The regular match reports are below.
Special shout out to Harry from 1s who represented the league side last weekend, led them to a win and much acclaim from the league for his performance. A great honour to be selected and for the club to be represented. Fist pumps all round!
Also shout out the 4s, see match report below, with a 7 nil win!
Let's get a clean sweep this weekend!
COXA 3'S 4-3 Wandsworth Borough
Joe McLoughlin, Stan Christoforou, Jack Coy, Dom McLoughlin, Conor Keable, Dom Taggart, Ben Dakin, Jacob Browne, Sean Slater, Matt Drury, Luke Michael. Joe Radford, Tom Macgregor.
The boys were buzzing for this one, with the 1s and 2s both not having a game we had been given Southfields. We are used to part time farm land pitches and bowels of curry that require 6 table spoons of salt for flavouring so the idea of a carpet pitch and wings and ribs in the Earlsfield had the boys excited. It was all going well until I got a text from my CB Liam late Friday night 'Think iv broken my toe, will let you know how it feels in the morning'. Now, you never really know with my players if people are injured or are just winding me up as they seem to have a sweepstake on who can get my blood pressure the highest, so I didn't take it too seriously. However, I got the message at 9 in the morning on Saturday confirming he still couldn't walk, on top of this, he had the kit. With my blood pressure at a record high I gave Del boy a message seeing if he had a centre back up his sleeve that could fill in last minute. Shout out to Del for getting someone to fill in for me, and shout out to Jack for coming down last minute, picking up a black eye and putting in a solid CB performance.
With the match before us ending at 13:10 it was tricky to get ready for the game, the ref wanted to get going as soon as the previous match ended, however, sergent Keable led a quick warm up and we blasted a few balls at Joe so by our standards we were ready. We didn't start the game too well, we were sloppy in possession and at Southfields if you give the ball away in midfield you are under pressure as there is acres of space in behind the back four. It was in this manner that we conceded the first goal, we gave the ball away in our own half and with one through ball the oppo were in on goal to finish a 1vs1. This goal was a wake up call for us and almost as soon as we conceded we started opening the game up and spraying the ball around confidently. It was great to welcome Ben Dakin back after a month out with a cracked rib, he played some brilliant balls out to both wings and through the middle to Luke, with his link up play, paired with Dom's James Milnerness and Jacob's goals and assists we have a really balanced midfield 3 and they had full control of this game. We hadn't been 1-0 down too many times this season so we were looking for someone to step up and get us back into the game. We thought before the game that we would be weaker from set pieces without Liam but we got our equaliser through a corner. The ball was swung in by Jacob and Dom McLoughlin fresh with the new fade came through with the bullet header, his first goal for the Clapham. At this point we were really on top, we were getting joy down both wings and particularly from working the ball down the wing and cutting it back to our CM's who were finding pockets of space in between the midfield and defence. We like to call this move 'CENTRE'. For those who read my reports every week, you know what happens next, yep Jacob scored another banger. The ball fell to him on the edge of the box and he drilled it into the side netting, it was a brilliant goal, im sick of it. We went in 2-1 up at the break.
We knew the next goal was crucial so we started the second half well, we had the majority of possession and created a couple of early chances. We made in 3-1 early on in the second half through a well worked goal finished off at the back post by Matty. At this point, we thought the game was won, we began to waste a couple of chances, Jacob, Tom, Sean etc all guilty of snatching at chances and as the half went on our play became sloppy, our structure was all over the place and we were just waiting for the final whistle. Wandsworth decided to make it interesting for the fans by grabbing one back with 15 to go. This gave them a head of steam and they spent the next five mins camped in our half looking for an equaliser, I'm sure last week was running through a lot of peoples heads as we again became panicky in possession instead of just keeping to ball and seeing the game out. As the oppo pressed for that elusive goal we managed to free Tommy Mac on the break, as he told me after the game ' I just wasn't getting the ball Stan, give Tommy mac the ball and he will deliver.' Yes he really did say that. At 4-2 with 5 mins to go it looked like we had finally put the game to bed, there was a slight scare however as the oppo scored in the last min to make it 4-3 but luckily the ref blew the whistle immediately after.
We then proceeded to demolish a couple of platters at the Earlsfield whilst watching England win at the rugby and franticly refreshing our live score apps waiting for man like Sakho to pop up with the winner for Palace, not bad for a days work.
MOM- Dom McLoughlin
Di¢k of the day- Liam (Broken toe) Keable (Questionable Scarf)
Up the Clapham.
Today we were on the look out for the lesser spotted clean sheet.
Not a common creature in Norbury but rife in places like Stamford Bridge and Old Trafford and lovely place called Molinuex.
14 heroic adventurers prepared themselves for the task ahead. Whilst getting ready, there was talk around the campfire of the previous time the clean sheet was spotted. Also, of near sightings of this illusive beast.
Standing in these Clapham explorers way, were a bunch of old tennis players.
These angry and volitile characters are sparse and rarely on time for things. Noticeable by their blue and white markings, the old tennis men usually have a leader. This one must have just woken up from his hibernation, because he was a grumpy muthafucka. I have to say though...he played very well considering there was a sniper on the roof trying to shoot him. I mean...that's the only reason he went down on 5 different occasions without being touched and claiming injury, right?
Something that clapham have found a lot of this season is goals. goals, goals, goals. In the first half alone, clapham grabbed 5 of these bad boys, with some great football. Greg, Adam, Jay, Marcus and (I'm just guessing here) Smiddy Jr bagging the goals. We still had enough in the tank for Smiddy Jr and James to miss from 1 yard and 5 yards out with nothing to beat. Still...gotta love a trier!
Half time and Clapham were on track. With the goalkeeper only called on a handful of times to sweep up some through balls and back passes, Clapham looked strong.
Big angry old tennis man got angry at something or other...probably the wind, and got a yellow card. Which made it even more fun to wind him up....like poking a bear with a stick. You know you shouldn't...but you just want to, to see what happens.
A second half brace from Rich Smith took care of the goal haul, but the clean sheet was the main target.
Whilst that was going on, we took on a few contenders for Jay Buckerfields moment of the week. There was a super strong contender with Marky Stern at RB, who controlled the ball on the edge of the COXA penalty area, did a keepy uppy over his and the strikers head, only to pass the ball to the oppo, but if Jay Buckerfield is on the pitch, you know something will happen. And this week it wasn't 1 thing. It was 3. 3 outrageous long range shots. 2 from free kicks 45yards and 50 yards out and a volley that Robin Van Persie and Paul Scholes would have been proud of, that crashed onto the bar and away. Alas...no goals...and ultimately pointless. Well done Jay.
The problem with trying to find this tiny creature. The 'clean sheet', it can get very tiring. People throwing their bodies about, people getting kicked in the knees and running around like...well...I don't know what..but retrospectively it looked really amusing Greg. I guess that's why you won man of the match. That and the fact that you made the right winger look absolutely pathetic. So much so, that he got subbed off and never came back on. He also spent the whole of the second half saying that 'this isn't my game, yeah. This is Sunday league standard and I'm better than that'. Lol.
A quick word on Rich's last goal, as the ball was lofted up towards him, Rich used his Akinfenwa strength to spearhead the defender to the ground. Get back on his feet and lob the goalkeeper. Much to the delight of the team and the disgust of the old angry tennis players.
Just as Clapham were done celebrating finding another common goal, there it was. The lesser spotted Norbury clean sheet. As a loud whistle sound was heard by a man wearing all black, there it was, staring the 14 intreped adventurers in the face. 'Its so beautiful' said Harmer. 'I want to lick it' said Whitts.
Angry that the old tennis players didn't find their own clean sheet, they went home in a huff.
Right now, I'm sitting on my sofa, sipping a whisky made somewhere in Scotland, cuddling my clean sheet. Just as I am sure you are too...or taking it out for a knees up...po-tato, pot-ato.
And that my friends is all about the day we caught the clean sheet. There are more out there and by smashing the old tennis men around, more may come our way as we strike fear into some of the other teams around us.
Until next week, you lovely people
COXA IV 7 - 0 Tenisonians III
Report by Rich Critchlow
MOTM Greg Ambrose
Updated 13:53 - 6 Dec 2017 by Frank Barretta