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1st XI 5 Clapham 6
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  dog

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Joined: 27 September 2010
Posts: 99
Posted: 24 April 2017 at 10:32pm | IP Logged Quote dog

1sts 5 Clapham 6
Scorers: Jake, Matt, Conor, Alex, Callum OG

Old Ignatians 5 – 6 Clapham Old Xavarians

One word to sum up Saturday at Loyola – unbelievable!

So much happened I can’t remember half of it…. I think it’s
fair to say that for 85-90% of the time this was one of our
best performances of season. However, some poor decisions
and individual errors meant that we gifted pretty much
every goal to Clapham. It’s pretty much a fair reflection
of our season and the last few seasons….scoring great goals
and playing pretty well but naivety and lack of game
awareness meaning we leak goals and lose games.

A beautiful sunny day greeted us and with the main pitch
starting it’s summer transformation, we headed over to
Bulls Cross. With Tommy washing a final few cars in an
attempt to raise a few more quid for his charity donation
(London Marathon) and Rory leisurely making his way to
Wembley (please note Porter also let the side down by
trudging off with 20 minutes to go to get to Wembley – I
could have told you before the start it wasn’t worth it),
we lined up with Joe in goal; a back four of Dan Porter,
Ena, Matty O and Callum O’G. Ren sat in his hole with
Sean, Eoin O’G and Alex in the middle with Jake and Con up
top. This week also saw the return of Eoin ‘Kim Jong’
Culligan from his extended knee rehabilitation programme in
the Swiss Alps.

We started the game well, looking to pass and keep the ball
and we were rewarded with the first goal. Some good play
across the middle ended with the ball at Jake’s feet just
inside the box and only the keeper to beat – 1-0!
Then, we tried to overplay, twice! It’s more than likely
that Ren pumped balls into a congested midfield and the
midfield got picked off. As instructed Porter had galloped
up the line trying to create overlaps, but their left
winger decided to take a chance and leave him go. The
result was it looked like Porter was AWOL and the ball
broke to mentioned left winger who punished us twice –
naïve. 1-2!

Then probably came the goal of the game! We win a corner
and Con whips in a wicked ball around the penalty spot,
where Matty O powers home a header – 2-2!

Just before half time Clapham have a corner – they whip
into the front post which Joe should probably catch.
Instead a ‘continental’ punch ends up back with the corner
taker who whips in another cross to a unmarked forward who
taps in from a yard. 3-2 down at HT.

Into the second half and more good play in midfield, saw
the ball drift over to the right hand side. It ended up at
Con’s feet who dropped a shoulder inside and unleashed one
from 25 yards straight into the top corner. Easily the
second best goal of the game! 3-3.

After a scramble and a quick break, their front man broke
free and after Joe made a good save, the ball ended up at
his feet for a tap in. 3-4.

Alex then notched another back for us, after a nice touch
in the box from a mish*t Con shot and drilled one past the
keeper 4-4.

We then went down again after giving the ball away on the
edge of their box. They break and launch a long ball from
just outside their box. Ena misjudges a header and they
are through again for 4-5.

Once again, after good play across the middle, the ball
ends up on the right wing and a deep cross is met by a
galivanting Callum O’G who tucked a volley away into the
bottom corner. Very similar to Monreal’s on Sunday. 5 -5
and with only 5 minutes left, surely that’s it!   

Not to be….Alex and Callum teamed up on their right winger
and it seemed there was little danger, however Alex was
tempted into winning the ball and gave away a free kick on
our left hand side about 30 yards out! We had dealt with a
pretty big and physical side well for the majority of the
game, but they whipped a ball pretty much directly under
the far post and one of their big lads got up above our
guys and headed home with the last kick/head of the game.
5-6!

There were huge positives from today. Against a strong
Clapham side who still needed points to guarantee promotion
we dominated possession and looked really threatening,
scoring some great team goals. As we’ve known for years
though, we really need to be stronger defensively and not
concede when we turn over possession. The last few weeks
have really seen performances pick up and if we can keep
the squad together and continue to improve then surely some
success is round the corner. Since Christmas, we’ve not
lost a game by more than one goal – if we could have
conceded one less goal a game, things could be looking very
different!

A disjointed Man and Muppet vote (as everyone was either
watching Spurs or the twos) saw Matty O (or possibly Con)
win MOM and Con doubled up with Muppet after attempted a
sliding tackle with neither the ball or anyone else near
him!    

Matt
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