Newsletter w/c 17.5.21
- 16th May 2021
Fixtures for Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd May 2021
|Team||Opposition||Venue / Referee||Competition||Kick Off|
|1sts||Dorkinians||Home – Pitch 1||League||14:00|
|2nds||Clissold Park Rangers||Home – Pitch 1||League||12:00|
|3rds||Wandsworth Borough II||Away||League||14:00|
|4ths||Old Thorntonians V||Away||League||12:00|
|7ths||Old Tenisonians III||Home||League||13:00|
|Sat Vets||Croxley Vets||Home||Friendly||15:00|
|Sun Vets||Interwood FC||Home – Pitch 1||SAL Vets Cup Semi Final||10:30|
Ben Brooks Smith
Nick De Falco
Old Thorntonians 1 – 1 Old Meadonians (Glover)
Two weeks ago I hobbled off with a knee injury, we went on to win the game and it looked like we still had an outside chance of sneaking the title. Fast forward and a heavy defeat to Wandsworth Borough followed by a mid-week defeat to defending champions and front runners Old Hamptonians and suddenly we were looking over our shoulder again. A defeat to Thorns (2nd bottom) would drag us back into a bit of trouble, a win would put us mathematically safe.
When ‘Little and Large’ took over this season I thought if I could get back in the team, given my age (now the oldest in the squad), I’d get utilised in my normal position up front. They’ve obviously seen something others have missed in me over the years as so far I’ve played CM, CDM, LW, RW, CB so it was a nice surprise when ‘Large’ gave me the nod on Thursday that I’d be back up top. Rumours are flying around that with Marsh suspended next week and other backup goalkeepers unavailable they might even ask me to don the gloves, hopefully not (for the teams sake, I’ll play anywhere!).
After two poor defeats I think ‘Little and Large’ must have been on the phone to ex-manager and 1st team player Ali McCombe for advice. I think the only thing Ali said to the team for 2 years in charge was that we were crap at throw-ins and we must improve them. How about our passing needs to be better, our final ball needs to be better, our finishing needs to be better, we need to bite harder in the tackle, track our runners, no no, lads your throw-ins are crap. So it was a bit of a surprise when ‘Large’ went banging on about throw-ins for 10 minutes before the game. I wasn’t at the last two games but I’m sure throw-ins weren’t the worst part of our game!
Anyway, ‘Large’ likes to pick a theme and go on about it, two weeks ago it was cars, ‘the team was changing up through the gears’, ‘the engine was purring’, blah blah blah. I wonder what it will be next week………..
Anyway, back to the game.
Another decent squad on Saturday and it’s been great to see so many players coming up through the club. ‘Little & Large’ have done a great job getting some new faces in but so far at least six of the squad this year have come up from lower sides and done well. This week Geroge Kelly got his well deserved call up, a great young talent who has been training really well and came ever so close in scoring the winner today.
Meads started brightly knocking the ball around well on a decent pitch. The introduction of Harry ‘Miniesta’ Sanders in the second half of the season has got the midfield ticking and it’s allowed Brighty to get back to his best. Not too many clear cut chances for either side in the opening 15 minutes but Charlie Cain found himself down the left flank, cut inside and delivered a great cross. I just managed to get my head on it, send it goal bound, with the ball going in off the bar. (1)-0 up.
Brandon then nearly doubled our lead, jinking past his man and firing the ball agonisingly past the far post.
As a team we blow hot and cold too often and we allowed Thorns to get back in the game. The crisp passing of the opening exchange was eluding us and Thorns began to apply more pressure. Our defence was holding firm but a free kick on the edge of our box gave Thorns their best opportunity but Joe had other ideas:
Top save mate.
Kimp got a limp and had to come off being replaced by Lewis Thom (who had already played for the 2s in the morning, top man) and the whistle blew. HT (1)-0
‘Little & Large’ gave a good pep talk (no mention of throw-ins so we must have improved) with the normal ending ‘we’re (1)-0 up, keep it tight for the next ten minutes’
Needless to say it must have gone in one ear and out of the other as 5 mins into the 2nd half the score read (1)-1. A bad goal to give away. A simple cross into the box, headed out by Mikey fell to a Thorns player who had too much time to compose himself, fire a low shot through a crowd of players, finding the bottom corner.
That seemed to wake us up a bit and we started to blow hotter again with some nice passing and the chances returned. Brandon fired just wide again and after he played a lovely through ball I managed to just get on the end of it, enough I thought to win a penalty as I then got taken out by their defender and oncoming goalkeeper. Bart (ref) waved play on so I thought I’d make it more theatrical next time……
Who doesn’t like a bit of continental rolling? Bart said he didn’t see it but everyone else did and the Wig was nailed on! I still think it was a pen despite the rolling!
George had now come on down the right side providing some much needed energy and came so close to scoring the winner. Brandon got to the byline, fired the ball across the face of goal and George can only have been and inch away from tapping it in, think Gazza in the semi-final of Euro 96
A few more half chances for either side but honours even, the game ended (1)-1
No Boom-shakalaka from ‘Large’ this week but another point and some decent stuff in patches.
Mikey picked up MOM but Brighty would have been a close 2nd imao.
Captain Caino admitted he’d been out on Friday night so no wonder he was shit in the 1st half (apart from the cross) and after getting pelters on the group when Chelsea lost the FA Cup he decided he’d had enough, he was off:
We’re too fragile mentally as a team and we need to learn not to let heads go down. We need to dominate games from start to finish, not just in patches. When we play properly we’re too good for most teams, we just don’t do it enough.
‘Little & Large’ have rebuilt the squad this season, now we need to finish strongly, press on and show what we can do next year.
MOM – Mikey Richards
WIG – Ed Glover
OMFC IV Wildcats 2 – 0 Mickelham Old Boxillians – He is RRRRAAAAAPPPPPIIIIDDD
3 games to go and the league champions were in town trying to stop the juggernaut that was the
OMFC Wildcats and the hottest ticket in town Mr Toby Stroud-Turp and his chocolate ankles. With
more injuries and unavailability came another 3 debuts: Liam, new in London via Aberystwyth and
Swansea, Jonah and his incredible tache and Barry from the danes all gaining their first caps.
Having absolutely burgled a draw at their place we knew a tough game was ahead and we also knew
that their biggest weapon was a big wide-open pitch to support long passes in behind to their quick
wingers. So, call me Dick for a Dastardly plan was hatched and we requested the smallest pitch down
the lands, they were not amused. The bingo machine settled on the 3-5-2 this week and safe to say it
didn’t work, they battered us for the majority of the first half and only great defensive work from
Shane, Liam and Marlon a big reason for us holding on to the stalemate. Barry did provide a bright
spark when introduced, nearly linking up with Toby and Rusty but safe to say it wasn’t one for the
neutrals as the HT whistle went.
A change to 4-2-3-1 brought the midfield into play and Rob started to get his foothold on the game,
ably supported by his deputy Aidan and the impressive Jonah, Marco was finding some joy out wide
and Nick De Falco in his newly deployed winger position made a couple of half breaks. An hour on
the clock and still no score and up stepped Mr Second Half; fresh from his customary 10 on the
bench Toby found some space, cut on to his right and found the bottom corner, 1-0. Galvanised by
getting the lead we did something rarely spotted on a Saturday down the lands… we knocked it
about and didn’t hoof it long. LIES!! I can hear you all cry, I shit you not, the ball was going
backwards, forwards, side to side, even Rorke was getting involved. Anyway, tiki-taka aside we were
looking good and with Rorke defending his area well from a siege of long throws it was time to put
the game to bed.
Fresh from my cockney Cafu run last week (yes, I am still talking about that) I picked the ball up in
my own half, jinked the striker, injected some pace into the right full back position and arrowed a
pass over their defence. Toby rounded the keeper, totally gooned his touch and just about snuck it
home from on the line whilst running into the goal post, 2-0. Ball of the season has since been said…
but truth is I took a heavy touch, their striker closed me down quickly, the ball bobbled, and I shovel
footed a pass meant for Rusty over his head and it just happened to go through on goal, ah well. Still
time for some half chances and Rorke to make a smart save from their keeper up for a corner, job
done. 2 games left and 2 wins seals promotion, viva los Wildcatos.
MoM – Shane, absolute mountain at the back kept us in the game in the 1 st half. Shout out to Kody
for playing 4 positions in the same game, true Swiss Army Knife.
Joint WIG – Rusty/Marlon/Rob – with 5 minutes left Aidan took a blow to the face and was bleeding
but we couldn’t make a sub as all 3 had got changed because it was raining.
SQUAD – Rorke – Clemo – Shane – Liam – Marlon – Kody – Aidan – Rob – Jonah – Toby – Rusty –
Barry – Marco – Nick
Honours are split at Dukes Meadow
OMFC 7s narrowly miss out on all 3 points in scrappy affair against Wokingians 6s
This was another game we wanted to avenge after throwing away a 3-2 lead, away in Woking, which we ended up losing 6-3.
A missed penalty and some very under par performances resulted in players being dropped and questions being asked.
The lead-up wasn’t great, no strikers or wingers available, the closer the end of the season seems to get the harder player availability has seemly become but you can’t blame people from wanting to live a little after living like hermits for practically a whole year.
A depleted squad begins to form on pitch 1, the referee appears to have got lost which has somewhat aided our preparations, especially as we had 1 player drop out and another turn up late thinking it was a 2pm KO, honestly it’s laughable how grown men can fail to follow the clearest instructions sometimes!
In typical fashion we start slowly and weather a relentless bombardment of attacks
Laurent makes a couple of key saves as we struggle to get a foothold of the game
Wokes player shouts “they don’t want it” that’s all the gaffer needed to galvanise the squad
Andy Sykes starts putting it about and breaking up play in historical fashion
The midwife sets Captain Newman clear, one on one with the keeper only to shoot right at him
The wokes captain gets in a dispute with his own team about fair play, cracks are showing
Jackson and the Midwife’s frustrations are showing as we’re unable to get much traction, playing from the back
Another cracking save from Laurent keeps it 0-0 going into half time
Kearney off Augaitis on as a straight swap at right back
Against the run of play Captain Newman wins a pen (soft as cottage cheese) Chadders steps up and makes it 1-0
The game begins to get a little heated, the angel faced assassin is given a warning
A wokes player goes down convinced he’s tackled, seems like his Achilles snapped, game is stopped for 5 odd mins
After about 10 minutes the midwife goes down and stays down, his hand instantly swells up and begins to resembled a T-Rex’s head.
Sonny off Kearney on, Augaitis now switched to Centre Back.
Ref gets shirty with Jak, “what are you smoking????”
Wokes player goes down in the box under pressure from Aclando, this week he didn’t touch him, ref waves play on.
Ref appears to be giving the opp every possible decision, free kick after free kick, one after another
Andy is struggling with a knee injury, Sonny wants back on
Inevitably we concede despite Laurent’s best efforts, one too many freekicks 1-1, refs lost complete track of time with all the injuries
- final score
It could and should be said that we were rather lucky to get a point out of this game, we certainly didn’t play that well but our resilience embodies our togetherness.
MOM was Laurent for a string of top saves, DOD was Brendan Barclay for failing to show up