Just the 3 Match Reports so far this week, many thanks to the contributors of these. Apologies that it has taken until late Sunday night to get these on but family celebrations took precedent, and at the same time as your matches were finishing my car was in for its M.O.T. (Not great timing I admit).
Saint Michael 3 v 3 Clarendon
(Match Report Robert, Saint Michael)
Great game from both sides and I think a draw is fair for both sides but maybe Clarendon were a bit more lucky as they scored their 3rd goal in the last seconds of the game. (edit: I think it’s called Fergie time, Neil).
First goal came from Tobiasz Cichy as he found space in the area and Patryk Jasicki delivered a ball straight on to his head which he placed away from the keeper. Clarendon levelled when a free kick from distance was delivered with a flick on which was met first by their attacker who scored. We took the lead again with a great pass from Przemek Gorka towards Tobiasz Cichy who shot from 11 yards straight into the bottom left hand corner of the goal. HT 2-1 to us.
Clarendon started the second half defending further up the pitch gaining more possession. This led to another equaliser which was scored with a perfect shot from 40 yards in to the top left hand corner of the net.
Tobiasz completed his hat-trick from a free kick for us to take the lead again, 3-2. However, as the game went on we started defending deeper and deeper with Clarendon pushing us back. With seconds left, their striker found himself one on one with our keeper and finished it off to make it 3-3. Seconds later the final whistle went.
(edit: Sounds like a great game and made my prediction look stupid. Tobiasz Cichy looks like a name to keep an eye on though)
Selly Oak Methodist 1 v 2 Rowley College
(Match Report Pete Bennett, Rowley College)
Another week and another strong performance from us against a tenacious and competitive Selly Oak , who have made a good start on their return to Division One. We had a clutch of players unavailable this morning and Mark only fit enough to be an emergency (and thankfully unused) sub so it was an early test of our improving squad which we comfortably negotiated. Jack and Haydon both claimed starting berths after impressive displays from the bench last week and both took their opportunities with Jack providing the class and guile and Haydon an all action man-of-the-man performance.
This was a good competitive match. Selly Oak have some skilful players and a decent balance of youth and experience but they also have tremendous commitment. They were at us all over the pitch, never giving us a moment and there was some terrific last gap defending. I thought from the start we had a little more football but if we did have superiority we were never able to force it home and get clear of them. Everyone was good today, both our experienced back line (Lee, Joe, Matt,Chris and Kev) and our more youthful and pacey offensive unit with debutant Fin with Brad, Connor and Shola looking forward.
We started really well and passed our way into decent positions but, as through the whole game, their defenders were incredibly competitive, so often getting a foot in. We now have pace going forward and their excellent goalkeeper had already shown great awareness as a sweeper keeper before, rushing from his line to clear he landed one at Shola’s feet, leaving an unguarded goal. Mind you, Shola was practically on the half way line so it took particular composure and skill to hit a lofted drive straight into the goal. They came straight back at us down the slope and we were playing largely on the counter attack seeking a second. I hoped it would only be a matter of time but the game turned just before half time.
First Jack played Shola in and he outpaced the defence but slid his finish narrowly wide. Two minutes later a mix up in our defence let in one of their useful forwards and he made no mistake. Turning around we were intent on better exploiting out strengths but the half settled into the previous pattern as soon as we retook the lead. A good move this as Fin fed Jack wide and his inch perfect cross was turned in by Shola. Thereafter they threw everything at it and we tried to pick them off on the break: both Connor and Shola hit the post (same one) and we had dangerous possession throughout the half. However, inspired by Haydon’s commitment and Lee’s marshalling of an excellent defence we saw it through. All the best to Rob and his boys!
A trip to a soggy Springfield park was in order today for a second away match to start the season.
Before long we were 2-0 up when a half cleared cross fell to Mubin 25 yards out who fired in.
Seemingly looking like we had full control, Amblecote then woke up with a few chances but they couldn’t get past Lewis who made some smart saves. The half continued and finally Amblecote did get a goal back when their forward took the ball down out wide and cruised past 3 or 4 players before firing from the edge of the box. 2-1
2nd half and Christ Church came out looking to get the 2 goal lead back and it wasn’t long before we had it when Lewis was put through by Scott and finished to the keepers right.
Amblecote managed to get a goal back which mirrored the 1st goal and again, from our point of view it was disappointing to see a player walk past our midfield like they were not there. 5 minutes later it was 3-3 and again not much difference in 3rd goal to the first two.
Both teams had a chance to win it before the end but the full time whistle went and we walked off feeling like we had lost. We threw away 2 points today from sloppy balls and lack of tackling, but with the negatives we find positives. Both forwards on the score sheet again and still unbeaten as a team in our furst 2 games. We smile and look ahead now and continue our journey in the WMCFL.