Old Wilsonians 3s vs Norsemen 3s (12/10 -AFA Cup Round 1)
First proper away game of the season and we travelled in style. We booked a team minibus and away we went. We had a few players pull out in the week which meant we was missing a few players and in the end travelled with 12 players.
It was a good pitch but the weather let us down, pouring from start to finish.
We started steady and got an early penalty. (0-1 Norsemen - Jake G)
Going ahead so early appeared to see us sit back and a series of errors led to Old Wilsonians equaliser. 1-1
Suddenly Old Wilsonians were on top and another mistake from Norsemen cost us again. (2-1)
We knew we had to up it! We started playing our football, pass and move. We were starting to dominate and a host of chance. After missing some chances we broke through, Jake Grant has started the season strong and found the target again. (2-2 - Jake G)
We were ontop for rest of half and after multiple chance again, George Casey recieved the ball around the halfway line, he looked up and hit it! What a goal. He lobbed the keeper from halfway. (2-3 George C)
We were moving the ball well and continuing to get chances.
But once again we lost the ball carelessly and Old Wilsonians punished us. (3-3)
We went in at half time 3-3 all knowing that we had played well but had shot ourselves in the foot by gifting them goals.
HT Teamtalk - Manager Charlie Casey was happy with overall play but was left very frustrated that we were not 3 or 4-0 up! He made a halftime sub (Louis Minas on) and told the strikers they were too close, widen their positions and our midfield can clip throw balls for them, as the pitch was wet we had pace to burn.
He demanded more talking and to get out there and win.
That we did!
George, Jamie and Lou led the way closing down there midfield forcing mistakes out of them which put us on the front foot, this allowed us to play forward through to our two strikers Jake and Louis.
The ball was won in midfield and was sprayed out to Louis m who had taken up a position wide left. He cut in and curled it into the top corner. Lovely Goal. (3-4 Louis M)
It was clear that goal gave us confidence and we were in full control. Chance after chance.
Jamie Lumsden then burst out of midfield and found the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
A fine finish. (3-5 Jamie L)
The game was coming to the end and in the closing stages Louis Minas finished it off! (3-6 Louis M)
It was a fantastic second half performance from Norse.
Dominated the ball and were always on the front foot.
Next Round Here We Come!
Last proper away game of the season with our away record not looking great against our 100% home record.
Was a bit of a struggle getting a full squad confirmed with Bevers and Pett away on a stag in Germany, and Amico at a "wedding"!
In the end Craig Lyte and Aron white did us massive favours turning up to make it a strong looking squad.
We needed to make a better start than the previous week and Green made it clear that we needed to start fast. With Ibis battling relegation this would be no walk over!
It was a tiny pitch that was very bobbly which helped even it up.
We looked the better team in the early exchanges, but a series of errors led to Ibis's only chance of the game which there number 10 dispatched very well past Nick who was standing in for Dan who was running late. Nick was also gloveless as well, not the best of starts!!
We huffed and puffed and had a few decent chances, Green with the best of them after good work from Joe B.
But nothing really was clicking and the half died out without much incident.
We went in at half time 1-0 down all knowing that we had not played well, and if we had any designs on promotion or actually winning the league we would have to up our performance massively second half.
That we did!
Ricky, Deano, Porky, and Ross led the way closing down there midfield forcing mistakes out of them which put us on the front foot.
Joe B played well holding the ball up everytime it was played to him, which led to the equaliser. Great work form porks on the left then a neat flick from Joe B put Rossy through, Ross allowed the ball to bounce across his body then finished well from close range.
The 2nd goal was slightly comical, Green had taken 100's of corners free kicks and we had a number of free headers we just couldn't put away. So with the wind in our favour Green sent a swirling corner in that swerved straight into the net, Ricky did get his head on it but was clearly in the net already.
Nice try Ricky, and obviously the whole team really wanted the goal to be Ricky's.... Thanks guys!
30 for the season now for Green!! ;)
We then had a number of chances with Joe B going close, amongst a host of other chances.
Then porky burst into life cutting across their back four flicking the ball over the last defender and poking home to seal the points.
2nd half was not faultless but we showed guts, and gave them no chances.
Joey, bry, nick and Lyte/pooch shut up shop and gave Dan a free ride 2nd half.
Best player on the pitch by a mile was Ricky Williams.
The good news then flowed in that parkonians and Alexander Park had lost with actonians only drawing.
With 3 games left promotion is now firmly in our hands, with still the possibility of winning the league.
Great win not playing well, now on to the next "cup final" away at crouch end next week.
We CAN do this boys WALK TALL
Match day 14 and it was the arrival of league leaders Alexandra Park in what was a must win game if we were to keep our hopes of promotion alive. After last weeks disappointing defeat to Old Parkonians we were keen to keep our 100% home form going. Danny Green had to reshuffle the team with various players missing through injury and family commitment but everyone was pleased to welcome back long term absentee Matt Clark into the team. The team was as follows;
Leonard Bartup (Sub)
So the first half got underway and as expected with the stakes so high both teams failed to settle into any sort of early rhythm with chances few and far between. Both teams huffed and puffed throughout the half without really penetrating the goal area. It was fair to say that the away team had the better of the chances with some long balls over the top causing a few problems for the Norsemen centre back pairing. The half ended level with the home team pleased to go in at the break on level terms.
The words from Danny at half time were positive, keep plugging away , keep beliveing and when that chance comes let's take it.
With the second half underway the game started to open up and chances started to flow for both sides but more so for the home team. Midway through the second half and with the match finely poised at 0-0, Leonard was summoned by Green to warm up on the side line, but before he could get on yes we had done we scored. A long ball over the top from Dan Howard beat everyone and Danny doing what he does best anticipated this, playing off the last defender he stole in behind the defence to poke the ball past the oncoming keeper, much to the delight of the Norsemen faithful.
Being a goal in front we could be forgiven for taking our foot off the gas and defending our lead. But no this wasn't the case and it was Norsemen and yes Danny Green who got the second goal. Good work by Paul Amico on the right with an incisive pass played through to Green who slotted the ball into the back of the net. The perfect afternoon was rounded off late on when Joe was fouled in the area and the penalty was cooly converted away by the man of the moment Danny Green. Well done that man!!!
To sum up it was a fantastic result for the 3's now to carry our home form into the away game at Ibis next week. Let's ave it!!!
And so after the excitement of the previous weeks nine goal thriller against HSBC which we managed to win by the odd goal, it was back to Church Street for yet another home match against Old Salesians and another chapter in what was becoming a really well timed surge for promotion by the third team.
The earlier return fixture was fresh on the minds of a lot of the players as they met at the home of football about an hour or so before kick off with fresh memories of how the team had surrendered a 4-2 lead with literally 5 minutes left to play to lose 5-4. Revenge was something we wanted badly and given our excellent home form this year to date in the league (played 5, won 5 before this match) revenge was something we were all confident of pulling off. Not only revenge but the fact that we were now hot on the tails of the top two meant that this was a huge game for the third team to continue the run of good form subsequent to the bad weather and Christmas break and close the gap even further.
Skipper Danny has had a few issues of late (footballing related I think) with players being injured and subs not being paid and the squad at times has started to look thread bear. Add to this the non availability this week of Nick Brockhouse and Joe Morris and things looked weak, however a couple of new trailists were available for this match coupled with the return of Luke Martin from a year travelling and added to the usual suspects that turn out week by week, provided the third team finally with a nice match day squad to choose and rotate as necessary, which was required on a surprisingly warm day but especially because we were on the first team for this match.
The third team started very well and pressurised the Salesians team whenever on the ball to enforce a number of mistakes particularly from their right back (called Femy) who appeared to want the world on the ball before passing it on although I cant actually remember this “Femy” making a pass during the whole match as he usually got caught and gave the ball away!
We were playing well enough in the first 20 minutes of the match without really threatening as the final ball was always letting us down. Joe who had come in up front alongside Danny was holding the ball up well and we were getting in behind down the flanks on numerous occasions but unfortunately maybe because of the size of the pitch we weren’t punishing the opposition from the opportunities that we were creating. The main efforts of note were a Danny effort from the right hand corner of the box which flew over and a Deano worm burner that was straight forward for the keeper.
Norsemen were winning a number of set pieces and the keeper who initially looked a little dodgy began to play quite well and command his 6 yard box better, however as the half went on we knew that something was coming and after about half an hour the deadlock was broken.
From a Salesians free kick Bevers rose like a salmon just inside his own half to win a towering header which was directed straight back into the Salesians half. The header fell to Joe who held the ball up really well and played a slide rule pass into the box where Danny had made a diagonal run and had managed to get the wrong side of the defender where he managed to reach the pass and poked it first time past the onrushing Salesians goalkeeper to put the third team 1-0 up. It was nothing short of what we deserved and the only surprise was that it took so long in coming.
For the remainder of the half, Salesians created nothing really. There players were quite skilful on the ball but loved to overdo it and to be fair the only time the third team looked in any danger was when the Salesians team broke from an attacking Norsemen set piece or when Norsemen gave away some silly free kicks around the box. This happened on a couple of occasions however resulted in Dan Howard in the Norsemen goal never being troubled.
The first half ended with a glorious chance for Norsemen to go 2-0 up. From a Norsemen corner the ball was delivered from the right of which the Salesians players failed to clear. The ball fell to Joe three yards out in the six yard box slightly on the stretch however he somehow managed to get a full connection on the delivery and put it high over the ball. With Norsemen players lined up behind Joe ready for a tap in this really was a chance to go 2-0 up and finish the match. As it was it was all to play for in the second half.
Danny decided to take the team into the changing room for a team talk this week where we were obviously happy to be 1-0 up however very disappointed not to be more than 1-0 up. The main stay of the team talk involved us staying switched on a trying to get this second goal. Of course if we didn’t concede though we would win the game and get the vital 3 points.
The second half began and Salesians came out of the blocks extremely fast and for the first 5 minutes of the half played their best football and had their best spell by far. This resulted in a couple of corners but thankfully no saves of note to be made by Dan Howard.
Norsemen finally began to get a foothold in the game again as the half progressed and began to exert their experience and enforce those Salesians errors again as we were seeing in the first half. The match was by now being played in the Salesians half mainly and once again any threat to Norsemen was a break away or a long ball. Salesians best chance came from a long diagonal ball over the top which cut the back four in half which the Salesians striker managed to get to first however Dan Howard also came steaming out and the strikers touch thankfully hit Dan flush on the nose and any danger was cleared. The Salesians players cried out for handball and a sending off however the resulting nose bleed that Dan had to endure said everything that the ball was nowhere near the hand.
Despite this scare Norsemen continued to press and had two stonewall penalty shouts turned down by the referee. Firstly Danny was tripped inside the box and told to get up and secondly and the much more blatant one of the two was a ball into the Salesians box which their centre half decided to practically catch, however once again the referee waved play on to the bewilderment of the players and the spectators watching on the touchline.
However the pressure eventually told on the Salesians back four and the referee in the end where with about 25 minutes to go, Danny turned into the box and was clipped down where finally the referee had no choice but to award Norsemen with a well deserved spot kick. Danny stepped up and drilled the ball into the bottom left hand corner to give the three’s a well deserved two goal lead.
The remaining 25 minutes passed without much incident really. A couple of long shots by the Salesians team, one of which from a free kick that was tipped over by Dan Howard with about 10 minutes to go was as close as they got to getting back into the game.
From a Norsemen viewpoint a couple of changes were made by Danny to freshen it up at 2-0 and although control was never surrendered by the three’s further chances were limited apart from a glorious opportunity for Ryan who had come on as a second half substitute where a long cross was knocked back to Ryan 6 yards out again in front of goal where he resulted in hooking over the bar. Ryan however persevered and got his rewards in the 93rd minute and the last kick of the game when a final Norsemen breakaway ended with Tom Collier squaring to Ryan with only the keeper to beat of which he managed to do with aplomb. As the ball hit the back of the net, the referee blew the final whistle and it had been a very good solid performance by the three’s and more importantly kept the run of wins going as we enter a defining period in the season.
Special mention must go to the whole team today on a large pitch where after only playing a couple of games after returning from a long weather break, fitness is something that is still coming back to most of us. It goes to show that if the team plays as a unit and supports each other we can go forward this year and achieve something special.
Special praise to the back four today as they really did look like a well drilled unit for a change and in particular to Richard Pett and Bryan Keye who I don’t think lost a header all day long!
A few beverages were sunk in the bar after the game to celebrate the good performance where it filtered through that Alexandra Park, Old Parkonians and Old Actonians had all won above us. That left us 6 points off the top team Alexandra Park with a game in hand, 2 points behind Old Actonians where we have played one more game and 1 point behind Old Parkonians with 2 games in hand.
Next week is a massive week where we travel to Old Parkonians and Alexandra Park play Old Actonians on a SAL Super Saturday in this league. The results of this forthcoming weekend will go a long way to shaping the final outcome of promotion and who will be the champions of this league.
We know also that Alexandra Park and Old Actonians have to play each other again and we have to entertain Old Actonians and Alexandra Park at home still also so ALL IS STILL TO PLAY FOR AND YOU COULD SAY THAT OUR DESTINY IS IN OUR OWN HANDS……………
UNTIL NEXT TIME WALK TALL YOU BLUE GIANTS!!!!
So the 3's have dreams of gaining promotion and the key word in the dressing room is momentum and pubic hair.......momentum after the 5-0 victory over a good Finchleians team and pubic hair because Bevers has let his under carriage bush go wild which Joe Morris has noticed.
Anyway, momentum of the 5-0 win lead the 3s into this important home game vs HSBC.
HSBC had stuffed the 3's at their place earlier in the season, so revenge was required if promotion was the target for the remainder of the season.
The Norsemen pitches seemed to be holding up pretty well considering the deluge that they had endured. Once again the San Man and the Brent Meister had prepared a good footballing surface considering the weather.
But that surface wouldn't hold up much after 22 lumps had run about on it for 90 mins.
As i write this report I cant for the life of me remember what the half time score was, but i'll go with 2-0 at half time.
Norsemen had played the better football by the half time interval and deserved the lead but the HSBC aerial threat was evident from every set piece.
As I wrote that I just remembered they scored a header in the first half so it must have been either 2-1 or 3-1 at half time.
Anyway Norse were winning going into the second half.
The pitch was pretty badly cut up at this point and it was getting harder to play any passing football which really played into HSBC hands as they launched the aerial attacks.
The second half was a close fought affair with defending and running become a real chore on such a heavy pitch.
Throw a nice low sun in your eyes and you can imagine the kind of second half that ensued.
But the 3's maintained a lead throughout the match due to some lethal finishing from Danny Angel Green Machine and some sublime midfield display from Paul Snake Amico.
Final Score Was 5-4
The 3's Momentum Train Continues....
Promotion is still on and the count down to tour has begun....