There is no escaping the fact that expectations are as high as they have ever been. Having won the league cup competition last year with a team of year fives, it goes without saying that the exact same team should be even stronger this year. That is unless they all spent the entire summer break sat in front of the TV eating nothing but doughnuts and crisps.
Our first match of the brand new season was against St Thomas More. It was a bit of a drizzly afternoon, but we’ve played in worse conditions. Thanks to our successes last year, there wasn’t really a need for a team talk, only a reminder of basic tactics and making sure that complacency didn’t set in.
The whistle went and we immediately settled into our groove. Within the first two minutes, we had at least three good chances: a shot tipped over and a couple of attempts just wide of the mark.
Riley, playing on the wing, found himself with a chance he couldn’t miss and he didn’t. A lovely cross by Alfie found him unmarked for a simple tap-in. Moments later, Riley found himself with another chance that he couldn’t, and didn’t miss - poking the ball under the ‘keeper. And just afyer that, a corner was swung in and Riley completed his hat trick with a solid header. 3-0!
As we’ve come to expect from this team, there was quality all over the park. Our defence looked solid at the back and our midfielders were spreading the ball around with their usual confidence.
Next to score was, Sabih who had settled straight into the team. A lovely finish in the top corner made it 4-0.
Things were fairly comfortable but we still had to be vigilant at the back. A top save from Lewis, prevented the home team from clawing one back.
After being delayed in traffic, Kieran came on and made an immediate impact. Another lovely move presented him with the simplest of tap-ins. Minutes later, Kieran had an even tappier of tap-ins.
6-0 at half-time.
The best thing about the performance was that the players were all about the team. As much as everyone was desperate to get on the score sheet, if it was better to pass the ball to a team mate, everyone passed to a team mate. This was the main reason we were so devastating. St Thomas More had no answers to our attacks.
Soon after the restart, Kieran completed his hat trick with a lovely, controlled volley into the far corner of the goal. Kieran’s ‘reward’ for making it 7 was to give someone else a chance up front. He spent some time on the wing with the job of providing chances for others.
Despite playing on the wing, Alfie then made it 8, 9 and 10 with a blaster, a pass under the ‘keeper and an even more powerful blaster, respectively.
The final goal was scored by Ollie who, after being given some advice to place the ball past the ‘keeper - placed the ball past the ‘keeper. 11-0 was the final score. Tremendous!
In amongst our goals, St Thomas More did have some chances but our players never gave them a sniff! It was great that a clean sheet was just as important as scoring at the other end.
And now we move on to our next fixture who are *checks notes* St Thomas More at home.