Bank Of England Res 1-2 Norsemen Res - SAL Intermediate Div 2
Norsemen Reserves send a message to the league with big away win.
Reserves travelled to Bank of England this week in search for a big 3 points.
Very good pitches as always but the weather let us down, pouring from start to finish.
Both Teams started strong, knocking the ball around with two teams clearly wanting to play football on the floor. Some early chances for both teams but no break through.
Norsemen's two strikers started to find some space in behind and after 25 minutes started to have a few more chances with some good build up play.
After some missed opportunities Andy Stewart found Jake Grant, He took the ball with great control past the defender and curled it past the keeper. Great Finish! (0-1) Jake Grant
After the goal Norsemen allowed Bank of England more of the ball but realised when they won the ball there was space in behind to counter. Our midfield three of Kane McCarron, George Casey and Andy Stewart were working hard and winning the ball to release the counter attack.
We went in at Halftime 0-1 up knowing it was a good half but we were only halfway there.
HT Teamtalk - Manager Charlie Casey was happy with overall play, he told his team to be confident when we win the ball, pass and move. He made them aware we have to follow runners and to keep the communication up as we needed to stay organised. (No changes made)
The second half started and Bank Of England came on strong which was expected.
One big chance in particular with a nice move down the left eventually hitting the post and their striker not able to put in the rebound. Norsemen knew that was a let off.
Charlie made a change putting Jamal Davis into the midfield alongside Kane McCarron to help protect the back line. The game was very back and forth with both teams missing chances.
Then our midfield won the ball and found Jake Grant on the edge of BOE's box, he stepped past the Centre back and was brought down... Penalty!
Jake stepped up and smashed it down the middle. (0-2) Jake Grant
We had the two goal lead and had roughly ten minutes to go.
Norsemen tried to get on the ball to keep possession to frustrate the opposition to see out the final minutes.
Two minutes to go, Bank of England won the ball and the midfielder clipped the ball over the top for their striker to hit on the half volley. He couldn't of caught it better and it appeared to hit the back of net before our keeper could move. (1-2) BOE Goal.
The final whistle blew and Norsemen had won it. Big three points away from home.
Up the Norse!
Norsemen 1 - 0 Alexandra Park
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
Norsemen moved off the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone for the first time in months this weekend with an away win 3 1 away at Old Esthameians.
After a debacle involving the referee adding a name to the Esthameians team sheet after kick off, Norsemen got down to business and took the early lead. Pressure down the left side, on an obvious weakness at right back, lead to a Luc Coiffait long throw to an unmarked Andy Grant at the far post to nod home. This came not long after Larry Laniyan managed to miss a 2 yard header moments after kick off!
Laniyan's afternoon was looking as though it would be a series (and I mean a SERIES) of near misses until Thenesh Naathen pounced from deep in his own half. Having dispossessed the opposition, Naathen hared off downfield behind the defence to cross to the wide open Laniyan on the 6 yard box who scuffed home and double the Norsemen lead.
The third goal would be crucial to either team and for once this season it was the Norse who got it. Half time substitution Marco Asaro slotting past the goalkeeper after good work from second half sub Matt Rogers. Rogers was perhaps unlucky not to have a second assist when Grant rose to head an exquisite cross over the bar.
More frustration was to come for Grant when a further header was blocked on the line...this time from Laniyan's backside! (Not a good way to impress your skipper Larry)
Tom Collier by this stage was feeling left out and there was just enough time to entice a booking or two out of the opposition by winding them up, known to fellow Norsemen as Collier being Collier. He even managed to keep his record intact of not keeping a clean sheet by being suspiciously close to the play when Esthameians scored off the last kick of the day.
At times the football may not have been the prettiest, with many an opportunity spurned, but the end result is what mattered and is a testament to the continuing spirit despite the torrid season. Next week is an Ally Pally double header at home where a surprise result (or two) could well be the tonic to see the Norse remain in the division. Dare to dream?
Walk tall you blue giants.
In what was one of the most difficult weeks for the Norsemen 1st XI and Res XI squads selection wise (18 players unavailable across the two squads), the Reserves came away with a morale boosting away win.
With 11 players on the team sheet things were further strained when two players failed to arrive in time for KO, forcing 9 men to line up in battle for 15 minutes. With the wind and sun at the Norsemen backs the 9 men worked exceptionally well to shutdown any attacks, filtering off players and forcing any attacks to come from width. Chances were even created at the attacking end with good play down the wings earning many throw-in's where Luc Coiffait was able to unleash his long throw, Michael Herbert and Andy Grant going close to opening the scoring.
Upon evening the playing numbers at 11, it wasn't long before Norsemen hit the front and it was no great surprise it came from a set piece. Once more a throw was earned on the right where Coiffait found Grant who flicked on to the back post where a waiting Dan Cairrao volleyed the ball into the roof of the net. A one nil lead that was very much deserved. Shout out goes to Cairrao who dedicated his rare goal to his watching mother.
The second half became more of a battle for Norsemen, who despite having the odd opportunity, failed to land the killer blow and settle the match. It became a battle of wills as well as footballing ability as Thenesh Naathen managed to get under the skin of just about every striker Lloyds put on the pitch. Tensions flared further as Cass Weaver cleared a ball all the way to New Zealand when only 5 metres from the sideline.
It was however to be Norsemen's day and they held out for a long overdue win and clean sheet to boot. With next weekends opponents Old Esthameians also getting the points this weekend, the win was not enough to move Norsemen off the foot of the ladder but certainly tightened things up and kept relegation at arms length. 3 points at Esthameians would certainly be a good tonic and go a long way towards boosting Norsemen to safety.
Walk tall you Blue Giants.
Norsemen got a towelling this weekend by a very good, table topping, Old Garchonians team that capitalised on any mistake presented to them. Seven goals was in truth a bit flattering for Garchonians as Norsemen, despite struggling to play any fluid football, were still in the contest at the hour mark.
Two first half set piece goals conceded to corners hurt the Norsemen cause, the game plan being keep it tight heading uphill into the wind until halftime. However it wasn't until a perfectly delivered corner from Tom Collier was directed over the bar by Andy Grant that the tide fully turned and goals began to leak. Once the third was conceded soon after the miss it became open season on the Norsemen goal.
Unfortunately heads went down at this stage and the morale soon followed. In the end the much better team won though reports from those who watch suggest it was closer than the score suggested - scant solace for those on the pitch. With an away game to Lloyds next week it will take a great show of character from the team to respond from this setback.
Norsemen travelled to Old Garchonians in search of some points to lift them from the bottom of the table at the Christmas break. Garchonians had reason to be up for the game also as a win would see them leading the table into the new year.
Unfortunately the day didn’t start well for Norsemen with travel problems on the train lines and a no show ensuring that only 9 people warmed up prior to 11 people making KO. It got worse after 10mins when Norsemen lost Marco for the match with a knee injury.
Garchonians started strong and put Norsemen under immediate pressure. Wave after wave was thwarted before Norsemen got any semblance of possession. It was probably a good 20 minutes before Norsemen really settled into the match and began going blow for blow with their opposition, the best chances coming once again from getting in behind on the wings and whipping in crosses. However after a tensely fought half Norsemen were perhaps the happier being nil all at the half.
The second half didn't start well with Norsemen conceding possession in midfield and conceding the lead from the ensuing break. It was a sloppy goal to concede and heads were in danger of dropping after the first half’s good work was all but undone.
That didn’t happen and it was Norsemen who after holding their own for the second half were pressing for the equalizer late in the match. The last 15 mins was played 3 4 3 and showed the type of spirit and play that totally belies Norsemen’s current table position.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to take points from this match as Garchonians held on for all 3 points but heading into the new year Norsemen must begin to have the belief they can get results from this league to pull themselves out of trouble.
Norsemen Reserves make tough work of Esthameians.
Norsemen picked up 3 points today with a 2 1 win over Esthameians playing some very attractive first half football. In what was possibly the best half of footy to date, Norsemen opened the scoring through a Cass Weaver strike which was quickly followed by Michael Herbert with his second for the year. Both goals came from the left side where Tom Collier was enjoying his role further forward as a result of having a left back in the team. Good interplay between Collier, Dan Williams, Weaver and Roland Hunt, who put in another superb performance, had Esthameians on the back foot on many occasions and it was only some overplaying inside the area that saw Norsemen fail to score more before the break. (Weaver missed from 2 yards at best!)
The second half had a different look to it with Esthameians gaining some parity. It was still Norsemen who had the better opportunities to kill the game off with Williams and Collier missing with very good chances.
With 20 minutes to go the score became 2 1 when an Esthameians player was allowed to dribble unchecked into the box through a host of players before slotting passed Dave Stephenson in goal. It was the first real lapse for the Norsemen defense and was costly as it raised the opposition confidence.
Confidence that got boosted further when Stephenson was sent of for retaliating to an off the ball kick that went unseen by the referee. No matter what was or wasn't seen, it was not the right way to respond in the situation and placed the team under more undue pressure. With the difficulties we have faced this season the last thing we need is to bring it on ourselves like that.
In what was a frantic final 10 minutes, Collier stepped up in goal and was also the subject of an off the ball elbow that went unseen. Tempers flared further when Esthameians challenged at the drop ball, enhancing frictions between these two teams which go back a few years.
A last ditch tackle where Collier forgot he could use his hands and a clearance saw the final whistle and a jubilant Norsemen climb off the foot of the ladder with the 3 points gained. A win but a win which should have been slightly more comfortable. Bring on Old Stationers next week where back to back wins beckon.
Norsemen Two's came within a whisker of gaining a well earned point against the league leaders Crouch End Vampires on Saturday, and truth be told, should feel more than slightly disappointed not to do so.
After being put ahead through an Aydin Tayfur first half bicycle kick, as a result of a headed flick on from Mark Sarfo, Norsemen let the half time lead slip by conceding a second half penalty and dropping their guard at the death to go down 2 1. It was a cruel finish to a very committed performance from 11 men who were once again let down by a no show.
Injuries to Collier, Grant and Sarfo - all picked up in the first half - and with many others battered and bruised, meant that it was always going to be an uphill struggle on a very uneven surface. Passing moves were rare but Norsemen did look very good countering down the flanks and getting balls across the box, especially from the left where runners were coming late from the right. On the defensive side, the midfield was up against it with size and experience against them and the physical battles were all seemingly going Crouch Ends way early (despite Dean Bartup being recalled!) .
Norsemen grew into the game however and were deserved leaders at the half 1 nil.
The second half was all Crouch End though. Wave after wave poured forward with Norsemen doing well to mask the injuries and scramble the ball away on many occasions. Despite the constant pressure, opportunities were slim and the pressure to capitalize began to tell on a few Crouch End players with the physical nature of the game spilling over to spite in some instances. Indeed, for all the Crouch End pressure, it was Norsemen who should have iced the game when a Dan Williams square ball was parried into a lunging Tayfun's path. He managed a touch but only wide of the post and an opportunity had passed.
Unfortunately, it came to be that a marking lapse moments from time ensured that Norsemen would go home empty handed but on the back of last weeks win this close match was definitely needed to continue to build the confidence needed going forward. A week off now and with other activities and long term injuries easing, it is hoped that a good run can be put in with a few more points picked up prior to Christmas.
Norsemen Two's picked up their first points of the season this weekend with a well deserved 2 nil victory over Carshalton in a shortened match.
In what was a reversal in fortunes it was Carshalton who were forced to start the match short on numbers and half an hour late as a number of their players were stuck in traffic en-route. When they finally had enough to start the match light had become an issue and the referee made the decision to reduce the match to 30mins each way.
Norsemen came out of the blocks well and were quickly 1-0 up with an early Tom Collier goal. His third of the season puts him clear at the top of the charts and gave Norsemen their first lead in many weeks.
Carshalton immediately brought on their remaining players who had arrived and were at the full compliment of 11 from here on in.
It did appear a gulf in class between the two teams remained at 11 vs 11, as with what was easily Norsemen's strongest team of the season they produced a well worked move down the left resulting in Mark Sarfo squaring to Michael Herbert. who on a well timed run from the right flank, poked home for a 2 - 0 lead.
The lead remained until half time in a half that Carshalton never really threatened JJ in goal.
The second half was very open as both teams looked to get the a decisive goal in deteriorating pitch conditions. Norsemen were scrambling on defence on the odd occasion after making three substitutions to bring on three young players in Ozan Bingoba, Wayne Bremner and new player Aydin Tayfun. All three looked good going forward but along with the rest of the team will need to work on transitioning to defence when we lose possession, as better teams will punish us in the future if players are allowed as much time and space as they were today. Equally, we need to become more composed in front of goal as numerous opportunities were wasted to put the game to bed. Hopefully this will come with the confidence gained from posting a win.
A 2-0 win and three points on an afternoon where doing so was the only priority. Job well done.
Crouch End Vampires await next week.
Where do you go from here? 14 players selected on Tuesday with 2 players released down to teams below, the team had a strong look to it. Fast forward to Saturday 3pm, with 2 pull outs and 2 players no shows and non contactable we were left with 10 players to take on Old Actonians away from home. Further to this, one of the players who failed to show up had the kit bag! We were forced to borrow an opposition kit for the day. It defies belief that individuals in this day of mobile technologies have the gaul to let their fellow team mates down like that. It was an embarrassment.
To the game and Norsemen put up a pretty good show with 10 men causing a few problems to Actonians especially at set piece time. However, the good fortune wasn't to last as firstly a niggle to Andy Grant and then a quite major injury to Danny Hagan, later diagnosed as a semi dislocated knee, further decreased Norsemen's strength. Both players played on, showing dedication that some non attending players could use a dose of, with Hagan putting the team first and swapping into goal though he could hardly stand.
The numbers did eventually tell though and Norsemen were to be 3 nil down before Mark Sarfo earned a penalty following some slippery work inside the box. Having earned it he stepped up and promptly converted to make the half time score 3 1 to Actonians.
More of the same followed in the second half as Norsemen were overrun as energy, enthusiasm and application started to fail. This occurred roughly the same time as every Actonian shot found the inch perfect corners of the Norsemen net giving most weekly goalkeepers no chance let alone Hagan on one good leg.
Norsemen did get one back when Grant was first to react to a Thenesh Naathen shot that came back off the post, heading into the top left corner. Lee Dawson also came close when putting a late free kick onto the crossbar. Scant consolation for the 90 minutes that had gone before.
All in all, 10 players who were let down badly by others. Injuries leading to withdrawals, personal matters, likewise, you can deal with losing players to those. But for players not to show up, not to answer phones and not to be in touch at all before letting their team/club mates down, it is an embarrassment to them and the club. An embarrassment that unfortunately fell at the feet of those who turned up Saturday.
2s Match Reports
SAL Intermediate Division 2