Match Report - 19 Oct 2014, Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers beat FC Schelp
Rovers 3 - 2 Selchp
It's fair to say that I was absolutely gutted to miss last week's 5-0 win vs Real Northern. A game like that goes down in Rovers folklore and is talked about again and again.
I was therefore delighted to be part of Sunday's result. A result which once again saw us beat a group of d1ckheads against the odds. A result that sends us top of the league.
Westminster Schools Pitch is the best pitch in the league and it was FC Selchp who were making the most of it from kick off. We lined up in a 442 with the following.
Matt Wright CB
and we for much of the match we just couldn't get out of our half for extensive periods of time. Much of the talk pre-match had been about Lokomotiv's match report which described FC Selchp as the best Sunday League team they'd ever seen and to be fair to Lokomotiv, they're not far wrong. Lokomotiv did however neglect to describe FC Selchp as the biggest group of be11ends to ever grace Sunday League. That is certainly true. More of that later.
FC Selchp were knocking it around with great gusto and were playing incisive balls from all areas in behind our fullbacks. We were chasing shadows for much of the first half and the opposition were exploiting the space whenever they could. On our rare forays upfield we panicked a bit as we were so unused to having the ball. Us losing the ball would then result in another wave of FC Selchp attacks.
A Selchp attack would usually consist of a winger either cutting in from a wide position to have a shot or laying it off to an approaching midfielder on the edge of the box to have a dig. Whatever the attack, Rovers were throwing themselves in the way of the ball to prevent Selchp taking the lead.
Bunman was unfairly booked on 15 mins for a mistimed tackle on their number 9. Not only did the Bunman receive a yellow, but his card was now marked for the rest of the match with FC Selchp.
On attacking play, we undeservedly took the lead after about 25 minutes. We slung a cross into their box, it went over Joel's head and saw Joel go to the floor following contact from their centre back. The ref continued his already 'interesting' performance (asking Macca if he wanted to be booked for questioning play being waved on while players were tying shoelaces was one particular instance) by giving a penalty, much to the surprise of both teams. Macca stepped up and Aguero-like calmly sidefooted the ball down the centre of the net for 1-0 lead.
In giving the soft penalty, the ref then appeared to even up his decisions by 1) waving past what looked like a stonewall penalty against Rich in the box as he was hacked down breaking into the box and 2) allowing FC Selchp's goal to bring the scores to 2-1.
Inbetween the above, Joel sent Rovers into dreamland with a wonderful goal. The ball was played out wide to the left hand side near the half way line and appeared to be going out of play. Joel gave chase, scooped the ball into play and b0llocked it into the box with FC Selchp players calling for a throw. As cool as you like, Joel advanced into the box, gave the keeper the eyes, and slipped it in at the near post. GET IN!
This 2nd goal signalled the start of the unsavoury side of FC Selchp. They began to argue amongst themselves and disgustingly, their captain spat at Bunny. 1 more goal and Selchp would have fallen to pieces. Unfortunately, they got back into the game with the aforementioned contentious goal. A ball was lobbed into the centre of the box, Pybus came out to clear and got 2 hands on the ball. At this point he was barged into, in mid air, by the Spitter and the ball came lose. A Selchp attacker then had the simple task of tapping the ball into the net.
Macca had by this point departed the field with a hammy injury and on came fans' favourite, Simon, the Beast of Birch for an ultimately triumphant return.
The first half ended with another unsavoury episode. The Bunman got involved in a bit of a chat with their number 9 and for a second it looked like the Bunman was going to get a knuckle sandwich. Their number 9 took a furtive look around to see where the ref was before advancing to the Bunman. It was only a call from their Gaffer who changed his mind at the last second.
5 minutes into the 2nd half, the score was 2-2. Selchp scored a really jammy goal inside the box which deflected off Matt Wright and looped over Pybus into the net. We didn't buckle however.
There then followed 40 minutes of extremely one sided football where Selchp attacked and Rovers found many numerous, diverse and interesting ways to hack the ball clear, in any direction or throw themselves in front of shots. Without singling out too many players individually because this the ultimate team performance, Carswell and Matt Wright at centre back were at the heart of this. Matt Wright in particular put in a superb cajoling vocal performance to drive everyone on.
When we did have the ball, Gori and Smudger were superb at taking the ball into the Selchp half, committing players and relieving pressure.
The pressure and frustration was proving too much for their number 9 who twice hacked at the Bunman when the ref's back was turned. Disgraceful.
We had talked at half time that FC Selchp basically wanted to score the perfect goal. When they had chances to shoot from wide or at the edge of the box, they would invariably elect to t1t about with it and do 6 stepovers. This is not to say that they didn't have chances. From the left hand side they cut in with 20 mins to go and attempted to curl it in at the far post. Pybus pulled off an absolutely wonderful save to keep the scores at 2-2. The save galvanised the Rovers and inspired everyone to hook the ball higher and further than ever before.
On 42 minutes, we sensationally took the lead. Selchp by this point were playing a 3-2-5 as they searched for the winner. We were gaining more territory in their midfield gaps. Joel picked up the ball on the left hand side of the box and took a swipe at the ball. The shot was heading towards the near post before it cannoned off Smudger, wrong footed the keeper and sent the ball spinning into the far corner of the net. It took an age to skew in. An absolute age...and the keeper should have got it.
If ever we were hanging on it was now. FC Selchp hit the post from a belting shot. Luckily the ball came back out into Danny's arms. This was doubly lucky because had he not, Matt Wright admitted later he was all shaped up to smash it into the net himself.
7 minutes of injury time were played out with the now typical Selchp good grace. Joel went down with a severe lucking injury, only to be met with moaning that he wasn't leaving the field.
I knew the game was won with 2 mins to go when the Beast of Birch put in a storming tackle which drew a guttural roar from Carswell in appreciation.
We even threatened a 4th when Sheva with a cameo on the right hand side jinked into the box and just couldn't pull the trigger.
When the whistle finally blew, it was to exhausted and delirious joy. 3-2 Rovers! UTFR indeed.
MOM. There were 13 MOMs out there today but Gori sits top of the tree for his fearless tackling and attacking threat down the right.
10 Teams Games
Clapham Rovers Follow 3 2 1 0 8 3 +5 7
FC Selchp Follow 4 2 0 2 16 9 +7 6
London St George Follow 3 2 0 1 9 7 +2 6
Kings United Follow 2 1 1 0 7 4 +3 4
Accrington Stanley Bowles Follow 2 1 1 0 4 3 +1 4
Real Northern 'A' Follow 1 1 0 0 2 1 +1 3
Lokomotiv Londres Follow 3 0 1 2 5 14 -9 1
FC Lonsdale Follow 1 0 0 1 2 4 -2 0
Cool Oak Rangers Follow 2 0 0 2 3 7 -4 0
Parthenope Follow 1 0 0 1 0 4 -4 0
ROVERS FANTASY FOOTBALL
Clapham Rovers Clapham Rovers 3 - 2 FC Schelp ()