Saturday 3rd October 2009

SSEC Intermediate Division Two League

Weston Green Sports FC 0 – 5 Fulham Deaf FC

The FDFC whole squad were looking forward to the league encounter against Weston Green Sports, who beat FDFC twice last season on the way to being champion of the Junior Division One last season. FDFC were keen to give them a good hard game to see we could show a big improvement on last season’s results.

Ayad Sarraf, the FDFC Manager had a quick discussion with Greg Beedie, the Assistant Manager in the bar to decide the crucial team line up. The team line up was announced in a darkened changing room and everyone seemed stunned to hear that FDFC were switching from their favoured 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2 formation.

At the beginning of the game, it can be seen that both sides were struggling to play decent football on an uneven and bouncy pitch, with poor touches from both sides being a common theme.

It was excellent to see Weston Green Sports struggling to cope with speedster Jacob Willis in the first half hour and target man Bryan Moore withstood firmly against his strong marker at all times. FDFC had chances to score but once again lack of finishing did not help although we got a corner, Nick Gregory and Phillip Swift played a quick 1-2 before Swift sailed the ball over into the penalty box where Captain Jonathan Evans intercepted the opportunity to side foot the ball into the empty net to lead one up.

We conceded too many corners and our FDFC defenders had to weather the inevitable long ball storm from Weston Green, who may have been able to scramble an equaliser, but FDFC were able to eventually clear the ball out of danger.

Ben Lampert scored a goal but was ruled out due to an offside which was controversial because opponent’s linesman flagged up whereas Lampert was not on offside when Lampert was behind the line of Swift’s position and receiving a delightful square ball from Swift. Willis could have scored but the ball went through between legs as he attempted to side foot it but passed the post. Swift got a 2nd goal from 10 yards in the penalty area.

Moore missed a great sitter in front of the empty net but amazingly his marker was there to block his opportunity goal out of the blue to stun Moore and the rest of FDFC players were gobsmacked! Great build up from the back to Moore whom he held the ball greatly outside the penalty area and simply passed ball to Gregory who decided to pass the ball to a free space for Lampert to pick up and blasted a great long shot that the ball whistled past the left hand post. Referee Dowdeswell blew for half time and the score was 2-0 up for FDFC.

During the interval, Sarraf expressed how delighted he and Beedie were with the first half solid performance but still bemoaned the lack of chances to score in the first half where we could have scored more than 5 goals in the first half. He ordered the team to cut down conceding the corners and need to improve in keeping ball possession in order to avoid the opposition’s strong long ball tactical and improve scoring goals! Warned all players that Weston Green players would never give up that easily as they obviously wanted to get back in the game and will give us a rough ride. No substitutions were made.

The 2nd half restarted. Weston Green Sports were eager to hunt for an early goal but our 3 central halves, Gill, Evans and Harding firmly did an excellent job to halt their long balls to give goalkeeper Roberts an easy job! In addition, Eoin Burns did his job superbly by looking after the central halves in sitting in front of them. Swift played a great long ball from the left side in our half that towards to the right side of the penalty area where Willis showed a great pace all the way attempting to get the ball where it looks like Weston goalkeeper was the first person to collect the ball but was too slow and Willis touched the ball forward and was chopped down with referee had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Lampert scored from the spot to bring FDFC 3 up.

FDFC then had chances by Gregory, Lampert, Swift, Willis and Moore but couldn’t put them at the back of the net. Lampert collected the ball from Gregory and played 1-2 with Swift before he ran the ball on the left side with about 28 yards and blasted the ball into the top corner on the left side with their goalkeeper have no chance to halt it.

At around 65th minute, Daniel Ailey replaced excellent hard-worker Willis for a tactical reason in up front. We continued applying pressure on their opponent’s back four. Gregory had a great opportunity goal when he broke through in the penalty area and everyone were stunned to see him miskick the ball with his left foot which had us finding it very amusing!!! Gregory was lying on the pitch for a minute trying to hide his embarrassed face.

Moore was replaced by Pafe Mike after his excellent job as a target man. Shortly later, Waller replaced niggling groin victim Evans with Lampert moving in place of Evans, with Waller moving to left midfield. Pafe and Ailey gave Weston Green a lot of problems with their pace and keep attacking at them towards the end of the match but Pafe wasted a chance when approached one to one with goalkeeper but his weak left foot fluffed the ball away but stormed back to get one goal himself when he grabbed the ball off an opponent player and hit a close range shot to get his name on the goal sheet.

Ailey burst past the defence on another run, but held on to the ball too long before shooting wide. Daniel Simmonds did his job well in looking after the right side despite lack of receiving ball much. Roberts had a quiet game but made a vital block save in the first half although his goal kick will have to be improved.

Sarraf thought it was an excellent result especially with a good formation 3-5-2. Also it is great to get first league win of the season and enable us to climb the table. It was a perfect 3 points, which was vital against the 2nd placed team. Thought referee Dowdeswell handled the game extremely superb despite it was a very hard game for him to control but full credit to him; he did a good job.

Sarraf is looking forward to the next big match against RH123 Athletic but unfortunately he won’t be available on the day as he will be in USA to attend his family wedding. So Beedie, Daniel Hogan, Martin Willis and Jonathan Evans will take charge of 1st team affairs.

RH123 Athletic replaced Weston Green Sports in the 2nd position of the league after victory over Merton Abbey 3-2. FDFC will be giving a hard game by them but relish the challenge to the match.

Once again, it was difficult to single out the man of the match award but Bryan Moore, Ben Lampert and Jacob Willis were contented to grab a man of the match but unfortunately had to choose one of them so Willis was deservedly awarded the Man Of The Match for his high level of commitment on the pitch, especially in that he was always chasing down the opposition’s back four whenever they had the ball and won the penalty that settled us down afterwards. Plus he showed great tolerance and maturity in accepting whatever punishment the opposition were trying to dish out against FDFC.

Final score Weston Green Sports 0 – 5 Fulham Deaf (HT 0 – 2)

FDFC Line-up :- Roberts, Gill, Harding, Evans (Captain) (Waller 75 mins), Lampert, Swift, Burns, Gregory, Simmonds, Willis (Ailey 65 mins) and Moore (Pafe 70 mins)