Joined: 27 September 2010
|Posted: 08 February 2017 at 1:45pm | IP Logged
Old Ignatian’s 1st XI vs. Enfield Grammar 1st XI (Lost 3-2)
Man:- Jake Watson
Muppet:- Matt O’Sullivan
After a frustrating loss to Southgate Olympic from a last minute goal last week, the 1st XI hosted big rivals Enfield Grammar, a huge game for any Old Ignatian.
The majority of the team were on time, and fired up to go out and beat a team who are typically full of mouthy, aggressive players. Eoin O’Grady remembered to bring his ear plugs, after last week he was left mentally scarred from listening to Tom Martin’s pre-match story about what he had been up to the night before. Eoin Culligan and Sean Nolan missed the game through injury, with Conor O’G still easing his way back into action. It also turns out that the tooth fairy is evil, and kept Liam O’G locked up with a toothache. Liam had promised he’d be available for the next game, but I can confirm he grazed his knee at training and it looks like he’ll be out for the rest of the season, get well soon mate.. onto the game.
We lined up with big Joe McHugh in goal, Dan Porter, Matt O’Sullivan, Callum Barton and Sean McDermott across the back line. Rory sat in front of the back four, with Tom Martin, Eoin O’G and Alex Youngman in a three ahead of him. This left Jake up top with Renaldo just behind him. Conor O’Grady and Conor Gaffey were on the bench.
It’s safe to say we didn’t start very well, and a Matty O’S free-kick from the right back position, failed to clear the striker standing in front of him, and it ricocheted into one of the Grammar forwards path, who slotted it away nicely into the bottom left corner, 0-1.
Things went from bad to worse, Grammar played a long ball over the top, and Matty O’S attempted headed clearance sailed into our own top corner. 0-2. Fortunately, Matty went on to have a solid game afterwards.
With the game heating up, the tackles started flying in all over the pitch as we looked to pull a goal back before half time. Enfield Grammar started a stick insect in the middle of the field, who I’m pretty sure was on Jeremey Kyle last week, claiming his daughter was his mother. He and another of Grammars players were booked for two late and reckless tackles, and the way the game was going, it looked certain at least one of them would be sent off.
Just before half time, Jake used his blistering pace to get down the wing, and pull back a great cross that Renaldo smartly stepped over and left for Eoin O’G, he took a touch, and typically blasted the ball over the crossbar, another sitter missed for him. Rumour has it he couldn’t finish his dinner, and living in the same household as him, I can confirm this to be true. Half-time 0-2.
Despite being 2-0 down, we had the better of the play, and the majority of ball possession, we were just lacking a bit of quality in the final third. Dave O’G urged the team to keep the work rate up, and more of the same all round, minus the mistakes. Joe McHugh looked as good as usual, Sean Mc and Dan P were solid, and got forward well. Matty and Callum (who had just come back from a hamstring injury) looked well suited for each other. The boys in midfield were all working hard, Tommy was his usual hard working self, Alex and Eoin O’G looked good on the ball and both worked hard. Renaldo’s strength helped as he kept the ball well, as he constantly looked to feed Jake through. Jake Watson was his usual threat with his pace and strength.
We started brightly in the second half, and got exactly what we were looking for. The ball dropped to Jake on the edge of the box, who shifted it onto his left foot, and bent it into the top left corner, great goal! 1-2.
Conor O’G then came on for Eoin O’G, and Conor Gaffey came on for Rory Brien. Both seemed to have immediate impacts, with Conor O’G taking on his man, but unfortunately blasting over the bar from the edge of the box. Gaffey had a good shot saved by the keeper, and another tipped onto the post. The game was ours for the taking.
With the oppo’s stick insect being subbed at half time as a precaution, after kneeing Matty O’S in his private area, he crawled back onto the pitch and started flying into challenges again. Against the run of play, Grammar countered, with the ball being played into their strikers path; he finished well past Joe McHugh, who had made a few great saves previously, 1-3.
The boys kept pushing, and as Conor O’G whipped in a corner, the referee awarded us a penalty for a foul on Matty O’s. Renaldo stepped up and slotted it away to make it 2-3, with about 5 or 10 minutes left to play. We pushed and pushed, and a great run from Jake Watson led to him being completely taken out, and what looked certain to be another penalty was waved off by the referee, poor decision.
With a couple of minutes left, we won a free kick about 25 yards out. Conor O’G stepped up looking to level things, but saw a good effort smash off the crossbar, and the Grammar defence cleared the ball from danger. The game soon finished, and we were all left feeling a bit hard done by.
Lots of positives to take from the game, but also a few things to work on. Need much more quality in the final third, and to cut out silly mistakes all over the pitch.
Jake Watson won MOM for his goal and work rate. Matty O’S got the muppet vote for his two mistakes early on. We go again next week.
P.S. There was a great turnout for the 1st team social that night, with the Spurs boys comfortably defeating the Arsenal boys in the bowling. Conor O’G with the high score, and Dave O’G with the low score of the night.
Thanks to Tommy Martin for organising, and to everyone who turned up, great night!