|Posted: 12 October 2016 at 6:58pm | IP Logged
Fulham Compton Old Boys 4 Old Ignatian’s 2
MOM: Eoin ’28 birds’ Culligan
Muppet: Joe O’Grady
After the previous weeks disappointing last-minute draw with rivals Enfield Grammar, the lads were eager to get back to training and approach the next game against Fulham Compton Old Boys who boasted an identical record after three games. W1 D1 L1.
But firstly, before the week’s training commenced, the missing pieces of Saturday’s social were finally put together. It turns out Nolan may not have got bottled after all (or there were no scars to prove he did) and Callum didn’t actually pull a munter, it just sounded fitting to sing at the time per Tommy Martin. It was rumoured some of the boys couldn’t handle the Saturday nights antics and suggestions of ‘Cinema night’ have been put to the Social Committee for the next social. We await the committee’s response.
After another solid training session, gaffer Dave O’G encouraged/ forced everyone to dowloand the running app Strava and record their additional sprint training before Saturday. Fair play to the lads, most were able to log impressive times and so we thought we’d be fit and raring to go for Saturday’s game. Let’s see how than panned out…
The dreaded trip to Barnes (Sawff London) begun with Waterloo at 12pm being the meet time. This was easier for some rather than others, Tommy even had time to grab a McDonalds meal (in addition to the Nandos and bottle of wine the night before) before the others arrived. Whilst we waited for the last man Brendan Brien to arrive, the ‘word of the day’ was in full operation. Mr Fines' Eoin Culligan issued that no-one was 'to use each other’s first name' from 12pm until the warm-up commenced, with each use of a first name resulting in a contribution to the fine kitty. Someone should have explained the rules to Baby O’Grady as he ended up being caught out several times, enough to contribute to some popcorn for the next social perhaps?
The line-up was the same team that started against Grammar.
Joe O’Grady in goal, Sean McDermott at left back, Sean Nolan at right back, with Matt O’Sullivan and Eoin Culligan as the the two centre halves. Callum Barton shrugged off a tight hamstring to start left wing,Eoin O’Grady (a couple of quid lighter) on the right, with Renaldo (the polite Spaniard) Gracias and Tom Martin in the middle. Brendan Brien’s groin held up despite his sprint for the train and was joined by Jake (still waiting for a text back from the brunette at BeAtOne) Watson. Liam O’Grady, Conor O’Grady and Jack Barton took shelter from the rain on the bench.
In complete opposite fashion to the previous week, the team just did not get going. Within a few minutes the I’s were one nil down to a long-range effort from Compton’s left winger. Joe will be disappointed he did not do better with the shot but seemed to lose his footing when moving across the goal to save the ball. 1-0 Compton.
After finally managing to get the ball on the deck and play some football, a nice through ball from our midfield saw Jake put through for a half-chance but Jake shot wide. The signs were there that Jake had the legs on their defenders which was encouraging. Failing to build on this, Compton (playing 3-5-2) managed to press hard winning back possession in the middle of the park and before we knew it we were 2-0 down.
30 minutes in and The I’s pushed on to win a freekick wide right in a dangerous area. The inswinger was cleared out too Eoin O'grady who, with a clever Cruyff-esque turn, lost the defender to whip in a ball which Brendan Brien leaped highest to delicately glance the ball into the far left corner. 2-1, Game on!!
Despite the lads now eventually getting revved up from our pedestrian start, this did not last long as we found ourselves giving away a careless free kick. Compton whipped the set-piece into the box which Joe O’Grady came to punch. Their attacker was first to the ball and nodded it goal-bound towards the open net. Matty O had other ideas, he put his Strava tekkers to use and dashed to clear the ball off the line sending the ball up into the air. What goes up must come down, and with Matty O still on his arse, the Compton poacher was the quickest to react and tapped the ball into the open goal. This summed up the first half. We hadn’t won the first ball and we weren’t winning the second ball either. 3-1 down.
Dave’s half-time teamtalk focused on us winning our individual battles and having more urgency with our passing. Sean Nolan made way for Liam O’Grady at half time to inject some pace down the right flank, this also gave Nolan time to reflect on his shocking foul throw. The second half started more promising with the I’s getting hold of the ball and creating a few chances, however not long after the half-time whistle Compton had scored again with another header from an in swinging freekick. 4-1 Compton.
It was kitchen sink time now and we had to go for it. Sean McDermott made way for Conor O’Grady who slotted in behind the strikers in a 3-5-2 and Jack Barton came on at left wing to replace Liam O’Grady who came off with a dead leg. Conor made an almost immediate impact by showing electric pace to latch onto a through ball, however the Compton keeper came out quickly to narrow the angle and smother the shot. The fight and spirit in the final 20 minutes was there to be seen. Callum Barton went close with a powerful strike to the keeper’s bottom left with the keeper pulling off a fine save to keep it out. Not long after, an I's cross from the lefthand side found Brendan Brien timing the offside trap to perfection. Brendan neatly chested the ball down and slotted it past the keeper. 4-2.
The last 10 minutes saw the I’s battling hard to grab something out of the game, we even sent Matty O up as striker, however the damage from the first half was done and we had left it too late. The game ended in a 4-2 win for Compton.
To add salt to the wounds, there were only freezing cold showers at the changing rooms which were more like a garden shed. As the team digested the chicken korma provided by Compton, votes for Man and Muppet were cast.
Brendan Brien, with his two well taken goals, can take positives from the game. However it was Eoin Culligan who won Man of the Match with another solid performance at the back- glad to see he's finally watching those videos of Koscielny on YouTube. Although, it must be said Eoin, next time you attempt the Xavi Alonso cross-field diagonal, please don’t kick it straight to their striker and put him through on goal.
Tommy Martin ran Joe O’Grady close for muppet of the match (some even said Renaldo covered more ground than Tommy during the match?), however Joe just managed to secure the votes.
With the long train journey home to reflect on our performance, the lads know they will need to up their game and cut out the individual errors next week when playing top of the league Park View. Bring it on!