First game of the season and it was one of our three trips up north.

Alexandra Palace is a long way from Morden but it isn’t the hardest to get to by public transport. That is until, there’s a passenger on the line at Warren Street, and the Victoria Line is part suspended. If whoever it was, thinks they’ve got problems, they want to try and herd 14 blokes around London every Saturday!

We built in plenty of slack in the meet time, the 3s take note, so even with our detour, arrived at the ground 50 minutes before kick off. The youthful enthusiasm of the team, yes you read correctly, youthful, meant we were changed and warming up in plenty of time to kick start our season at full throttle. And full throttle we did.

With four debutants in the starting XI and two more on the bench the squad had a fresh look. As all six are under 26, two even still in their teens, it also drastically lowered the average age. Despite the new line up we started well, with the old hands organising well and leading by example, and it wasn’t long before we were putting the AP defence under pressure. It was this pressure that meant AP surrendered possession to Tom Rowe out near the right wing. Tom beat his man, ran into the box, and calmly curled the ball round the oncoming keeper. Midway through the half, no real pressure on our goal, and one nil up. This was already much more enjoyable than last season.

It wasn’t long before we were two up. Milo played a good ball into the left channel and Tom was again one on one with an AP defender. This time his strength and power saw off his challenger and after steadying himself he finished well at the near post. Turns out a quiet Friday night in pays off, doesn’t it Tom! We dominated the rest of the half without creating many other opportunities but equally not allowing AP any clear sight of our goal. Woody and Tilley dominated midfield whilst Tom and Milo kept us on the front foot.

AP started the second half better and we were soon on the back foot. We hadn’t really got going and then Rat suffered a bad ankle injury and had to be substituted. We reshuffled and AP threw more men forward but our defence stood strong with Clowesy and Ben in particular making key clearances. Special mention goes to Siri in goal who made some good saves whilst generally being a commanding presence. The half didn’t go past without us creating more chances and on another day Vanny could’ve come away with his own brace. However, there were no more goals and we saw out the half to record our first victory of the season.

Well done to the debutants; Siri, Ben, Nick, Milo, Sam and Jonny, who all played an important part. Also a well done to our ref on the day, who’s game management and communication was very good. He was particularly good at seeing when a foul wasn’t simply a bad challenge but that the ball was there to be kicked!

MOTM = Tom Rowe

Line up: Siri, Ben, Rat (Sam 59), Clappers, Clowesy, Nick, Woody, Tilley, Vanny (Milo 85), Tom, Milo (Jonny 68)

Posted in Match Reports 1s