Match Report - 20 Sep 2009, Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers beat Valtaro Wasteel B
The Rovers bandwagon marches on unabated as we recorded our first win of the season and our third consecutive game unbeaten. Time is at a premium this week so no opus from me on what occurred. Suffice to say that I was delighted with the effort and commitment shown by all who played. From being down to 5 players on Thursday afternoon the "Bring a Friend" policy that we instituted that day yielded a massive complement of 15 able-bodied soldiers come kick off, a truly epic response. We lined up thus:
2. Rob V 4. James M 5. Zen 3. Steve
6. Stephen 7. Jack C 8. Dave B 11. Youssef
9. Connors 10. Dan
We got off to the worst possible start when a combination of poor positioning and general doziness resulted in our conceding a soft goal from a direct free kick after only 5 minutes. However, the response was stirring. After half an hour Dan Harley's persistence and tenacity paid off when he was hauled down in the box. The number 10 picked himself up, brushed himself down and duly stroked home the resulting spot kick, sending the keeper the wrong way in the process. 1-1. Even better was to follow, within 5 minutes we were ahead. This time Connors did well to get to the byeline and squeeze in a dangerous cross from the left hand side. Amongst the melee of players in the box was the boot of debutant Stephen who poked the ball back from whence the keeper came and into the far corner. 2-1 and deservedly in the box seat.
To say the management were frustrated when we duly conceded just before half time would be an understatement. To be fair there was not much that could have been done about the goal, a speculative effort from outside the box was tipped onto the bar by Gareth, the resultant rebound fell kindly into the path of a Valtaro attacker who reacted first to get there ahead of our centre backs and restore parity. The frustration was borne out of our dominance of proceedings not being reflected in the scoreline. As the gaffer ruefully remarked at half time Valtaro had had 1 chance and scored 2 goals.
The second half was fairly uneventful. Rovers carved out the best chances and could conceivably have been 5-2 up at one point. Whatever Valtaro offered was handled with consummate ease by the new centre back pairing of Zen and James, both of whom had excellent games. Nat came on for Youssef, Charles came on for Stephen and Dave came on for Connors. After about 80 minutes the subs paid dividends as our incessant pressure finally told. There was a scramble in the goalmouth and the ball dropped to Nat around 8 yards out. He made no mistake, driving home low into the corner. His celebration, and that of the Rovers entourage on the touchline, showed how much it meant to the Cerise and French Greys.
The game petered out as a contest after that and we celebrated our first competitive win in regulation time (we won once on penalties last season). A fine result. Here's Kewy's take on proceedings:
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
Our first league victory. Absolutely superb fellas. A massive number of positives to come out of the game. 3 decent goals, never accepting a draw and the number of chances we created. A mention must also go to the central defence partnership of Zen and Jim. Both looked very solid and led by example with plenty of chat and crunching tackles. (Seb: I second that. May I add that I thought Steve at left back was a revelation. He has a left boot like a wand.)
Most impressive of all was the desire shown by every players to close opposition players down and not let them ‘play’ or settle on the ball. It is imperative that we maintain this.
I can’t think of many negatives from the game.
We’re still a quiet team but we’re improving our communication. I see this getting better as we become more familiar with each other.
Our first league victory in 2 seasons. Neither Seb or myself were playing. Not much to say to that is there?
The complete balls up I made in trying to sneak unregistered player and debutant Richard onto the pitch, as a second half substitute. Upon being asked his name by the Ref, Richard replied truthfully with his surname, Armah. However, as he wasn’t on the team sheet given to the ref, the matter was referred to me on the touchline. The Ref said ‘if he’s not on the teamsheet he can’t play.’ I told the Ref that Richard’s name was John Stephens, When the Ref said, ‘he told me his name was Armah,’ I had nothing to say to that. Absolutely nothing. I looked like I’d just been caught stealing knickers off washing lines; Guilty.
Well done lads, let's continue this rich vein of form into October
It's a tough call for Man of the Match. The contenders for me were Zen, James, Steve and Dan. But, subject to Zen's approval (he'll probably want to give it to Achi) I'm gona give it to Zen for his marshalling of the defence and general all-round composure and commitment. Congrats.
I'm away next weekend unfortunately, please declare your availability to Kewy
Resa Non Verba
Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers 3 - 2 Valtaro Wasteel B ()