[Matt Creasey | Contributing Writer]
Herts of Midlothian (3) – (0) FC Royalty
The afternoon of Wednesday 29th October 2014 started off cool and calm, however tempers became more and more uncontrollable in this, the first match of the afternoon, as did the weather, ensuring that all supporters got a nice soaking. On the plus side, at least it wasn’t windy. The first half was well battled in the midfield, and after stealing an early lead through George Thomas, Midlothian sat back and were happy to simply pass the ball around. Debutant Aaron Nelson looked lively when he came on, appearing to show good signs of potential that captain Alfie Jackson will, undoubtedly, look to relish this semester as the season-end already looks as though it will be a tight encounter.
In the second half, Midlothian pushed forwards a bit more and were able to use Nelson’s pace down the right flank to their advantage, getting in behind FC Royalty’s defence on a number of occasions. It wasn’t until the last 10 minutes, however, that the scoreline changed, with Jack Dodgson coming on and making it 2-0, before George Thomas earned himself a brace just before the final whistle was blown. Alfie Jackson was very creative throughout the match, making some good runs both with and without the ball, and, despite Midlothian dominating this match and appearing to have shaken off the cobwebs that held them back in the previous week, FC Royalty’s number 10, David Goodluck, deserves a mention for all of his efforts at trying to break through the Midlothian midfield and have a go at goal. All in all, a good game to watch but there was only going to be one winner on the day.
ManChestHair (2) – (0) Sex Drugs and Carlton Cole
The second game of the afternoon on New Gen One was between two teams that had both lost on the opening day of the campaign; so this was to be a pivotal game for them both if they were to have any say in who would top the league at the end of the season, and play in the cup final against the New Gen Two Champions. The game started off very physical, particularly in the midfield with some good challenges going in from Sex Drugs & Carlton Cole’s Jake Flanders and Daniel Allum.
The first goal came completely against the run of play and was a counter-attack resulting from a mountain of gradually piled pressure from a sharp SD&CC side. The ball was cleared by ManChestHair and was taken forward swiftly in order for them to benefit from the lack of defenders back in position for SD&CC. The ball was bundled into the back of the net from inside the 18-yard box, after a number of ManChestHair players shied away from testing out the SD&CC goalkeeper. SD&CC immediately piled the pressure back on again, but to no avail. They saw a powerful Allum shot come close but that was the nearest they came to celebrating anything before the break.
The second half was very much the same story, with SD&CC having much of the possession, winning most of the 50-50 balls and proving to be the better side. ManChestHair did perk up a bit more in the second half, using the pace that they had up-front to their advantage, and forced a penalty to be awarded to them in the closing stages of the game when the SD&CC captain, who appeared to be carrying a knock by this point, lazily stuck a leg out in the box and tripped a ManChestHair forward. To add insult to injury, the captain was given a straight red card and ManChestHair made no mistakes with the penalty.
A disappointing day at the office for SD&CC who can expect better results in the coming weeks, as long as they can keep their heads if decisions don’t go their way.
Mouthampton (5) – (1) AC A Silhouette of Milan
The final match of the day commenced as the lights were getting switched on at New Gen Pitch One, but was most definitely worth the wait. Whilst the AC supporters were very vocal and optimistic throughout, the class of Mouthampton shone through with the yellows taking an early lead through striker Luke Durrant. There were also impressive link-ups down the right wing involving both Durrant and Jack Reed, and it was through this combination that the next goal was scored. Mouthampton were running the show for the first half, very organised from the back right through to the talisman up top; every player seemed to know his role inside-out and played it to the top of his ability, something that must make Captain Samir very proud to see.
Mouthampton had a slow start to the second half and began to get complacent, conceding a goal early on. They showed good character, however, to put the goal behind them and restarted as if it were 0-0 all over again. Terrence Moore made lots of creative, yet slightly over-ambitious, runs at times but managed to contribute in both the third and fourth goals, and they rounded it off right at the dead with a fifth for good measure to make them the only team in either division to win both of their first two games.
A very one-sided game with a fair scoreline, although Mouthampton could have scored double that amount had they been more clinical, but they were very organised with Darryl Smith holding everything together at the back very solidly and Jack Reed dropping into the middle of midfield for the second half patrolling in front of his defence. Mouthampton certainly showing, at this stage, that they could be strong title contenders come the end of the semester.