Well last Saturday was the best VIP lunch day ever! 3s win the league, 4s win an epic double header at County Road and Vets storm to Victory on the expansive Southfields. Whilst it is Easter weekend the 1s are at home at Southfields so if you're at a loose end get yourself down to watch and help us #Keepthe1sinthePremier
3s COXA 3'S 2-0 Old Suttonians 4's
Old Suttonians 4's 1-1 COXA 3's
Joe McLoughlin, Stan Christoforou, Dom Mcloughlin, Carlton Dickson, Conor Keable, Dom Taggart, Ben Dakin, Tom Macgregor, Karl Velinor, Matt Drury, Luke Michael. Sean Slater, Louis Keable, Jacob Browne.
We went into the game knowing that 4 points would clinch the title for us. It has been a strange season, we have been top since the first week when we put 5 past Hampton, and for the first few games we put everyone to the sword and it looked as if it was a case of when not if we won the title. However, we hit a series of roadblocks on the way, we lost key players to long term injuries, we let points slip to Crosbeians and Sedcopians, we even lost to a poor Wandsworth side with only 6 first team regulars. Our season went from 'lets win every game and smash all the records' to 'lets make sure we don't let this slip'. An unbelievable last minute victory at home to Crosbeians put us in an excellent position to wrap up the title this weekend against the old foe Sutts.
We were the only game on at Sutts this Saturday and with a couple of their higher teams having a free week there were a few "alright mate nice to meet you, where am I playing"s flying about. The first game was played at a high intensity, even though Sutts didn't have anything to play for they looked eager to spoil the party, they had an energetic midfield 3 who were putting themselves about in the first 20 mins, unfortunately for them, this is Dom Taggart's bread and butter. Nothing got through Dom all game, he won every duel, tackle, header he was involved in and you knew with him sitting in front of the back 4, Sutts were not scoring. Sutts resorted to playing the ball over the top to their 6'5 striker, but Carlton and Dom Mac were more than up to the challenge. Carlton cleared everything in his path and even took a boot to the head along the way. This solid base allowed players like Tom and Ben to make some magic happen further up the pitch, Tom's close control and agility enabled him to wriggle into the box on a couple of occasions only to be denied by last ditch tackles and saves. Ben Dakin was in complete control of the game and dictated the way we played, he sprayed some brilliant balls out to the wings and over the top to Luke. On a couple of occasions he picked out Ryan Babel on the left wing who's physical presence was causing problems for the opposition. In one particular instance, their gym freak CM attempted to bosh Karl off the ball but Karl (who eats 6 roast chickens a day) did not move and looked at him in disgust.
Strangely, we looked dangerous from set pieces. One effort from keyboard crashed off the crossbar and both Dom and Carlton were causing havoc from corners and free kicks. We finally took the lead through a brilliant Luke Michael finish, he smashed the ball into the top right hand corner and was mobbed by the whole COXA team. Luke has become a serious goal threat as the season has gone on, starting out a hard working RM, he stepped up to CF to fill Samir's shoes and has done a great job this season. The game was tight and being played at a good pace well into the second half, it wasn't until the final 15 mins that we put the game to bed through an exquisite lob from Dom Taggart. As soon as that goal went in we felt like the title was in the bag, the oppo's intensity dropped and it was a matter of 'how long ref' for the final 10 mins. The boys were relieved as soon as the final whistle blew and though we still had another game to play, we felt like we had done the hard work.
The second game had a completely different feel to it, we made all of our changes and gave some key players a rest, we welcomed back Jacob Browne who quickly made his presence known, the shout of 'centre' has been much missed in Division 4 South. It was a very typical Jacob performance, he wanted the ball constantly, even in dangerous areas and on a number of occasions drove the ball into the final third and let shots fly at the opposition goal. He christened his return with a fantastic left footed strike which dipped into the far corner beautifully. Later on in the game he got booked for threatening to call the police for an AM after a member of the opposition touched his cheek, rustler.
The one player who stood out in the second game was Tommy Mac, or Yossi Benayoun as he was branded by the oppo. The ball found its way to Tom 6 yards out with roughly 15 to go but he scuffed his effort wide of the target. However, Tommy is not a player who doubts his ability so he kept on knocking on the door, eventually, in the dying moments of the game, Tommy mac was through again, but he couldn't beat veteran Sutts keeper Luca who kept him out and celebrated with his defenders like the Italy back 5. It was a shame that we didn't knick it at the death but either way, we knew the title was in the bag so it didn't hinder our celebrations.
We've still got two games to go and it would be great to go out with a bang and finish the season with a big lead. Shout out to the 4's who are in the midst of a title challenge themselves, hopefully we can end the season with two trophies in the locker!
Up the Clapham.
So....despite not playing....i still produce!
“Don’t worry Richard…im sure someone else will write a match report…they cant be that hard.”
3 days later……..
Did you ever do a jigsaw puzzle with an image that you have never seen?? That a lot like this!
John Fisher were welcomed to Fortress Norbury for the highly anticipated DOUBLE HEADER in front of all the VIP Old Boys.
The fixture made more spicy by the fact that both teams are pushing for the league title and both teams hold amazing records in the league. Defeat today for COXA would end any chance of them winning the league.
COXA were missing a lot of key players due to the ski season and this chap performing in Leicester square (more on that later)
That didn’t stop Clapham from fielding a very strong squad for the 2 hours of football that was to follow. With probably the second largest crowd of the season (yes, I am counting Woking @ Wandsworth Park…that was like over 100 people ‘watching’) COXA kicked off.
A tight affair in the first half saw not much action other than the horrendous injury to J-Bucks. Getting his studs caught in the turf and going down could have spelt bad news for the men in green. Just aside from the world of football, we all wish Jamie the best in his recovery and will look forward to seeing him up on his feet soon.
The game continued in the same style of the first, with lots of battles going on in the centre of the pitch. What else would you expect with 2 evenly matched teams.
The result of both games hung in the balance with 20 minutes to go, as from previous experience, taking a win into the 2nd game of a double banger can really give you a massive edge.
The game changed when with 15 minutes to go as Fisher scored to take a 1-0 lead.
Did COXA collapse? Did they give in? Did their heads go down? FCUK NO! (sorry Luke…you gotta edit that)
15 minutes to go and COXA set up camp in the Fisher box. Putting balls into the box, creating chances and were rewarded by scoring 2 late goals…that I have not yet been told how they went in…but im sure they were dece. Actually, Harmer scored…so it probably came off his knee or something.
AMAZING SCENES. 1-0 down, 2-1 up and the full time whistle goes. Muted jubilation from the team as the job was only half done. NOW to finish off the fisher-price ™ men. OR as Davey Hamilton would put it…time to BATTER them. You know…because of the FISHer. No? ok…well, I liked it.
Second game….where does this rank in games that I didn’t play in or see, but have been told it was the craziest matches to have ever been involved in? Id say it was up there in top spot.
I can only summarise it as best as I can.
The score was 2-0 but felt quite inconsequential given the hilarity that was to ensue.
Cagey first half (again) with a lot riding on it. 3 points is still 3 points after all…not much happened other than the Fishermen complaining at the ref.
Second half started and Adam Jones grabbed the game by the scruff of the next, and put in a ball to Harmer, who nodded in the first goal to make it 1-0 COXA. Bullet header.
If that was brilliant, what happened next was down right stupid… Fisherman defender was messing around at the back with the ball. Harmer does what Harmer does best…knicks the ball of him and pokes the ball in the back of the net. After a bit of tooing and throwing during the game, Harmer celebrates the way that he does, like a twat. ( I mean…I love playing with him…but I would hate to play against him). The fisher CB decides he has had enough and squares up to our helpless Harmer. Poor helpless Harmer (lol)
A bit of handbags and the ref decides to book the fisherman. Oh wait….the fisherman doesn’t want to be booked.
Do you remember Fifa 94? When you committed a foul, you could spend 10 minutes ‘running’ away from the ref? THAT is one way of avoiding a card. The other is to just KNOCK THE REFS NOTEBOOK OUT HIS HAND!!! Yes, dear reader, that is what this player did. A right COUNT.
I have seen many a bad tackle, many a push, but never with any recourse. So to get sent off at our level is amazing.
Soon after a penalty after Jimmy walker (not the pro golfer) got felled. Harmer offers it to Jimmy who declines. Cue Tommy (the goalkeeper) running the whole length of the field to want to take it. CRAZY scenes…but Tommy sensed his chance to add a tick in the goal column. After seeing reason he gets sent back in goal. Harmers pen saved. Still 2-0
11 v 10 for the rest of the second half and 2-0 down. So what do you do? how do you respond?
I tell you what you DON’T do. You don’t moan at the ref and then walk off the pitch as the game is still going on. Once again, dear reader, I kid you not. Dave Hamilton finds himself through on goal…and all the players have walked off the pitch. So…kindly gives them the ball back and they walk back on. They boot it back and start leaving the pitch.
Mark Stern. Mark Stern. MARK STERN. Never scored for COXA. Ball came to him on the left wing and players started walking off the pitch again. He stares down the goal…can he? Will he? SHOULD he?
No he doesn’t. He once again, kicks the ball out. Im all for sportsmanship….but…YOU TWONK!
For some inexplicable reason, once we convinced them to get back onto the pitch, they had all the possession in the final 15 minutes, and Clapham had to do some actual defending.
Final whistle went….they stormed off in a huff…refused to pay. COXA celebrated and ate cheese and drank beer.
COXA 4's want to say thank you to the VIP Old Boys for sticking with the game and supporting us and also for the Whip you stuck behind the bar. It made the evening more enjoyable!
What a day…
Updated 14:56 - 4 Apr 2018 by Frank Barretta