"Romelu Boardman strikes home, but Lyndsay takes the match ball"
The first match of the season was upon the boys from Langold in no time at all, and with only one proper practice session under their belts, Mr Hays was worrying that the team would be as under-cooked as Crystal Palace!
With rain drops the size of golf balls hitting the Langold playground, the team set off in convoy for the 32-mile round trip to Misterton Primary. It was a highly uneventful journey in Mr Hays' car for once, with Joel, Jake and Jayden providing nothing but a constant stream of drivel to the annoyance of their teacher.
Finally, through the monsoon conditions, the team pulled up to the impressive two-storey school with their own Swimming pool (as the boys in the back noticed immediately!). The walk to the field was a rather pleasant one, as the rain was nothing but a gentle mist. However, as the team gathered for their warm-up, a cloud that would not have looked out of place in the film "Armageddon" rolled over the school, bringing with it enough rain to fill the swimming pool, that Joel was so impressed with, five-times over!
The match details were agreed as an 8-a-side match with 2x20 minute halves, and the team lined up as:
Taylor Jayden Chris P
Ziggi Harrison Will
Regular readers of these match reports will notice that Will has moved from his former position as goalkeeper to what appeared to be a striker! In an interview filmed preseason he explained his reasoning:
"I just got bored with being in the net, it was cold and they booted a ball at me really hard. I'd rather score goals if I’m honest!"
Mr Hays thought that the new striker could be used as an impact target man, of the same ilk as Andy Carroll at West Ham, Chris Wood at Burnley or the brilliant Mamadou Thiam at the mighty Barnsley FC!
However, even the best plans go wrong as Ronnie forgot that he still had his school shoes on and was unable to start the game due to an undoable knot in his football boots.
Nevertheless, the game began with Langold on the attack, with Harrison and Ziggi immediately linking up well, resulting in Harry's shot just going wide. Warning shots had been fired by the boys in white, which were soon followed with devastatingly accurate passing moves, culminating in Harry's first goal of the season.
1 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2)
Straight from the kick-off though, the home side responded with an attack of their own, which was expertly dealt with by the back three of Jayden, Taylor, and Chris. They broke up the attack and set free the pacey Ziggi to deliver a good pull back to Will at the edge of the box. Misterton were scrambling at this point and had to result to a last-ditch tackle on Harrison to prevent the diminutive striker from pulling the trigger. The tackle however, was judged by the referee to be from behind and a free-kick was awarded at a tantalising distance from the opposition goal. Harrison stepped up and bent a gorgeous shot over the wall and into the top corner of the net.
2 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4)
The away side were now on top in the contest and were instructed to put the game out of reach within the next 5 minutes. The boys responded excellently, as Joel fed Will, who switched the play to Harrison, who transferred possession to Ziggi, who crossed for Harry to score his hattrick goal.
3 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8)
Mr Hays then made a few vital substitutions as he brought off Harrison and Will, replacing them with Ronnie and Finn.
The subs made an immediate impact, as Joel pulled the strings again, feeding Ronnie with a through ball to put him in a one-on-one situation. Ronnie pulled the trigger and buried the ball into the side netting, which burst through and finished behind the goal. However, in the typhoon-type conditions, the referee thought that the ball missed the net and awarded a goal kick.
It wouldn't be long though before Ronnie smashed home the ball again, this time making sure it travelled straight into the centre of the net.
4 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8, Foster 14)
The team were now firmly on top, as the home side played out to the end of the half.
Half time score - Langold 4 - 0 Misterton
Mr Hays then switched Logan with Jake, Chris with Finn, and Harrison with Joel to have a look at the players on debut in other areas of the pitch.
The conditions were now torrential as the boys kicked off the second half. The wide play was again fantastic as Ziggi, Ronnie, Harrison and Chris linked together to provide sharp attacks, forcing the opposition keeper to make several good saves.
However, the 5th goal was always coming and it was Ronnie who bagged it, sliding the ball through the keeper and into the back of the net.
5 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8, Foster 14, 24)
Will entered the fray now, replacing Ziggi in the centre of attack and he provided an excellent vocal point for the wingers to cross to.
He linked up well with Harrison, as the new school captain showed his class again. First, he split the defence, before rounding the keeper and slotting home for his 4th of the game.
6 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8, 25, Foster 14, 24)
Whilst these goals were being riffled in, 4 attempts from Boardman were all either saved or missed and the crowd gasped in agony as it just didn't look like it was going to be his day. Until.... a through ball from Harry left Will in the clear. He looked up, stumbled a little, but then met the ball with the point of his boot to see it fly past the keeper and into the net for his first ever goal in Langold colours.
7 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8 25, Foster 14, 24, Boardman 28)
Whilst the goals seemed to be flying in, the Langold defence remained focused and shut down any sniff of an attack from the opposition before it got going. Credit must go to Taylor, Finn, Jayden, Ziggi and Chris who all stood tall and denied any threat from Misterton.
With the match losing intensity rapidly as the weather took over even more, the away side were awarded a free-kick just inside the opponents' half. The instruction to Joel was to put the ball in the box and hope we get a rebound. However, the midfield maestro had other ideas. He launched the ball over all the players and through the goalkeeper before he had time to move. A wonderful goal from an insane distance added Joel's name to the scoresheet.
8 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8, Foster 14, 24, Boardman 28, Constantine 32)
But he wasn't finished there, Joel received an excellent pass from Finn, which cut through the Misterton defence to leave him with a tight angle to finish. But finish he did, as he blasted home to force the referee to end the game early at the score of 9 - 0.
9 - 0 Langold (Lyndsay 2,4,8, Foster 14, 24, Boardman 28, Constantine 32, 34)
Overall, in terrible conditions the boys came out with an emphatic win over a tough Misterton side. The focus will now be on Ramsden in our next match as we try to banish the demons of the last season by maintaining our good form.
|Logan O||7/10||Had very little to do, but earned his 5th clean-sheet in Langold colours. Loses several marks for asking Mr Hays if he can go upfront every 3 seconds.|
|Jake||7/10||Similar to Logan, but he made sure he had a clean sheet at the end of the game to open his account for the school. Impressed me with his kicking from hands ability.|
|Jayden||7/10||Bossed the defence and instructed the defenders on either side of him extremely well. Looked as solid as a rock under pressure.|
|Taylor||8/10||An eye-opening debut. Showed me exactly what he can do in defence and is in the process of building a reputation for hard tackles!|
|Chris||8/10||Another solid debut, was asked to play in foreign positions but did them with gusto. Loved a tackle and read the game well.|
|Joel||8/10||A performance that was expected from Joel, now a senior player in the team. He looked composed on the ball and gave us an extra option going forward. Loses a mark for getting overly excited by a swimming pool.|
|Finn||8/10||Another debutant, but slotted into the team make-up with ease. Started in the midfield originally, but showed his class in defence where I think he will stay for the remainder of the season.|
|Will||8/10||For his first game out of the net, he worked hard and had plenty of opportunities to score his first goal before doing so with applom.|
|Ronnie||8/10||Hard working, industrious and with a lethal finish. Ronnie has taken his game from strength to strength over the summer holidays and we reaped the rewards in this match.|
|Ziggi||7/10||A quiet game for Ziggi in regards to the score sheet, but to play at that level whilst carrying an injury was very impressive. Probably deserved a goal with the quality of crosses that he delivered. Loses a mark for moaning about being in defence.|
|Awarded the captaincy of the school team and lead by example all day. Brought others into the play with his passing before showing how deadly he can be with his finishing. An excellent performance.|