Thanks to Robert Zaleski from Saint Michael for this report.
Connect Sports 2 – 0 Saint Michael
This morning started really early as we have had to travel far. 1 hour drive after late night shifts can kill sometimes but for football you can do it every week. As we arrived on this school pitch we saw small/narrow in good condition pitch. Weather perfect for a game quick change warm up and here we go again.
From first minute of the game we saw home team playing 3/5/2 formation and amount of space in middle was max 1 yard to touch a ball and pass. By this mean there was fighting for space and ball each time ball goes in that area. In that result there were many tackles and fouls around area and game was stopped many times. Home team created few good goal scoring opportunities but they have been stopped by Patryk Jaworski who was in his top form that morning. By saving several shoots we kept clean sheet in first half. On other end we were fighting with good organized defence and well played in air. Our first chances came but most of them were shots off goal. First great chance and luck of home team came from corner kick when Patryk Jasiorowski jumped highest and header towards net but goalkeeper touched a ball that hit back to 5 yards and while goalkeeper was on floor Peter Moskal was first to ball to hit it toward goal but unlucky for him it went straight in to hand of goalkeeper who was still sitting on the floor.
2nd half was looking similar to first one with few chances for goals and lots of fights for space on the pitch. Golden chance came to home team first and they finished it in great style. Free kick from own half delivered in to far post and home team striker control ball in first touch and 2nd touch was going toward back of the net. Professional finish to beat our keeper who was in great shape today. That goal did not stop both team from trying score and we know we will have our chance to today. Unlucky for us we couldn’t deliver goal when ball was first shot by Patryk Jasicki and saved by keeper and then Peter Moskal shot was saved by defender and third was saved again by other defender from line and all that from one corner. In last breath of the game Connect Sport put dot on the score and created great team passing opportunity finished with shot from 16 yard to bottom left corner leaving us no hope for any point in this game. Well done to them and for a good game in friendly environment.
Thanks to Pete Bennett from Rowley for this report:
Charlemont Star 0 Rowley College 0
Not quite as rare as a curate’s egg, we had our 8th today, constituting just over 1% of our 704 competitive matches as a club and coming 386 games after our last one. The nil-nil draw, hardly the staple of amateur football where usually we think the first goal is important and get at least one a game, but strangely authentic and unsatisfying at the same time. Charlemont are a decent footballing side, refreshed this season by new faces and quicker legs, directed with cheerful enthusiasm by Andy and set off very much on the front foot. We are still bedding in a new team and getting sometimes frustrated because we’d like the process to be quicker but we too set out today to attack. The fact that neither of these attacking teams managed a goal was down to good defending, a bumpy playing surface and a certain lack of sharpness in front of goal.
They had the better of the early exchanges and then we got into the game and had three decent chances: the best was a Shola header from Jack’s pinpoint cross following good link up between Brad and Josh; another saw Mark shoot just wide and finally a scramble in their 6 yard box saw an infringement when it should have been a finish. Then, true to a game of constant fluctuations, they came back at us and came even closer. First their speedy winger forced a brilliant save from Lee low down (he even held onto it), then a crashing free kick hit the bar. We came off, like at the end, thinking nothing much was wrong and everybody was doing well but still no goals.
With a full bench we made progressive changes, starting with Matt for the injured Chris at half time and all the subs did well: Hayden in midfield, Connor and Kenny further forward. We had more control in the second half and Lee was thankful for this as he was playing full of cold: Matt Williams in front of him was terrific today: man-of-the-match, though Mark wasn’t far behind him. We had pressure second half and they had threat on the break. Jack was once again showing his class as we threatened without really breaching their defence. Finn was much more assured today, adjusting to the pace of the game. They defended really well, giving very little away. Our best chance came late on when Josh nodded down to Shola who shaped to play it into the corner only to see it come back off the inside of the post and his second attempt go wide. Meanwhile at the other end Matt’s determined covering run prevented a heartbreaker for us. We played well but didn’t quite do enough to win it and Charlemont by and large the same!
Thanks to Rob O’Neil from Selly Oak Methodist for this, a recap on previous matches and a report from yesterday’s games. Hopefully this will lead to weekly reports from Rob.
Season update/Clarendon match report. (Clarendon 2-0)
So Selly Oaks season started with victory over Connect. We were 2-1 down with 9 minutes to go and came out 3-2 winners. They have gone on to have some strong results and I see the Ricketts brothers are back so this was a good result. Next up was Rowley College where we lost 2-1, I feel we more than held our own in this match and two mistakes cost us but then that’s Division 1 for you. Next up was St. Mary’s away where we played the entire game with 8 players and it took St. Mary’s 70 mins to break us down and it was an own goal, a top corner outside the area effort and another own goal that saw us lose 3-0. Next up, in a cruel fixture list, was Clarendon away.
Clarendon started by far the stronger team on what was quite a small pitch, breaking with pace and with some great interplay but we have a stubborn defence and a great goalkeeper so were able to to weather the storm and gradually grew into the game when our midfield found their feet and started to pass the ball the Selly Oak way, which gave us some pressure on the Clarendon goal. This unfortunately was short lived and Clarendon broke the deadlock just before half time when their striker skipped in from wide across the face of the defence and slotted the ball low and hard into the far corner with a good finish. Half time 1-0. I think both teams were frustrated at half time, Selly Oak because we hadn’t got going and Clarendon that they hadn’t put the game to bed already. The second half was more even but a far more scrappy affair neither team playing great football and both teams capable of a lot better. Clarendon added a second half way through the second half after a mistake from our CB let the striker in for a comfortable finish. Selly Oak had a great chance late on from a corner where the ball was shot just wide after an initial scramble for the ball but it wasn’t meant to be. Looking at our results, 1 win from 4, it would be easy to be disheartened but we have played st Mary’s and Clarendon away, (not games you’d chalk 3pts up for), so actually I took heart from our early performances and know we are a lot better than the level we played this weekend.
Charlemont Star next week who I know absolutely nothing about but seem a solid mid table team which is where I think Selly Oak are capable of finishing if we play our football, so it should be a good benchmark game. Although, we will need to be a lot better if we are going to take 3pts as they never come easy in Division 1.
Thanks to Bob Lee for the following report, (it would have been better for my prediction if Christ Church had let in another goal though).
Christchurch 3-1 Dudley lions
Our 2nd home game of the season saw us face Dudley lions. The last 2 games we had under performed and somehow managed to come away with a point from both, so this week we were determined to get the 3 points and continue our unbeaten form. The game started well for Christ Church with the midfield battle being won by Mitch and Mubin with a few chances coming our way which saw the post and bar get rattled and a few headers go wide. Around 20 minute Mark Lewis broke free and crossed for Scott who fired home for his 2nd goal in as many weeks, Christ Church could sense more goals and we went forward again with Mubin winning every ball, with Mitch Cam and Chambers backing him up.but the Dudley defence kept us at bay until ht.
2nd half we asked for the same and we got just that. Any ball through to the Dudley forwards was cleared and again the midfield was winning that battle. With 15 minutes gone Christ Church won a corner and Cam found a diving Bob at front post but it was Dean who managed to get his body in there and put Christ Church 2-0 up. We looked dangerous from corners and as the half went on we came close from a few more chances. Christ Church then got the 3rd goal when a ball in found Chambers who beat his man on the penalty spot to get a shot away only for the keeper to save, unfortunately for him he pushed the ball into the path of Bob who netted. 3-0.
A few subs made by both sides didn’t really affect us as we were still keeping Dudley away and then it happened.. a seemingly nothing ball over the top and with Lewis wanting a nod back Dean managed to lob him and put the ball into his own net. Great finish but not what was intended, Dudley then turned up a gear but they couldn’t break a solid back 4 and the fantastic effort of the midfield of Christchurch until the final whistle.
Like to thank the officials today, not a foot wrong and allowed the game to flow and a massive thanks to Steve Rose and his team for a physical but enjoyable morning of football. Wish Dudley Lions all the best for the season.