Saturday 4th September 2010

SSEC Intermediate Division Two League

Fulham Deaf FC
v Yourstory FC


During the month of August, the Fulham Deaf 1st team had 3 friendly
matches against Tooting Bec (currently in the Surrey Elite Intermediate
Football League), our annual Shield against Westminster Casuals and a final
friendly against Norton before Fulham Deaf 1st team started their
first Intermediate league match of the season against Yourstory on 4th

FDFC have held training sessions since
20th July; however, attendance has not been the best due to player
absences on holiday. This resulted in only three friendlies being held for the
1st team, and none for the reserves, most of whom managed to play a
part in the 1st team friendlies.

It was imperative for Fulham Deaf to
do well against Yourstory in the opening league game of the season and achieve
the maximum three points, as the club has not won an opening game in the league
since September 2007, when FDFC despatched Repton 5-0.

The Gaffer, Ayad Sarraf, was on his
own, armed with his trusty beta blockers, as his newly appointed assistant
manger, Martin Willis, celebrated his recent appointment by undergoing the
surgeon’s knife for a hernia operation. Assistant managers may change, but the
trips to hospital evidently do not. With the assistant manager being caged at
home by ‘her indoors’, the team selection was carried out by e-mail.

The team line up was announced in a
changing room full of players raring to go after the long summer break. However,
a bombshell was dropped when the gaffer’s new formation was announced, being a
revolutionary 3-2-3-2! Kemp started in goal, behind a back three of McDougall,
Moore and Arnold. Captain Evans and Gregory were selected to be holding
midfielders in between the back three, with three attacking midfielders in
Hogan, Monksfield and Swift. Charged with the responsibility of scoring goals
upfront were Willis and Wylde.

In the first half, Fulham Deaf started
brightly by quickly applying pressure on the Yourstory midfield and defence.
Soon into the match, Evans got hold of a loose ball and split the Yourstory
defence with a pass to Willis, which raced through and applied the finish to
give FDFC an early lead. Soon after, Monksfield scored his first competitive goal
for FDFC after being on the receiving end of a cross into the box by Hogan.

had to be said that Monksfield owed Evans and Gregory a measure of thanks, due
to their insistence that he get his ample weight into the box.

FDFC continued to play at a high tempo
after the 2nd goal, with Wylde lobbing the goalkeeper from distance
after good work from midfield to get his first goal for the club on his debut.
At this point, FDFC were 3-0 up after 20 minutes. Another goal soon followed
from an unlikely source as Swift’s cross-cum-shot was sliced into the Yourstory
net by the unfortunate right back. Gill then replaced injured Arnold who
suffered a nasty twist to his ankle. A short while before half time, Captain
Evans got in on the act, ghosting into the far post to nod in Willis’ excellent
set-up header across the goal mouth. The Gaffer may have wanted more goals, but
5-0 was a decent return for a reasonable first half’s efforts.

Despite the excellent 5 goals during
the interval, the Gaffer was typically unsatisfied, citing poor first touches,
a lack of quality passing and poor positioning. He also urged the players to
improve their first touch and quality of passing for the 2nd half.

During the second half, the Gaffer
couldn’t believe with his own eyes as FDFC made things difficult for
themselves, although credit has to be given for Yourstory closing down FDFC
quickly in an attempt to break up our play. Eventually, however, the pressure
told when Hogan fired in a typically precise finish to make it 6-0 after interplay
between him and Evans in the Yourstory box. However, FDFC conceded a goal soon
after as Gregory did not manage to head the ball clear from a cross. The
attempted clearance fell at the feet of a Yourstory midfielder who cracked a
powerful shot past an unsighted Kemp in the FDFC goal.

However, Willis soon scored his second
goal of the match and FDFC’s seventh by pouncing on the loose ball and planting
it into the back of the net after the Yourstory goalkeeper had palmed the
initial shot away.

A combination of Hogan’s persistence
and Evans’ precise pass allowed Monksfield to crack in another goal to make it
8-1 with a precise shot in off the post which left the Yourstory goalkeeper
with no chance.

Soon after, Bovino replaced the
hard-working Willis. However, the game was not yet over as a Yourstory
midfielder took advantage of some tired and poor FDFC defending to fire a shot
against the post, with the rebound being comfortably tucked away to make it
8-2. Soon after, an exhausted Moore was replaced by the Gaffer himself- trying
to show the ‘young ‘uns how it’s done’….

At the end of the match, the Gaffer
gave the team a good rollicking for making things difficult for themselves in
the 2nd half, and warned that an improvement would be required for
the next league game against Croygas Phoenix, who were relegated from
Intermediate Division One, and would be very keen to put in a good performance
against FDFC after losing their opening game to Merstham Newton 5-3.

The Gaffer awarded Bryan Moore the Man
of the Match award for his reading of the game and organisation at the back, as
well as keeping things simple for the team.

Final score Fulham Deaf 8 – 2 Yourstory
(HT 5 – 0)

FDFC Line-up :- Kemp, Arnold (Gill 35
mins), Moore (Sarraf 85 mins), McDougall, Evans (Captain), Gregory, Swift,
Monksfield, Hogan, Willis (Bovino 70 mins) and Wylde