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1st XI 3 Vaughnians 2
OIFC Forum1st XI Reports.

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Joined: 27 September 2010
Posts: 124
Posted: 26 September 2017 at 3:47pm | IP Logged Quote dog

1st XI 3 Vaughnians 2 (a) Middx/Essex AFA Cup
Scorers: Tom Martin, Kwadwo Asante, Alex Youngman
Man of match: Alex. Muppet: Jordan

Last week’s game was against Vaughnians in the 1st
XI’s opening cup game of the season. The venue was a
construction site in East Acton and the pitch was 4g,
so not the best of starts but soon after we were
ushered into a shipping crate to get changed we were
out on the pitch and ready to go.

We got off to a flying start, putting together a well-
calibrated attack from the kick off and ending up with
a near goal-scoring opportunity before the opposition
had even touched the ball. We continued to press well,
passed with purpose, maintained a strong tempo and
generally controlled the opening stages.

We had a number of opportunities early on, notably
Conor O’Grady circling the keeper but unfortunately
the angle proving too tight to beat the man on the
line. We hit the woodwork and got up well for set
pieces, missing the target marginally each time.

Soon enough the breakthrough came with Tommy neatly
finishing off a cross from the right wing, giving us a
deserved lead away from home. 1-0

Something then changed in our style of play however,
and the tempo seemed to drop, particularly when we
didn’t have the ball. Our composure seemed to wane and
we began giving the ball away cheaply, and in
dangerous situations. The opposition went close a few
times, largely due to our mistakes rather than by
design, which allowed them to grow in confidence and
create more opportunities. The pressure was sustained
and we soon found ourselves on the back foot against a
consistent offensive by a newly-invigorated Vaughnians
Before too long, a piercing through-ball was played
against our back line, which looked to most to have
been offside but the whistle was nowhere to be heard.
Their striker took a wide angle against Ryan and
slotted it in the bottom corner to make it 1-1.

The second half brought two injuries, one apiece, with
Ena landing awkwardly on his left leg, displacing his
fibula. Liam went to centre-back and Jack came back on
at left wingback.

A brief period of sustained pressure from us allowed
us to surge into the opposition box and come
dangerously close to scoring again, only for the
opposition to skew their clearance to the edge of the
box. As we picked the ball up outside the 18-yard
line, one of their players pulled up with an injury
which sounded painful but wasn’t immediately obvious
what had happened or why since none of our players
seemed to be involved in a challenge. Some members of
the opposition prematurely stopped in their tracks and
called for the ball to be played out, but the momentum
of the move and the closeness of the game meant the
ball was played through to Kwadwo inside the box and
he finished seamlessly into the bottom corner. 2-1

Following a heated exchange both on and off the pitch,
we agreed to allow the opposition to walk the ball
into our net as a sign of sportsmanship for their
earlier stoppage when Ena went down. 2-2

This incident lit the remaining stages of the game and
both teams were now fired up to go for the winner. We
had a number of opportunities to put the game to bed
but again couldn’t find the net, Conor O’Grady darting
passed his man from the right wing to pelt the
crossbar from outside the box being the closest of

Luckily, the winner came in the form of an exquisite
effort from 20 yards from Alex Youngman who launched
the ball into the top-left corner, past a helpless
keeper and much to the admiration of all who were
watching. 3-2

We managed to keep our composure during the closing
stages of the game and the opposition never really
looked like scoring, bar a couple of set-pieces in the
final few minutes. The game finished 3-2 and, on
balance, given the number of chances we had, this was
probably a fair result. There was a lot of room for
improvement though, particularly in the passing and
maintaining possession arenas – both of which have
actually been our strongest points in our games since
the summer break – but sometimes you have to scrap for
the win and we did so away from home on a challenging
surface. Bring on the next round. Hopefully on grass.

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