23rd January 2010

Intermediate Division Two League

Fulham Deaf FC v Westside FC

At long last, the poor weather relented enough to allow the
league game against Westside FC to go, much to the delight of all in the FDFC
camp! But before going further, Fulham Deaf FC would like to wish you (readers)
all a very Happy Belated Happy New Year! It had been seven weeks since Fulham
Deaf last played a match (against Yourstory, back on Dec 12th).
Since then, several postponements due to bad weather had resulted in a long
wait for the thaw to come.

In the knowledge that a victory over Westside would
maintain the pressure on league leaders AFC Cubo and fellow unbeaten side
Caterham Old Boys. All squad players greeted each other in the Earl Beatty pub
for a team talk due to two Academy matches being played earlier on at the
training ground.

The Gaffer, who had a quick discussion with the captain
Jonathan Evans for team selection, in the absence of Assistant Manager
‘Ironside’, explained to the squad that it was imperative to keep concentrating
from the first minute to the end of the match and defend solidly, in order to
both gain a clean sheet and a valuable three points. He also warned that we
must not underestimate Westside as their position in the league meant nothing,
and to spare nothing in getting those vital three points.

The Gaffer decided to use
the 3-5-2 formation with Kemp being rewarded for his recent efforts with a
great opportunity to start his competitive first team debut in goal. Both
Lampert and Monksfield were to play as wing backs, with Harding, Evans and
McDougall operating as the back three. Burns was placed in his usual holding
midfield role, working alongside Sellers and Gregory. Finally, the two Daniels,
Hogan and Ailey were played upfront. Would they be able to tame the Lions of

The referee got the game
underway but to the Gaffer’s great disappointment, FDFC conceded a free kick
outside the box after only two minutes, the resulting delivery of which
required Kemp’s intervention to stop it from going into harm’s way. Soon after
though, Sellers slotted a great pass through two square defenders on the left
flank and found Lampert in space. Lampert then played the ball across the goal,
for Ailey, who sidefooted the ball against the post and then luckily hit in the
rebound. This goal was a special one as it meant Ailey had broken the FDFC
record for scoring in consecutive games by getting his name on the scoresheet
for the

EIGHTH game in a row. Massive congratulations to him!

The game was not over,
however; the Gaffer urged all the players to keep their focus on the job. And
so it proved, with further chances coming – Gregory had 3 great opportunities
to score, two of which were one on one. As usual, he failed to convert any of

This did not prove to be
too costly when Hogan showed great opportunism to perform an act of grand
larceny on the back four and play it in to Ailey, who made no mistake with his
powerful shot to make it two-nil. Yet the misses continued; Sellers wastefully
shot (or was it passed) at the goalkeeper after having done all the hard work
in playing a great one-two with Hogan to crack open the Westside defence. A
course at the ‘Daniel Ailey School of Shooting’ beckons for Sellers and

However, Sellers made up
for it by being first to a deep cross from a corner and half-volleying the ball
across the six yard box for Evans to gleefully head in. It was alleged that his
smile could be seen from CanaryWharf!

The possession football
being played by FDFC was such that Westside spent long parts of the match
chasing the ball. Further chances fell to FDFC, but none were converted and so
the first half ended three-nil. The midfield three were functioning very well-
Burns did a great job in looking after the back three and kept the game simple
by keeping control of the ball and playing in Sellers and Gregory, who were
constantly making runs to support the strikers. 
Sellers was often surrounded by Westside players but somehow kept doing
his Harry Houdini impersonations and getting out of tight situations. Let’s see
if he can magic up a goal eventually! In addition, Lampert and Monksfield
worked very hard to ensure that the flanks were covered when FDFC were on the

During the half time talk,
the Gaffer expressed how delighted he is with defensive system and the quality
of some of the play, and wanted to see more of the same in the second half.
However, he wanted to cut down on conceding free kicks in our own half, aware
of the need to preserve our lead. He also reminded everyone that we can not
afford any slip-ups if we wanted to keep up with AFC Cubo and to go into the
second half with 100% focus.

In the second half,
Monksfield almost scored immediately from the kick off but couldn’t quite reach
to a through ball, and the opposition goalkeeper gratefully seized on the ball.
FDFC continued to play as a unit and applied a lot of pressure on Westside
throughout the second half. From a corner, Ailey got his third hat trick of the
season by heading the ball in off the crossbar from close range, with a bit of
help from the Westside goalkeeper. FDFC kept the ball very well but missed
several chances through Ailey, Hogan and Sellers. Evans also headed a freekick
from Hogan against the cross bar, of which he rebound would have been put away,
if it was not for a controversial offside against Evans’ run.

Later on, Hogan played a
great 1 – 2 with Ailey and dummied his way past the last covering defender and
slotted the ball past the keeper to give FDFC an Hawaii 5-0. Kemp continued to impress the
Gaffer on his debut by blocking a goalbound on one to one and made an excellent
save from a low shot heading goalbound inside the far post. However, these came
about as a result of defensive slip-ups which need to be rectified in time for
closer matches later on.

On the 70th
minute Harding’s dead leg forced the Gaffer to make a change by bringing on
Willis to partner Ailey, with Hogan dropping back to left wing and Lampert
taking up Harding’s role as left centre back. Willis had a great chance to
notch up another goal when heading the ball towards the far post from Hogan’s
intuitive cross, only to see the Westside goalkeeper make a terrific save. A
few minutes later, Ailey scored for the fourth time of the match and grabbed a
quarter of a century goals in 14 games by latching on to a trademark raking
long ball from Evans and holding off the covering defence to place the ball
past the ‘keeper to claim his 4th of the match and to put FDFC 6-0

Substitutions soon began to
come thick and fast; Waller came on for Burns who was rushed off for the
airport to catch the flight to Ireland
to attend Ireland
training the following day with Waller playing right winger and Monksfield
moving into the holding midfielder position. Then Vorster made his 150th
competitive appearance, (equalling the Gaffer’s record), by replacing McDougall
in right side of the back three. More FDFC pressure forced a late corner,
whereupon Willis was the quickest to react to Sellers’ goalbound header by
blasting the ball in from close range to make it 7-0. And then the full time
whistle went.

The Gaffer awarded the Man
of the Match to Remi Sellers for his terrific overall contribution to FDFC’s
play and flow and for his two assists in the match. It has to be said, though,
that there were a few contenders on that day, such was the quality of FDFC’S
performance. The Gaffer said as much to the team, expressing delight with the
strong performance overall, but showed concern with the loss of focus after 70 minutes,
stating that it is vital not to concede goals at all.

Next week Fulham Deaf are
home to a tough side, Yourstory FC, for a league match and are due to play
against Nottingham Deaf in the quarter final of the England Deaf Challenge Cup
next day at home too.

Final score Fulham Deaf FC 7 – 0
Westside FC (HT 3 – 0)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Monksfield, McDougall
(Vorster 76), Evans, Harding (Willis 70), Lampert, Burns (Waller 75), Sellers,
Gregory, Hogan and Ailey.

Subs not used :- Sarraf