Joined: 07 December 2015
|Posted: 04 October 2016 at 5:51pm | IP Logged
Enfield Old Grammarian’s Vs Old Ignatian One’s
Enfield Old Grammarian’s 1 Old Ignatian’s 1
MOM: Matt ‘Macaulay Culkin’ O’Sullivan
Muppet: Tom Martin
Our first away game of the season, happened to be the one game that everyone looks for as soon as the fixtures come out in early September; a proper North London Derby to put some of that rubbish down at S**** Hart Lane to shame. GRAMMAR away! This season the 1’s team is a relatively newly assembled team and we were coming into the fixture on the back of our first win in the league and a resolute performance against Norseman in the cup that saw us through to the second round.
The pre-match build up consisted of talk around the evening’s plans – The first, first team social of the season. Please read the Post Match notes for further detail. Nolan yet again managed to open the team’s minds to the latest ‘fashion’ these days. Dave O’Grady appeared to be particularly impressed with how one T-Shirt can possibly have so many colours on it. Fine Town was also in full motion, with a full car of O’Grady’s turning up late. Conveniently enough, Culligan who turned up even later than Dave and the gang managed to ‘forget’ the fines book at home. Unfortunately no one escapes Fine Town! The pre-match music consisted of some Shaggy and Usher blaring out of the speakers. If that isn’t enough to get the lads fired up for a game, then I will never know what is! Anyhow onto the game…
We lined up with Joe O’Grady in goal, Sean McDermott at left back, Sean ‘Noland’ at right back, with Macaulay Culkin and Eoin ’27 Birds’ Culligan as the two centre backs. Callum Barton started on the left wing, Eoin O’Grady on the right, with the ever dependable partnership of Renaldo Gracias and Tom Martin in the middle. Jake Watson and Brendan Brien led the line, up top. That left Liam O’Grady, Conor O’Grady and Jack Barton sitting on the bench. It was clear from the first whistle, that the changing room music had, had the desired effect as the team started in quick fashion, knocking the ball around nicely and setting the tempo of the game. The first half-chance of the game, came in the opening minutes, as good work down the right, saw the ball swung in, with Jake struggling to keep the ball under control and scuffing a shot into the keeper’s hands. Around 10 minutes had been played when Brendan Brien was forced to go off through injury. At least the boy is consistent – He only managed to last the same amount of time in the Last Man Standing competition. On came Liam O’Grady in his place, with Dave deciding to put Tom Martin up top with Jake, (Yes no one knows what Dave was playing at either). To be fair to Tom he was proving to be a thorn in Grammar’s side, with his work rate running the Grammar defence ragged. A few more half chances were squandered by the team with Tom and Eoin O’Grady firing over the top. It was not long before the deadlock was broken though.
A Grammar corner was swung in and cleared well by the defence, landing perfectly at the feet of Jake on the edge of our box. Having watched Callum Barton’s ‘Braveheart’ charge down the field against Norseman last week, Jake felt he could go one step further. Charging down the field, like Mel Gibson high on speed, Jake ran from the edge of our box, all the way to the opponent’s penalty area, gave the defender the eyes and was brought down for a stonewall penalty. This made up for his pathetic attempt of a dive in last week’s game. Having played his role in winning the penalty, Jake decided to bottle actually taking it and left it down to Captain Renaldo to step up and take it. The result was never in doubt, ruthlessly dispatched into the bottom left hand corner. Boy wonder just can’t stop scoring. 1-0 Old Ignatian’s. Within minutes of the opening goal, Jake was presented with a glorious chance to double our lead. The Grammar winger played a misplaced pass, which completely split the Grammar defence wide open and landed pinpoint at Jake’s feet. Jake raced through on goal and with only the keeper to beat, smashed the ball over the bar. A good chance wasted. A few more half chances were wasted by the side, mostly set up by Matt O’Sullivan, whom decided today was the day to show that any 70 yard passes Steven Gerrard can do, he could do better. Gary Neville and the Monday night cast are clearly teaching him well.
The final ten minutes of the half saw Grammar have a few good chances themselves. A ball played in between Matt and Nolan, allowed the winger to squeeze in behind, with Joe making a great save to keep the scores level. Joe was again called into action, not long after, tipping the ball wide from a long range strike. Matt then found himself in the referee’s book, just before half time and from the resulting free-kick Grammar curled it just over the bar. The half-time team talk consisted of very much going out and playing the exact same way again. The team was dominant in the first half but knew that Grammar would come out fired up for the second half.
In typical Old Ignatian fashion, the second half was in total contrast to the first half, with the team struggling to keep the ball effectively. A lot of passes were being misplaced and as a team it was definitely our worse half of the season in terms of keeping possession of the ball. One of the positive things to note was the way in which we defended as a team. Despite Grammar pumping long balls forward for the majority of the half, the defence and midfield dealt with the majority of Grammar attacks comfortably. Both Matt and Eoin were leading the team superbly from the back. The first big chance of the second half fell to none other than Tom Martin. The ball was swung over from the left hand side and with practically an open goal to aim at, Tom headed the ball straight at the keeper. This miss brought back memories of Darren Bent’s infamous miss against Portsmouth. In the words of Harry Redknapp on that day, “My missus could have scored that one.” Tom Martin had another good chance to put us two goals clear soon after, having been put through on goal by Ren. Tom managed to round the keeper but gave himself too tight of an angle to squeeze the ball into the net. With 25 minutes to go, Jake was replaced by Conor O’Grady up top and Jack Barton came on for his brother, who yet again managed to injure himself. Rumour has it, Callum was just saving himself for his big performance on the night out. Our only real opportunity from then on in, came from a counter attack down the left hand side. Conor O’Grady was charging forwards with the ball and reached the edge of the opposition box. It seemed all he had to do was play a pass across to Ren for a free shot on goal, however the Grammar defender did well to block Conor’s through ball just in the nick of time.
The closing twenty minutes saw Grammar on top and trying to get back into the game with an equalising goal. Despite Grammar starting to have a lot of the ball, the team was defending well and restricting Grammar to playing in front of us and having long range shots. Joe O’Grady made a great save to tip one long range shot onto the crossbar and over. Despite the team more than warranting a clean sheet, Grammar managed to score with the last chance of the game. A shot from the edge of the area was dropped by Joe and the Grammar striker managed to poke the rebound into the net. The final result finished 1-1, a devastating way to concede so late into the game. On the whole we had the better chances and could have won but in a tight game, a point was arguably a fair result.
Man of the match went to Matt O’Sullivan, who put in an outstanding shift and led the team from the front. Honorary mentions go to Eoin Culligan and Tom who both also played well. Muppet went to Tom Martin for the absolute sitter of a miss, which could have got us the three points.
The first team decided to tear up Central on Saturday night. The general characterisations of the night out are that Matt prefers to be ‘Home Alone’ on his Saturday evenings, the O’Grady’s came out to not get fined, Renaldo and Tom only came for the food afterwards, Barton and Nolan like Munters, Cullycoys is now known as ’28 birds’ for stealing Jake’s bird and somehow McDermott has come across as the only sensible one out of the lot of us.