Fulham Deaf gets off to a winning start

by / Saturday, 13 September 2003 / Published in FDFC Men

 Grit, determination and some lady luck was enough to record Fulham Deaf FC's first victory in their first league match of the season against Barnslake. On a high from their 7 – 0 win against MMB, Barnslake arrived with determination to build on with their impressive start by taking control of the match. Fulham Deaf FC found themselves on the back heel for most of the first half hour.

It was due to the eventual man-of-the-match goalie Paul Lambert who performed heroics to keep us in the game, with his commitment to get to the ball first before anyone including his fellow defenders.

With errors creeping out of our game plan, Fulham Deaf FC began to settle down and hold the ball in possession for most of the reminder in the first half. It was at the beginning of this spell where Jeffers kept in long ball in play near the left corner flag with excellent control. Despite being surrounded by two defenders, facing the corner flag, Jeffers managed to turn past one and crossed the ball at chest height across goal to the loosely marked Drury who volleyed it home creating a bulging net. Admittingly it was a welcome goal against the run of play and what a goal it was created from an almost impossible position.

Minutes later, a controversial penalty was awarded to Barnslake for reasons unknown except to the referee. The Fulham supporters cheered their delight and approval after seeing the ball being blasted wide left of the goal.

Half time came; Westbury replaced Fox, moving into the left midfield slot with Beese coming into centre midfield. The second half started with a more positive feel for Fulham Deaf FC in the teamwork and 50-50 balls resulting in our favour. After excellent work by Drury, Pendley and Jeffers, confusion was heaped down onto the Barnslake's defence who created an own goal from just five yards out.

With 35 minutes to go, Coker replaced Stubbs at right back and had an immediate effect on the match with his darting runs along the right wing. With constant penetration into the opposition's half being achieved by Fulham Deaf FC, surely a third goal would come? It had to and it did from Harewood who received the ball with his back to goal just inside the box from the left. Harewood skilfully turned left and around his marker and booted it past the goalkeeper's left into the bottom corner of the net.

Two moments of the second half worth mentioning was the string of passes from Coker, Pendley, Drury, Jeffers (including a back heel from Coker) from near our own right hand corner flag all the way up to near the opposition's penalty area where the ball was deflected over the bar. It would have been an early contender for 'goal of the season' alongside Harewood's cannonball free kick which slammed against the crossbar, down to the ground 2 yards from goal and back up again twice the height of goal. This awesome power from Harewood was made all the more remarkable considering he shot past the Barnslake's wall to goal (or rather the crossbar) from 30 yards out.

Adaji came on into centre midfield for Jeffers who came off with a swollen closed left eye after an accidental elbow. Pendley moved upfront with Harewood. The remaining minutes saw Fulham Deaf FC controlling the match to a safe conclusion with Barnslake resorting to desperate long balls.

Final score Fulham Deaf FC 3 – 0 Barnslake (half time 1 – 0)

Fulham Deaf FC Line up:

Lambert, Gill, Campbell, Stubbs (Coker 55 mins) Sarraf, Beese, Drury (Captain), Pendley, Fox, (Westbury 46 mins), Harewood, Jeffers (Ajadi 74 mins). Subs not used McGreevy, Shanks.

Christof Niklaus
 Fulham Deaf FC Manager

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