Match Report - 02 Mar 2014, Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers beat Real Northern A
Clapham Rovers ‘A’ 2 – 0 Real Northern ‘A’
2014 is looking more and more like a vintage year for Clapham Rovers, with the team recording their 3rd win in as many fixtures – maintaining their 100% record for the calendar year.
Last season Real Northern ‘A’ out muscled us in the league and cup with only Rovers only gaining a solitary draw in the 3 games between the sides.
It looked like it could be a backs against the walls game again this time around when straight from kick-off a ball was played directly in the space behind Rovers new self-professed Dani Alves right back - Chris Godwin in an opening 5minutes that resulted in a series of corners and early pressure.
With the wind and hill in our favour in the first half however Rovers started to grow into the game. A wicked corner from Molby curled into the back post was put in the traditional South American way – hand first by Dan. The referee failed to spot the blatant offence however and we were a goal to the good.
It was quite an eventful game for Dan who following this incident was targeted by the opposition following what they believed to be this injustice. In the second half he was winded by an awful body check and then provoked into ripping the no.4s shirt almost fresh off his back following another late challenge.
There was nothing that could be done to stop his second though – a free-kick in the first half all of 30 yards out. He tonked it straight into the top corner and although the keeper got a hand to it - the sheer pace on the ball and accuracy of shot meant Dan registered his 4th goal in 2 games for Rovers. If Maradonna and Suarez were proud of Dan’s first then they would have been even prouder of his second. I’m sure even Paul Merson playing on the pitches next to us noticed and gave a slight nod of approval.
The second goal came shortly after Danny made a terrific save from a Real Northern free kick, who had a solid game with some safe handling and unenviable kicking into the wind. The only disappointment at half-time is that we hadn’t perhaps made the most of advantageous conditions to extend our lead further.
In the second half Northern continued to adopt their long ball, high press game. But with a two goal advantage the aim was to just soak up pressure and not get too adventurous.
The pitch and wind made it difficult to get the ball down, but Horse and G were superb at the back and leading by example by snuffing out each ball that was humped down the pitch. Although it wasn’t much fun to play in everyone showed great team effort to close the ball down and protect a rare clean sheet.
The only blight in the second half was when Horse collided with one of their players in the box and Northern were awarded a penalty. Their penno taker must been taking shooting tips from me though as he skewed his penalty wide. And with less than 10mins to play Northern’s hopes of getting back into the game faded with it.
That win takes us up to 3rd and with Lonsdale dropping points there is still hope of us doing a lazareth and emerge as dark horses for the title.
Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers 2 - 0 Real Northern A ()