The first game of the season was an out and out triumph for the Colts VIIs. A home fixture meant a casual lasagne lunch and warm-up was possible and as Duke of Kent arrived, fatigued from the tortuous drive, the Bs wasted no time in opening the scoring after 3 minutes – much to the delight of the sizable crowd hearty souls who were watching through the drizzle – with Evan slotting home after a fumble by their keeper. This early pressure continued and it was Alessandro who managed to get himself on the end of another loose ball and hammered it home past the flailing keeper to double our advantage with only 10 minutes gone. Captain Jerome commanded his team from the middle of the pitch and regularly demonstrated his deft touch and footballing brain. Some solid interplay with the midfield in the final third gave him some great chances and he managed to net a quick brace before our Gallic referee blew for the half to leave us comfortable at 4-0 as the oranges were devoured. They say football is a game of two halves, and we were not quite the same dynamic force that we had been as we resumed into the wind. Duke of Kent had shrugged off their minibus-lag and it was time for our defensive pair of Hugo and Yonis to shine. They proved very solid and despite having the majority of the possession Duke of Kent couldn’t quite get through them to test stand-in keeper Zak. They finally did get a shot off but Zak was more than equal to it as he parried it away for a corner. There were fireworks at the other end as the woodwork was rattled and striker Mattie C very nearly scored with a spectacular header on a couple of occasions. Duke of Kent did score a late consolation goal, but as the full time whistle went 4-1 was a fair reflection of a good team performance as well as a great start to the season. Man of the Match to Jerome for his 2 goals and constant enthusiasm throughout the game.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the Colts A then took the pitch. Despite looking slightly bedraggled due to the constant drizzle, their obvious enthusiasm for the beautiful game was evident as Oli T and Matthew kicked off. The crisp passes were good to watch and the effortless interplay between the backs and the midfield left us again with the majority of the first half possession. The Duke of Kent goal-keeper had the match of his life as he managed to keep out decent shots from Oli, James and Matthew. The crossbar was hit from outside the box and I still can’t work out how we got to half time without scoring a goal. A scary moment occurred just before the whistle went as their star player broke free of our last line of defence only to face a charging Ben K in goal! There was only one way that was going to finish and we remained locked at 0-0 as we got stuck into our half time oranges and team talk.
Defenders Johnathan and Ben V were under attack at the start of the second half but held their nerve to keep Duke of Kent at bay, and they also provided some quality balls down the left and the right. There were more spectacular chances with skipper Mattie E providing countless smashing crosses from the corners and Oli T very nearly scoring with a glancing header or two. It is clear that this much anticipated team have enormous potential, and some of the play between all of the boys was, at times, truly magical. It was Oli who found himself in the box with 5 minutes to go and managed to squeeze the ball past Duke of Kent’s heroic goalie to give us the lead and followed this up with a sublime shot from all of 20 yards that found the top corner. Ben K was tested in the last couple of minutes in a carbon copy of the end of the first half, and again he charged and ensured he kept his clean sheet, regardless of his own wellbeing!
A good start for the team, and an impressive opener for Man of the Match Oli T with 2 goals. More of the same next week please!