Apologies for the delay in getting the team sheet out this week. Perhaps still recovering from a classic chairmans last Friday, blessings to all who attended #PrayHands. A couple of match reports below and all teams except the 1s back to it this weekend. Big Cup game for the Vets so if you are local please show some support. Also a number of players representing the league rep side on Saturday hence why the 1s have some relief as otherwise would have a weakened squad, good for the club with so many fighting for league rep team places.
See you soon!
Saturday 3rd February 2018
1st XI vs. NO FIXTURE – Spare Week Contact: Matt:
2nd XI vs. Old Wokingians 2nd XI
Kick Off: 14:00
AWAY at Kingsmeadow Playing Fields, Loop Road, Woking, GU22 9BQ
Instructions: All players to meet at the ground at 13:00. Hospitality
after at the ground.
3rd XI vs. Old Sedcopians 3rd XI
Kick Off: 13:15
HOME at Southfields Academy 3G Pitch, 333 Merton Road, SW18 5JU
Instructions: All players to meet at the ground at 12:15. Hospitality
after at The Earlsfield for Oppo, Ref & COXA players
Contact: Stan: & Dom:
4th XI vs. John Fisher Old Boys 1st XI
Kick Off: 14:30
AWAY at Rear 192 Limpsfield Rd, Warlingham, Surrey, CR6 9RD
Instructions: All players to meet at the ground at 13:30. Hospitality
afterwards at the ground.
Vets vs. Shirley Town FC – Cup Game
Kick Off: 13:30
HOME at Club Langley, 2 Hawksbrook Lane, Beckenham BR3 3SR
Instructions: All players to meet at the ground at 12:30.
Contact: Mike: & Steve Gordon:
Old Wokingians 4's 1-3 COXA 3's
Samir Michael, Louis Keable, Dom McLoughlin, Liam Thornton, Conor Keable, Dom Taggart, Sean Strachan, Ben Dakin, Luke Michael, Stan Christoforou, Josh Ewin. Karl Velinor, Niall Walsh.
As I said to the boys in the group, this game had banana skin written all over it, we hadn't played in 6 weeks, our goalkeeper was working, our top goal scorer was injured and both the captains were out on the piss at the chairman's the night before a long away trip to Woking. This was a game I'm sure we would have lost in seasons gone by. Big shout out to Samir Michael who stepped up and went in goal for the first half, the IPL is fast approaching and Samir told me he could do with some catching practice before flying over to Chennai for the season.
There wasn't much football being played by either side for the first 15/20 mins, the pitch was boggy and both sides were struggling to hold onto the ball, it was a case of both teams trying to play long balls over the top. Unfortunately, one of these long balls over the top struck the hand of Liam as he had it raised in the air appealing for offside.. extremely unlucky (or stupid, you decide) but luckily the intimidating stature of Samir put off the striker and he missed the target altogether! Lifeline for the COXA. We normally struggle in games like this as we are considerably smaller than the other teams in our league but we more than stood up to the challenge this week. Dom Taggart deserves a lot of credit for setting the tone in the middle, there was a time when Dom fancied himself as a young Ronaldinho, a fresh faced youngster who hugged the touchline and attempted step-overs and flicks at the most outrageous times, but these days appear to be over, he now loves a header and a slide tackle that he has no right to win, and we needed this more than ever on Saturday. It was appropriate then, that D Tags opened the scoring. There was some great work from the right winger (who is wasted at fullback the oppo captain told me) who fizzed the ball across the face of the goal for Dom to finish. This got the boys pumped, we knew chasing a game on a pitch like this would be tough.
We were growing into the game and the back four were winning their personal battles, Liam and Dom M were happy to deal with a physical challenge as they love a scrap, if you left them two alone in a room they would probably end up scraping each other, oh wait.. but this aside, the midfield were starting to put some passages of play together, Sean had clearly been watching 'best of hazard tricks and flicks 2017' on youtube last night as he decided to play one touch flicks all over the park which the oppo struggled to deal with. Sean set up the second goal as he was clean through on goal but unselfishly (he was shook) decided to pass to Luke Michael to make it 2-0 at half time.
We were very happy with our first half performance. We felt in control and it was just a matter of seeing the game out and getting out of there with the unbeaten run intact. Samir wanted to come out of goal, he told me he used to play as striker before he got into cricket. Me and Dom decided to give him a go so fortunately Dom M put on the famous yellow jersey for the second half, despite his boxing injury.
The second half was short of talking points, we had plenty of opportunities to put the game to bed but you could tell we hadn't played for a good few weeks, there were a few wayward attempts. We did finally manage to get the killer third goal, Samir turned neatly and beat two men before finishing past the keeper. Turns out he was decent so me and Dom are going to keep him around. All of the chat after the third goal was 'clean sheet' 'clean sheet' and literally until the last kick of the game we managed to keep the oppo out, but a low drilled effort manage to just evade the fingertips of Dom and nestle in the bottom corner, a frustrating end, but a brilliant win considering the circumstances. Big game against Seds next week and an opportunity to open up a big gap between us and the chasing pack.
Up the Clapham.
Cold and wet is a theme over the last few weeks...however...its always better when you get a result.
Let's start by talking about our oppo witans. Or...witless....ha...am I right. I dont think ive ever played against a team that use football cliches as much as they did.
First min in...a long ball over the top comes through...I shout keepers really loud. Markus backs off and shephards the ball back to me. Meanwhile, they are shouting HE DOESNT WANT IT, HE DOESNT WANT IT. And I'm thinking...of course he doesnt...I shouted keepers god damn it!
There were more...but, I dont really remember them.
There were huge similarities to the last game we played vs Witless, they were very well set up and hard to break down. The only difference was the huge wind. Dave lost the toss but convinced the oppo captain to kick with the wind first half....advantage us.
Wind was playing havoc with COXA trying to clear their lines, not being able to get the ball over the half way line much.
Getting the ball on the ground and playing quick, one touch football really worked and got Clapham a few chances on goal, but were saved by the keeper.
Before the first half ended...we have our Richard Smith gaffe of the week. Step up Smiddy Sr...2 weeks in a row. This week, Mr bad boy doing a great shift at left back turned back inside to play a back pass only to smash the ball 50 yards onto the next pitch for a corner. 'It was the wind...it was the wind'. Yes, Martin. Yes it was. OH wait a minute. Ive just been reminded of the "last minute" contender for the gaffe of the day. Yes....you know who you are Smiddy Sr and Gregg. Let's lump the ball into the corner and waste some time shall we??? Nahhhh...let's try and play it short and give it to the oppo to have a shot on goal. Top bants guys.
Half time....and honestly, it was even, but we had the fact that we had the wind second half. We had to use it to our advantage.
And we did.
Long kick up field from the keeper found a flick on and a kick out for a corner. From the resulting play a ball was spooned up into the air and with chaos happening in the 6 yard box, the ball bounced in for a og. Yes, and OG.
That pushed witless on more.
In quick succession, Critchlow made 3 saves, first from a one-on-one, second from a cut back and 3rd from a long ranger that he pushed to safety.
The bakery was closed! (Its an in joke...one I'm happy to explain to anyone that asks*)
Backs against the wall and counter attack football it was for the last half hour. But defending resolutely was the main theme of the afternoon and Clapham did it exceptionally.
There was time for Witless to have one last chance from the Greg and Martin freekick routine...but the striker blazed over.
Special mention goes to Dave Hamilton for channeling his innner 'Critchlow' and making a sliding tackle that started at least 5 yards away from the player and won the ball. BOOM.
The lesser spotted clean sheet was out in the rain and we captured it....and then safely released it back into the wild (we aren't savages). They might have to start remaining this tame beast.
Anyway....Jimbo Bailey got the MOTM...but anyone could have won it. Everyone 'put a shit in'. 'It was a game of two halves' 'we left everything out on the pitch' and many more of those cliches. See...witless...I can do it too.
Another ground out result that for a brief time (thanks league) had us back at the top. We sit 2nd and with the big teams still to play, it is in our hands.
Hmmm...looks like I wrote a match report without cussing. Dang it. I must be in one of those good moods ive heard about. Its a warm and tingling feeling. Nope. That's just my aloe vera shower gel working its magic on my private bits.
*there is a saying in Iceland "take him to the bakery" which means let's beat them. To some extent. So...during the warm up, I did a save and for some reason shouted 'not today...the bakery is closed'...misquoting a whole country. However....it kind of works as I closed the bakery... Meaning they couldn't beat us. Get it???? No? Oh well. I think it will stick.
MOTM Jim Bailey
Updated 11:02 - 5 Feb 2018 by Frank Barretta