for sure stepped up when called upon! Well done to him and the side now making it 10 league wins out of a possible 10.
Gary Harrowell, First XI Manager