Saturday 5th December 2009

SSEC Senior League Cup 2nd Round

Fulham Deaf FC v Ashtead FC

On a unsettled day at Motspur Park, FDFC welcomed Ashtead to resume our league campaign after last week’s cup victory over Nutfield. Interestingly enough, we would be playing Ashtead for the third and last time season, following league (away) and cup victories over them.

The Gaffer, welcoming back Ironside, who was donned in his new ‘generously fitting’ FDFC management top, opted for a 3-5-2 formation, with returning captain Evans reinstalled into the heart of defence alongside Lampert and Harding. The midfield was made up of Swift and Willis on the left and right flanks respectively, with Bovino playing a deep anchor role to allow Burns and Sellers the opportunity to dictate the play. The two Daniels (Hogan and Ailey) were put upfront for today’s game.

Despite two wins in the preceding two games against Ashfield, the key theme was not to allow complacency to creep in today. After an uncertain start, FDFC should have gone one-nil up when Ailey wasted a great one-on-one chance by skied the ball over the bar after only five minutes on the clock.

With the opposition showing little bite upfront, FDFC continued to create chances, even if the midfield was not completely in full flow. Further chances came and were wasted by Ailey and Hogan, when disaster struck. After a long period of slow possession, Harding made a hash of receiving a long pass, which let the Ashfield forward in for a two-on two situation. After finding his partner with a well executed chip over Evans, the ball was then dispatched with another chip over Roberts for a good quality finish that sent shockwaves through FDFC’s line-up.

The response was immediate- the team woke up and combined to give Ailey a chance that he could not miss to give FDFC an immediate response. Gradually, FDFC began to impose themselves on proceedings and created further chances, with Ailey converting another and a penalty being confidently taken by Lampert (when was the last time he missed one?!) to give FDFC a 3-1 lead at half time.

Despite the scoreline, the game was by no means done, as Ashtead were still looking to take the game to FDFC. After further chances being spurned by FDFC, including a shocking miss by Hogan when he was put through by the Ashtead goalkeeper passing to him, it was Ashtead who pulled a goal back against the run of play, when a half cleared header from a corner fell to an Ashtead player on the edge of the box. His resulting half-volley flashed into the corner of the net, much to the chagrin of the Gaffer, who reached again once more into his jumbo pack of beta-blockers.

Fortunately, the number of chances FDFC created meant that at least some would have to go in, and Ailey settled matters soon after by scoring another close range finish and setting up Waller for an opportunity to round the keeper and slot the ball in, which he just about managed to do after under-hitting his finish and almost allowing the Ashtead captain to recover. And this came after he had somehow hit a shot wildly over the bar from a corner, after he had come on for Willis!

The midfield gained cohesion when the formation was switched back to 4-5-1, and Ailey took full advantage to put a couple of coats of Dulux emulsion on the performance by hammering in a ten-minute hat-trick to get five for the game and 19 in 12 games so far this season.

The final score was 8-2, and it has to be said that this was not one of FDFC’s best performances and they will need to improve in order to beat Your Story in this week’s away game. Full credit for Ashtead for not giving up until the end; their attitude and commitment brought its reward in the two goals they scored. The Gaffer personally hopes that Ashtead will be able to steer away from relegation at the end of this season as they are a decent bunch of lads, led by a manager, Geoff Douglas, who has already made his mark on the Gaffer with his generosity! Gaffer was disappointed not to be able to repay the favour and offer Geoff a few drinks afterwards as he had to dash home.

The Man of the Match was given to Ailey for equalling the record for most goals scored in one game, although he could have smashed it out of sight by scoring ten! Daniel Hogan was also another culprit, and he will be rueing those missed chances too.

This week, FDFC travel to Your Story in an attempt to continue the team’s winning run in the League. Your Story drew against Merton Abbey 1-1 on the same day, which indicates a tough match to come if Fulham Deaf are to remain unbeaten!

Final score Fulham Deaf FC 8 – 2 Ashtead FC (HT 3 – 1)

FDFC Line-up :- Roberts, Lampert, Harding, Evans, Swift, Burns (Gill 65), Bovino (PJ 75), Sellers, Willis (Waller 60), Hogan and Ailey.

Subs not used :- Allison, Pafe