↑ Return to Match reports

Print this Page

2010 – 2011

11 September 2010 – Hamptonians 2 Belgravians 0

After an heroic effort on Saturday when we were effectively reduced to 10 fit men for 60 minutes of the game and 8 for the last 20, we lost our first game of the season against a well organised Hamptonians side.

It was pretty evenly balanced for the first 30 minutes before we conceded a completely freakish goal. Think Arsenal v Sheffield United a few years ago and you’re getting close. Except that this was even more ridiculous. 21 out of 22 players on the pitch had switched off by the time the referee whispered “play on” despite the linesman having flagged for offside. Ridiculously this meant the Hamptonians striker walking the ball over the line as we were about to take a free kick from the edge of our box.

Hamptonians were a decent bunch of lads in general but had Management been slightly more ballsy we would have walked off the pitch and not returned. Some of their players were embarrassed that they had decided to take advantage of a situation that was crying out for some common sense and Corinithian spirit.  What made it worse was the lineseman contradicting his original story. Typically we were too nice about the whole thing and didn’t make a fuss. Instead, it was left to Highamy at the final whistle to ask for the lineseman’s full name and the home addresses of all members of his family.

We did threaten on several occasions through the pace and directness of Alex Morgan in particular, but were outdone by a decent passing side on a big pitch. At this level we simply can’t afford to send the bare 11 men out – heroic though they all were – against a side with 14 players. Their second goal, a header from a set piece, was just reward for their amount of possession. That said, they were eminently beatable. Thanks to Leo and Nick Murfett who made impressive league debuts.

18 September 2010 – Belgravians 0 Bealonians 4

Despite the scoreline looking horrendous we actually acquitted ourselves very well against Bealonians on Saturday. We were the better team in the first half and the game was 0-0 until 60 minutes.

Indeed the ref and assistant refs were talking amongst themselves at half-time and thought that we rather than Bealonians were likely to go on and win. A one on one within two minutes of the second half kicking off went begging as the Bealonians keeper smothered Hallio as he was bearing down on goal. Five minutes later a fine interchange of passing between Jeremy, Higham and Morgan on the inside left channel put Morgan in behind their full back – sadly his cross narrowly eluded Hall, at full stretch at the far post.

Before that, we had two one on ones in the first half but were unable to convert either. Bealonians were simply more ruthless in front of goal. Ed Jeremy was outstanding in midfield breaking up their play on several occasions and they couldn’t handle Greenwood, Hall and Morgan up top. We conceded the first through not applying enough pressure on the winger as he crossed deep to the far post; the second was in fairness a class finish; the third from the penalty spot. We then saw our penalty saved after Hallio was brought down in the box. Their fourth was on the counter-attack as we looked to chase the game and left our centre backs isolated.

We need to lift ourselves and get back to winning ways – we have the attacking quality to cause teams problems at this level. We just need to finish our chances.  Small margins are making the difference at the moment.

11 October 2010 – Belgravians 3 HAC 6

Although we were convincingly beaten on Saturday by a strong HAC side, this game could have been very different if we’d put away one of our chances in the first quarter. We were the best side for the opening period, but once HAC got their noses in front they never looked back.

There’s plenty to take from this defeat – HAC are one of the better sides in this division and at least two of their goals came when we started chasing the game. We played well in patches again, we were still in the game at 3-1 at half time, we scored 3 goals (including, finally, a penalty) and I think that at least the “development points” from this defeat are fairly obvious.

Over the course of the game HAC did the simple things better than we did. We need to learn from them: shutting space down quicker (and stopping crosses coming in), winning the ball if crosses do come in, retaining possession better, tracking runners from midfield better, putting more chances away. These are things we already do, but we need to do them 10% better. In patches we look like we’ve made the step up to this level, but only in patches – we need to do it for a full 90 minutes if we are to get points. We’ve already said it before this season that small margins make a big difference in this division.

Also, management need to work out how we deal with unusual formations in the future – our preference to man-mark the opposition was severely tested by HACs narrow diamond formation that packed the midfield. We need to consider whether we formation-match or go for more of a zonal set-up when we come up against this issue in the future.

We’re now four games into the season, and so far we’ve only picked up one point. Were it not for a string of unfortunate injuries in the first game, and a last-gasp equaliser in our third game, we could quite easily have a 6 point tally at this stage. Also, we had chances at the beginning of our second and fourth games that, had we put them away, would have made them completely different games. But we are where we are, and we need to keep learning and keep improving.

16 October 2010 – Suttonians 0 Belgravians 0

We weathered the storm on Saturday to get a very important point against Suttonians in a game that neither side could afford to lose. In short Sutton dominated possession as we lined up very defensively with 10 men behind the ball, a necessity really with so many players out, two players, Alby and Tom Storer playing their first game in 12 months and 6 months respectively, and Andy Oko filling in for the bed ridden Alex Morgan in attack.

The game made for grim viewing but despite being a well organised side Sutton didn’t have the ingenuity to break us down, although on the odd occasion that they did so Marc Melia saved us with two top class saves and Ed Jeremy also with a last ditch tackle. We conceded possession far too cheaply, held on to the ball for too long, either through dithering on the ball or through lack of movement of it, but we got a result. That was the main thing. Thanks to Andy Terry and Andy Oko for helping us out.

30 October 2010 – Minchendenians 2 Belgravians 2

We showed a lot of character on Saturday in north London to come back twice to secure a draw against Minchendenians with Hanks scoring the equaliser three minutes from time.

Non-League Paper Report - 31 October 2010For Hanks’ dad’s match report, see attached. For the official match report, read on.

We had the better of the opening exchanges on a big pitch against a good footballing side, but gradually Minchendenians’ quality brought them into the game and they had several good chances, including an open goal from 3 yards when their striker was probably put off by the tingling sensation in his legs of Minesy going through the back of him.

No penalty there, but 3 in the second half after Minchendenians had gone ahead shortly before half-time. We changed our approach in the second 45, to offer more support to Hanks with Hallio going up top in a flat 4-4-2. It paid dividends, with Hallio being put through, rounding their keeper and being man-handled to the ground by their last man. Ref pointed to the spot and a minor dignified and well articulated appeal for a red card ensued from the Belgravians dug-out. The ref obliged. Chris Phillips blasted the penalty against the crossbar and it rebounded about 10 foot in the air, Gyan style.

15 minutes later we got a second penalty after Groves was pushed by their keeper in the box. This time JT calmly slotted home after a John Aldridge shuffle to send the keeper the wrong way. As always happens when we play Minchendenians, the heavens opened seemingly just over the pitch. At the other end, they came close but two terrific saves from Marc including one from a bullet header destined for the top corner. Hankin came close also as the match opened up.

We then took off a defender and threw on Greenwood to mix it up, basically playing 3-4-3, with Laurence adding a bit of fizz on the left flank also. However, with 10 to go, Minchendenians were awarded a “seen them given” pen after Lawro handballed and they went 2-1 up. There have now been 5 pens in 2 games given on that pitch.

We kept on pushing. With three mins to go, Minesy won a superb challenge deep in our half, Highamy brought the ball out 20 yards and hit a 30 yard slide rule pass off the outside of his boot to Greenwood, whose legs, feet and brain made polite introductions to one another before combining to produce a first touch from the heavens tom take him away from their full back. His second touch cut the ball back to Hanks, who slot in from 10 yards at the near post. Disappointing not to get 3 points in the circumstances but relief to come away unbeaten.

11 December 2010 – Belgravians 1 Suttonians 1

Agonisingly Suttonians equalised in the 96th minute (seriously) after we had gone 1-0 up in the first half through a combination of Hanks’ knee and Greenwood’s backside at the far post getting on the end of a sliced clearance from Chris Phillips’ corner.

It was obviously hugely disappointing given how important the 3 points were for us and how resiliently we had defended. Having said that Sutton are a decent side and kept turning the screw, kept on passing, kept on playing. They missed two clear cut chances and had a goal disallowed for offside, but then so did we when Owen got in down the left and crossed to the far post, where the Sutton left back turned the ball into his own net under pressure from Laurence. Unfortunately the lino deemed Laurence to be actively offside. We created chances during the game, but were a little overzealous with our final ball.

Our misery was compounded after the final whistle when Greenwood had a bit of a coming together with the lino. I don’t know how it started, but it ended with our esteemed leader pleading that he wasn’t swearing at the lino, he was merely swearing at everything around him. This was hard to corroborate as there was no-one else within 20 yards. After that Greenwood went to the officials dressing room to beg some more and, well, lets just say the lino wasn’t that kind of AR. And so, for possibly the very first time since he left Linklaters, Greenwood spent his Sunday afternoon drafting bullsh1t, in the form of a letter of apology to the authorities. Our Spirit of Football Award from ’06 is now just a distant memory.

On the positive side of things, we will be back at Turney Road, Dulwich from January. This is good, not just because the facilities and pitch are excellent and the ground is easily accessible, but also the pitch is smaller, which is important given it will squeeze better football teams’ space on the ball.

Lets not lose heart. See the link below. Out of 9 league games this season we have only been wupped in two games. Six of the remaining seven have been draws or settled by a single goal. We have drawn 3 of our last five. In four games we have conceded 90th minute goals which have accounted for 7 points. We still have Minchendenians, Hamptonians and Parkside, all fellow strugglers to play.

8 January 2011 – Belgravians 4 Hamptonians 3

Hamptonians victoryOur return to Turney Road on Saturday was accompanied by a return to winning ways and enabled us to move off the bottom of the table for the first time all season. After a sluggish first half a good second half performance saw us run out 4-3 winners against Hamptonians.  Goals from Greenwood (2), Hankin and Alex Morgan won the day. See attached non-league match report which rather creepily gives Greenwood a headline on first name terms, suggesting he may have paid off the reporter.

Hamptonians are a good footballing side and their 3-5-2 really hurt us in the first half as we were overrun in midfield. An early injury to Gav forced us to change our shape, with JT moving to left back and Ben Patton at right back and Hallio to right wing and Greenwood coming on up top. In the second half we played a 4-5-1  / 4-3-3 with Hankin playing deeper alongside Minesy and Ed J, allowing Hallio and Alex Morgan to get in behind their full backs. Greenwood finished very well from two crosses, Marc came to our rescue with 3 top draw saves and Patton and JT were outstanding throughout.

Hamptonians are now in a worrying position having lost all of their matches since their back to back wins at the beginning of the season. By contrast, we are becoming much harder to beat and the three points and the return to Turney Road should make us feel very positive. With Parkfield, Minchendians and Hamptonians all to play each other in the next few weeks, there’s still all to play for.

12 March 2011 – Belgravians 5 Albanian 3

A game and a result to savour. Back at fortress Turney Road this was a game that nobody expected us to win. Top of the table Albanians v bottom of the table Belgravians, David v Goliath, and OBs without a number of regular players.

But we started well and for the first 10 or 15 minutes we were the team looking most likely to threaten a goal with both Greenwood and Morgan almost breaking through the back line and Patton and Jeremy slinging a couple of rocks at the giant from distance. So it was against the run of play when Albanians broke the deadlock when their striker beat our offside trap and slotted home from inside the penalty area. But we knew from early on that we could cause them some problems from set pieces, and it was from a corner that debutant Sam Hill muscled through a crowd of players and poked home from a couple of yards out. It was nothing if not deserved.

But Albanians went back into the lead when our defence seemed to open up like the red sea for their Moses-esque striker to lead his people to the promised land of a 2-1 advantage. Barely a couple of minutes later a long ball from their keeper caught the wind, bounced down the slope over our defence and into the path of a grateful Albanian who gave the visitors a 3-1 half time lead.

Cue some prophetic half-time observations from Greenwood – Tom’s dad that is. “This is a two goal wind”, said Greenwood Senior. “They had the wind in the first half and they’ve had their two goals. Now you go out and get your two.”

In fact, we got four. Greenwood Junior was imperious, winning everything in the air against a short defence and Morgan struck the fear of god into them, while our new defence swarmed around the Albanian attacks like a plague of locusts. In a rare stroke of tactical-genius Greenwood Junior changed the shape of the team to a traditional 4-4-2, bringing on Nic Murfett at centre forward, and within 30 seconds the breakthrough came. Morgan atoned for an easy chance that Thomas fluffed and scored our second with a header from close range. Then the goal of the game, if not goal of the season – Phillips rent their midfield in twain and smashed home a 30-yard shot off the underside of the cross-bar with such force that it bounced back up against the cross-bar again, as though he scored it twice. It was certainly worth two goals.

Albanian were now rocking on their feet. We’d said at half time that they didn’t seem to have any fight in them, as though they thought they just had to turn up to collect their 3 points, and now we could taste blood. Thomas collected a quick roll-out from Melia and found Morgan with a cross-field 50-yarder which Morgan slotted past the keeper first time to take the lead. Albanian pushed players forward in a desperate attempt to get back into the game, but Melia, Bell, Hill, Hughes (Brierley) and Youll stood firm. Murfett was now exploiting the gaps appearing in the Albanian defence at will, and eventually got his reward with a nicely taken goal that made the game safe. What a turnaround, and what a result!

A huge thanks to John, Sam, Nic and the evergreen Chris Brierley for stepping in with excellent performances on Saturday, and well done to all.

26 March 2011 – Belgravians 3 Parkfield 4

Despite having dominated the first half and creating several good chances, the walls of Fortress Turney Road were finally….oh stuff this I can’t be bothered to write in an aloof semi-creative manner any more. We lost a game we should have won, having turned a 1-0 deficit around to lead 2-1 up with 35 to go. Usual story, they took their chances very well, we missed some of ours although it was a dramatic improvement on last week’s trip to Bealonians. They opened the scoring by reacting first to a second ball from a flick on from a long throw-in into the six yard area, we equalised after Hallio played in Alex Morgan who scored from 12 yards out at the near post in the top corner, an excellent strike. We dominated the first half with Hallio and Alex causing them problems on the flanks, and our tight midfield 3 of Youll, Jeremy and Phillips was dominant.

Into the second half and management’s double substitution paid dividends with Owen fighting a ball to the near post which Sion absolutely buried with a free header from a good 10 yards out. They equalised, and then we panicked a little, trying to commit men forward in search of victory and then being caught on the counter-attack with 2 two on two situations. Dan Lawrie could have equalised with a header from another Owen corner but their keeper made two good saves in quick succession. They were 4-2 up when Hallio got put through and finished well, but it was too late by then. Never nice to have to sit in the next changing room to the oppo after they have just beaten you – but their comment that “that lot would be alright if they played a bit more football” was fair comment.

3 games left this season, let’s try and enjoy ourselves and make the most of it.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.londonlawyersfc.org/match-reports/2010-2011/