Against Maori Park Reserves, Fulham Deaf FC started badly with poor defending which let the Maori striker break through to lob the ball over goal keeper Richard Parker to put Fulham Deaf FC 0 – 1 down after only 5 minutes.

Fulham Deaf FC reshaped and battled hard to get onto even terms and created chances down the middle, the majority of the ball action was played in Maori's half. In the 18th minute, after good work from Ajadi, Beese and Pendley, Richard Jeffers broke through to goal just over the half way line. Heavily being chased by two Maori defenders, Richard went a little wide on the left and unleashed a left foot drive past the Maori's goal keeper ailing hands. The ball rocketed into goal off the right post.

With both sides now at even terms, the reminder of the half was dominated by both midfields keeping the ball in play. Chances were remote from either sides and the half-time whistle went.

The beginning of the second half was not much better and while Maori were the better side, Fulham did have a couple of wasted chances including a shot from Oliver Westbury to an open goal which was cleared off the line by a miracle. Kevin Harewood had the opportunity to pass either left to Westbury or right to Ewan McGreevy a couple of times when facing two burley Maori defenders but instead decided to go all the way himself, therefore losing the ball!

With 20 minutes left, Christof Niklaus, the Fulham Deaf FC manager, decided to change the formation from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3 with Andrew Drury moving from centre back into midfield and Nick Beese moving up front alongside Richard Jeffers and Harewood. Christof's calculated risk paid off with a goal from Beese after a Drury's effort was decided by the referee not to have crossed the line.

Immediately, the formation went back to 4-4-2. Ayad Sarraf earned the man of the match with his unwavering defending, keeping the back four solid and providing cover when needed. The last five minutes was a tricky affair with Maori piling on the pressure. Despite all the lads being deaf, everyone was listening out for the full-time whistle and when it blew everyone “heard” it with relief.

It was a case of Fulham Deaf FC getting out of jail as a draw would have probably be fair. Fulham Deaf FC climbed back to the top of the table after being pushed down to second place with no league match being played last week.

Fulham Deaf's next match is at home against 2nd placed team, Kingston Albion III on Saturday 11th October. Kick off is at 2.30pm at the Fulham FC Training Pitches, Motspur Park.

 Christof Niklaus
 Fulham Deaf FC Manager