Sunday 23rd October
AMY Reserves v Lokomotiv Londres
13 players descend on Alexandra Park in Tolworth for our first ever league game there. The 13 includes debutant Danny Parker who has just recently recovered from injury.
James Tysoe was due to start on the bench today as he continues to struggle with a long standing knee injury. Unfortunately for James and us, the injury again flared up in the warm up to today’s game.
Matt asks the team to beat what is front of us, we’ve beaten this team previously in the summer league but we have no idea if this team will contain the same players or not. The home team start on the front foot and to be fair to them, there’s some good football played (in particular their number 7 in midfield and the pacey lads out wide). Lokomotiv then start to play their way into the game with a solid back four strangling the life of AMY’s forwards players, the midfield winning and moving the ball around, good pace and movement down the flanks and debuntant Danny make a nuisance of himself running the centre backs into areas they don’t want to be. We’re creating chances, we’re just not clinical enough as Danny and then Lee M fail to put them away.
David F goes off with a back injury to be replaced by Wayne on the left hand side of midfield.
The first goal comes from a free-kick just inside our own half from Stocker, up the line and finds Danny P. Danny flicks the ball into Matt’s path. The cut back from Matt finds Danny P in and around the penalty spot and this time he makes no mistake by putting Loko in front.
Loko’s were up for this game and we were enjoying ourselves. The back four playing with confidence were now pushing and squeezing us up the pitch at every opportunity, The midfield and forward were playing some of our best football of the season. Continue pressure from Loko’s forward players started to see us camped out in AMY’s half of the pitch with Chris & Wayne (in particular) enjoying attacking and beating AMY’s full back almost at will. Danny P’s clever running and combination work with Chris was a particular feature of the first half. It was important that this dominance counted for something and so it proved, as it led to our second goal. A cross coming into the box landing at Muzzy’s feet, his shot cum cross happily found Danny P’s in acres of space at the far post to tap home his second of the game. Despite the plentiful shouts for offside.
Half Time arrives and we have a well deserved 2-0 lead. The half time team talk is the one you’d expect at 2-0up; well done lads, it’s not finished yet, jobs only half way done, the next goal is always vital etc... all of it obvious BUT all of it true! - No substitutions at half time
Second half begins with Matt again encouraging Scott and Neil to continue their efforts from the first half by pushing us forward whenever possible allowing our fullbacks for the day (Stocker and Danny T) to get forward at every opportunity.
Anyone connected with Lokomotiv Londres will know that we have a terrible habit of starting the second half poorly and true to form we immediately give the ball away at the start of the second half. Tony not quite being 100% alert at the restart allows the ball to fall to the feet of the AMY Reserves’ centre forward, thankfully Tony’s recovers his composure and manages to take some of the pace of the ball as it heads towards the back of the net and the team are grateful to Scott for one of his now trademark goal line clearances. We’re very fortunate NOT to concede.
Loko’s then step back up and regain control of the ball and of the football match. A ball in from Wayne on the left find Lee M just inside the six yard box, his shot dragging just wide of the far post as he tried to help it on towards goal. That is until the on rushing Chris Graham manages to beat his man to the loose ball and smashes it into the back of the net for 3 – 0.
A gentle ribbing to Lee M about his finishing today and lack of goals must have niggled at him as moments later he collected the ball about 15 yards outside the box beat his man and let rip with a shot destined for the top corner, this looked a certain goal until the goalkeeper pulled off a wonder save!
AMY heads were now down and we were in total control. A foul on Chris just outside of the area was pounced on by Matt and his effort from beat the keeper somewhere near the top corner of the net.
Lee Stocker completed the route with a fantastic run from just inside the AMY half of the pitch and his shot from just inside the corner of the box found its way to the keepers bottom left hand corner.
OK, the team we beat today were not the hardest teams we are going to face this year however we still had a job to do and we all did it well. As the king of compliments himself (Muzzy) said: “ we would have beaten a lot of teams in our league with that performance today” – If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me! – well done lads, A job well done!
I think the defence is looking stronger every week even with changes in the personnel (Danny T being a good example of that coming in and doing well). Midfield were better, kept the ball created chances, got box to box (all 3 centre midfielders had goal assists from open play) the wide boys were fantastic and new signing Danny P getting two goals on debut and rarely showing any of the rust he would have accumulated whilst being out injured. Therefore Man of the match was a tough decision this week but it goes to Chris for the second week running. A constant menace down the right flank and popped up with a goal too. Well done mate! -
A couple of things though:
· Timekeeping HAS to be better - We all need to be on time no excuses. We try to ensure that we put out a team that will compete to the best of its abilities. Turning up late only makes this harder for us as we have a lot to organise. Please ensure that you are all on time for the next league game which is at home (Churchfields). Hayden will confirm meet time as usual. If you are late you may be dropped to the bench. Persistent lateness may mean you may be left out of the matchday squad.
· We’re all adults and therefore you all know your own bodies, however can we try to ensure that we all warm up properly before a game ideally without the “chatter and banter” that has started to creep in.
· The Chessington Oak has put a lot of money into our team to sponsor our kits for the season. They have are also committed to feeding us after every game, it has been noticeable that the number of players going back to the pub after matches has gone down. It’s important for the clubs future and the morale within the team that you all make every effort to at least show your face (even if it’s just one drink) so that the Oak can see value for the money they have laid out on us!
Anyways that’s it from me, sorry this poor effort of a match report isn’t anywhere near the standard of our usual matchday reporter but the good news is that he’s back for this Sunday’s game.
Big game this Sunday lads. No big nights out on the weekend and no bumping uglies with the mrs the night before. Get some rest J