October’s round-up of the squads
In unfamiliar surroundings for most of the October being away fixtures, the First Team had 1 home game, 3 away games. The Reserves had a whole month of away fixtures.
October proved to be another difficult month with a similar pattern of inconsistency from September month of having a full strength squad. Team members had their reasons for not participating though our aim for the forthcoming months is to reduce player’s absences. As stressed before, availability is a priority.
First match of October was a great disappointment whereby our aim was to make a campaign in the cup sections. Sadly our ambitions for the first cup game was cut short very prematurely by Chessington KC, a Premier side above our league which we narrowly lost 2 – 3 to. An impressive side, however their two goals were deemed as “flukes” though this was no excuse as we had equal amount of chances, if not more, to knock the opponents out to proceed to the 2nd round of the Teck Senior Cup. Lack of persistence in keeping the pressure on them gave them breathing space at the end of the match to capitalise in injury time. Full credit to them for keeping us at bay during the match.
Consequently, a league match was the next focus against former Premier side Dynamo Pimlico away at Decker’s Sports Ground. It was imperative for 1st team to win the league match to bag three valuable points to capture the position of being top of the league table. Admirably, the players bounced back from bitter defeat to Chessington KC a week before to a convincing win. Having played against the side in previous years, it was thought the 1st team would be in for a difficult ride which was proved in first half hour of the match but settled down nicely as we capitalised on the opponent’s errors and with an excellent counter-attacks clocking up six goals in total. It was a delight to see the team playing a good performance grabbing five goals in the second half after leading 1-0 at the interval. Despite scoring six goals, the score line could easily have been in double figures after missing numerous chances.
Away to Surrey South East Combination league side Sutton High FC, the pitch was uneven and quite bumpy making us believe that it would affect our style of playing the decent passing game. Having never played Sutton High before, we did not wish to underestimate the quality of this team which we soon found out in the first ten minutes when they had a very strong possession over us causing the 1st team a lot of problems. It was very disappointing to concede a soft goal but stormed back after a re-arrangement in formation. Start of the second half was promising with a good step up in tempo, decent crossings though found it difficult to convert a goal to equalise. Strong sunshine didn’t help matters but we were still a force to be reckoned with. A calamity of errors led to a corner being taken from the opponents and once again they found the net. 2-0 down. With another tactical re-arrangement, belief was instilled into the team and managed to bring the goal deficit to one. Sadly our perseverance didn’t pay off and we got knocked out again in the first round of a cup section.
Last match was probably THE most crucial league match of the month as it was a test of resilience and character when only 12 1st team players were readily available! The limited selection of the squad meant we had to be extra careful to avoid injuries against a very physical Wandsworth Corinthians at Putney. It was laughable to find we played on a surface so bad that it looked like the rugby pitch that was adjacent to us. Right from the start, they were attempting to out-psyche us physically but as expected we did not let down! Despite it being an ugly game we had tolerated well throughout the game. At interval, we reminded ourselves that a WIN was imperative, an absolute must at all costs. A tactical change in the second half proved worthy for building the only goal of the match though a few more goals would have been ideal to further cushion our goal difference but the unevenness of pitch just didn’t help matters. It was a huge relief to get three points from that “rugby” pitch.
Once again it has to be said, as said at the start of this round-up; it is of absolute importance that there is consistency in players’ availability. It is, however, a delight to see that in the first two months the objectives have been fulfilled as we are currently unbeaten in the league after playing 7 league matches with 6 wins and 1 draw in the bag. Long may it continue and that my boys is up to you.
With a short stone’s throw up the A3, for this fixture against the top team of the league Summerstown Reserves. We arrived with expectations to come out of this fixture with some promising football, but with the pitch being very bouncier than a fully-inflated Bouncy Castle on it’s best day, we struggled to control the game, and to assert ourselves into the game, they scored first and then we hit back with a quick goal which raised our spirits up, and unfortunately they had exposed us in the gaps, and capitalised on the gaps and scored a fair bit from then. This is something that we’re working on to eliminate in the future.
This was on a lovely day, sunny but yet not so cold. We arrived at the pitch near Esher, with high spirits, with camaraderie flowing in the squad. The home team (Lower Green Reserves) were very chivalrous. We started the game positively, and was controlling the game, but the home team was getting frustrated, and resorted to commiting fouls to put us off our passing and pressing game. It didn’t help matters that the referee wasn’t exactly helpful. They scored some soft goals, which some of them should’ve not counted due to numerous fouls committed before the eventual move that would lead to the goal. We played some nice football, but we need to commit more in the final third and make our finishing more decisive.
For the first competitive deaf football game this season for the Reserves, we went all the way to Llantwit Major, Wales. With the squad travelling in cars, we arrived to the pitch surprisingly on time or early. We had some time to look at the pitch, and it was a lovely one, as Llantwit Major AFC kindly provided the pitch that their semi-professional team plays their football on. We started quite positively, using the space behind the defenders to utilise the pace of our forwards to capitalise on. Llantwit Major stringed together some lovely passes and movement into the box, and scored a goal. We pulled one back, courtesy of our young forward Jacob Willis, who becomes FDFC’s youngest goalscorer at 15 years old and 6 months. We made some silly mistakes, which cost us goals, but we did match Llantwit Major in some spells into the game, producing some nice attack play, but we need to be more consistent over 90 minutes, and from this game alone, there is more positives to see and we will practice on our shortcomings and make sure that we capitalise on our attacking play more.
With many injuries crippling the squad for this particular fixture away to Surbiton Eagles which would see us complete our 4th game away on the trot. We started pretty well, attacking them, and containing them, and producing some neat football that we’ve been producing of late. We had some lovely chances to take, but somehow we didn’t. They scored 2 soft goals later on in the game, and a brilliant freekick from the left hand side of the box. We are getting better all the time, and the team’s morale is still high and the belief that we can do better is getting stronger all the time.