Match Report - 08 Dec 2013, Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers beat Lokomotiv Londres
It was nice to finish our last game before Christmas with a win and keep us in touching distance of the front runners. It wasn't straightforward by any means. We weren't at our best and were going through the motions in the first half waiting for someone to do something. In the end though, we upped our game and our quality shone through. Jordan's 1st goal for the Rovers helped seal the win.
As with the previous week, I shall use Lokomotiv Match report (in RED) as a template and comment on it.
ROVERS 3 -1 Lokomotiv Londres
Although King’s House charges the highest pitch fees in the league, their grounds have been rather bobbly of late and today’s surface was no exception. Yet, Loko were out of the starting blocks very early on against a team we have been playing 3 times in recent weeks.
To be honest, within 15 seconds of the kick off, I thought we'd hump Lokomotiv. They had a centre back who was the oldest looking young man, I'd ever seen. Almost straight from the kick off, Godders was scampering past him and bearing down on goal. It came to nothing though. Ominously though, they also had a player who reminded me of the 45 year old who consistently skinned me in Budapest.
With strikers Adil and Olie both unavailable, the task of converting chances rested with James and Terry with the latter playing in a more advanced role than in recent months. Clapham Rovers were developing a good passing game but we hit them on the counter on a few occasions.
It later transpired that Adil and Ollie were the 2 quick strikers they played last time. Ollie was unavailable but apparently Adil had a date with the Missus who wouldn't let him play football because it took up too much of the day. I counted my luck stars that all Rovers would never do that because a) the commitment to the Rovers is so strong or b) there's no women attractive enough in Infernos on a Saturday night that you want to spend any time with them in the cold, hard light of day.
On 15 minutes, Terry saw his effort from 8 yards out blocked by the keeper’s legs and on 24 minutes, Terry again beat the offside trap and found himself one on one against their goalie who he tried to chip but his shot didn’t go high enough and it was another chance missed.
Following these two chances I was glad that I played it safe and responded to Danny's advert on Gumtree and not to the midget keeper with no legs who seemed very keen.
On 27 minutes, Ed, who was capitalising on his physical presence in the middle of the park, took a shot from 30 yards out that went wide of the upright.
On 33 minutes, a corner from our left was met by one of their forwards whose shot escaped John and was goal bound but Ivan headed the ball out of danger and over the bar.
We did have a good shout for a pen turned down when Godders was brought down by the keeper who had spilled a shot. Godders had nipped in front of the keeper as he chased it down but he was brought down. I thought Godders had dived from a small push to get back at the keeper for his lunacy in the previous week. If it was a penalty it would have been a really soft one but it later turned out that the keeper had raked his studs down the back of Godders's calf.
With only 7 minutes on the clock before the half time break, James went on a mazy run down his left wing, shimmied past a couple of defenders and crossed. Terry received the ball and passed it across the goalmouth to Lawrence who slid the ball towards the empty goal only for one of their defenders to rescue on or over the goal line but, short of Hawk eye goal line technology it was impossible for the able ref to allow the goal to stand and the first half ended goalless.
I can quite truthfully say that this effort was at least a yard over the line as I cleared it. It was almost so far over the line I don't know why I bothered. The ref had missed a clear offside in the first half, squinting into the sun so I think this must have been in the back of my mind.
To be honest though, conceding a goal would have been none more so than our poor play deserved in the first half. We weren't coherent in our play and some of our ball retention was pretty poor. The talk at half time was therefore of raising performance levels by 100% and getting some tenacity into the play.
Loko 0 vs Clapham Rovers A 0
At half time, Ismail was replaced by Hassan and the rest of the team remained unchanged. In the early stages, their number 11, who skipper Mat referred to the guy “who thinks he’s Ronaldo”was causing the Loko defence constant headaches with his fast movement and skill.
Loko must be sick of the sight of Smudger because he was giving them another torrid afternoon.
On 53 minutes, as the Loko players were begging the ref to call an offside, their left winger despatched a low cross into the box which Terry tried to clear but unfortunately he scuffed it and the ball ended up in our own net.
Now this review is a bit harsh on the Bunman because i'm sure it was his goal. A nice move from the Gaz, onto JD, saw the ball flash across the box for Bunman to nip in front of his marker and flick the ball into the far corner of the net.
Loko 0 vs Clapham Rovers A 1
On 70 minutes, Andre came on for Ivan and slotted into midfield as Terry retreated into defence because he was now carrying an injury. This meant that Matt had to go up front, a regular role he often relishes with his Saturday team.
Now we've had a few actors play for the Rovers but Lokomotiv aren't fooling anyone. 'Andre' was indeed the baggage claim assistant from Matt Lucas and David Walliam's Come Fly With Me. Loko certainly didn't CLAIM 3 points following our 3rd goal.
We 30mins to go we then saw the introduction of Molby after a long injury and Nath following a night of womanising (I will send the pictures on request.).
Now Nath was late because he'd got boozed up and overslept but he still made it and that's the commitment we need. If we're going to be successful this season we need to be able to rely on each other and not leave each other in the sh1t if something goes wrong.
Sadly, Loko conceded a second goal on 77 minutes where their nippy number 10 found himself unmarked inside the box and fired a shot from the left hand side of the box past John and into the far corner.
Loko 0 vs Clapham Rovers A 2.
Jordan claimed his debut goal from left hand side as a clipped finish went over the keeper and into the far corner of the net. The assist came from the returning Nick Woodward who despite falling over managed to hook the ball into Jordan's path. It gave me almost as much enjoyment as the open tab he left open at Pirate Stu. Cheers Jordan. £177.50 is not as big as it could've been.
Loko managed to pull one back on 81 minutes when a pass into the heart of their defence saw MATT control the ball with the heel/outside of his boot and slot past the keeper with a half volley just inside the box.
Loko 1 vs Clapham Rovers A 2
Loko rallied for a while but Clapham Rovers never panicked and, as was the case throughout the game, kept on building from the back and playing triangles, unlike Loko who too often would simply kick it upfield.
Sure enough, Clapham Rovers put paid to Loko’s hopes of a comeback as the game was coming to an end.
Loko 1 vs Clapham Rovers A 3
Their goal did leaving us a little rattled as we still continued to push forward for a 3rd. This did finally come when Smudger got the goal he deserved for his constant, threatening runs and for playing 90 mins when he wasn't even sure if he could play at all following injury. It was a goal clipped in at the far post following another incisive and jinking run.
For that, I think Smudger deserves the MOM. We didn't play our best but Smudger always looked to force the issue and take the game to Lokomotiv. In a game where we looked to be going through the motions, Smudger looked to make things happen.
The league is shaping up nicely boys. We need to keep pushing though. The league is ours to be won. Let's believe it, put in every last effort and make it happen!
9 Teams Games
FC Lonsdale 7 4 3 0 19 8 +11 15
Real Northern 'A' 8 4 2 2 24 10 +14 14
AFC Maverick 5 4 1 0 16 10 +6 13
Accrington Stanley Bowles 7 3 2 2 10 9 +1 11
Clapham Rovers 'A' 7 3 2 2 11 11 +0 11
Lokomotiv Londres 5 2 0 3 8 9 -1 6
London Rhinos 6 1 1 4 14 20 -6 4
Parklife 'B' 6 1 1 4 5 12 -7 4
Worcester Park Rangers 7 0 2 5 7 25 -18 2
1 3 Lokomotiv Londres v Clapham Rovers 'A'
King's House (Civil Service) SG W4 2RZ
2 0 Parklife 'B' v London Rhinos
The Griffin Club 12 Dulwich Village SE21 7AL
2 3 Worcester Park Rangers v Accrington Stanley Bowles
Wandsworth Park SW15 2PA
Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers 3 - 1 Lokomotiv Londres ()