The firsts had a great 2-11 win (don’t worry if you checked the abssa site, they have it backwards!).
These kind of scorelines always make the game look easy, but no game in this division is easy unless you make it so. In this case we went after them from the start and scored two very early goals which knocked the stuffing out of them. Then we continued pressing with some excellent passing to score 5 in the first half. Forestoise came out in the second half determined to show what they can do, and they got a goal back and were well in the game for 10 minutes before we got another which finally knocked the fight out of them. Some of the play was sublime with great movement along the wings exemplified in an amazing MOTM display by Giorgos and some great crossfield passes to find open men, most notably from Cillian. With the score at 1-8 (goals from Javier (2), Stepan (2), Giorgos (2), Sylvian, Cillian), captain Darragh decided to risk bringing on Ross for Stepan. Unfortunately Ross, not having played for several months, had lost his characteristic touch in front of goal, and apparently forgotten how to miss open goals like he always did in the good old days. His 15 minute cameo produced a hattrick of quality finishes, more to the amazement of his teammates than anyone else. Even another ex-captain Alec, observing from the sideline, was heard to ask “are you sure that’s Ross?” Ross's average of 3-goals/game when played as an attacker this season puts him in very exclusive company, this feat having only been equalled by the legendary Michael Hough who scored 6 in two appearances as a forward in the Championship-winning season.
The win moves us up to fifth, just two points out of third place. However, Brussels British won again, 7-0, and remain 14 points ahead of us, while La Lorraine also won to stay 8 ahead of us in 2nd place.
Seconds lost 5-1 away to Realistes Mexico – no details of this match are available, perhaps not surprisingly. However, although the football may have been ugly, the team itself looked great, not just because of the presence of Gorgeous George on the wing, but also because it was the first appearance of the new FC Irlande kit, sponsored by the Hairy Canary and the Funky Monkey, which all the teams will be wearing from early next year. We’re in a group of 6 teams within one point in the middle of the table – so both a high finish and relegation are within reach depending on how we manage the second half of the season.
The turds lost 0-1 in a tight game where we created a lot of chances but didn’t have a real striker to put any of them away. Not a bad performance overall, with everyone playing well and getting at least one MOTM vote, although Mehdi was the clear MOTM winner. We drop to 5th, two points out of 3rd place but well behind leaders Ihvan who have won 11 of their 12 games and look set to gain the one promotion slot available.
Fourths won again, 1-3, to move into second place in the table with Black Star Genval losing. We’re now in one of the promotion spots.We dominated the game from the beginning but missed a lot of chances during first half. Second half we started with the same pace and césar scored a great goal (assist from Emanuele). We continue to push and scored another great goal from Da Silva. 3rd one is for Yannick. After 3-0 we lost a bit of concentration and ltc scored one goal. Great win and second place!!
First Vets also won, 1-2, to get revenge for last week's defeat and move up to 5th, and interestingly, only 5 points out of the lead after 2nd placed Longchamp beat leaders Ambience Auderghem to move level with them on 28 points. We still have a chance to play both these teams, so if we’re good enough, we’re still well in the title race. The key to this victory was the Vets debut of David Martin - fantastic to see him back in great form after a long absence with a knee-injury - his presence has really given the team the belief that we can beat anyone and go on to win this league. David scored one goal and basically ran the game from centre midfield. I forget who scored the other. The key to keeping the score at 1-2 rather than winning by about 6 was the profligate finishing of the usually accurate Sean O'Connor.
Second Vets played very well against a top-quality opposition with a #10 who could probably play on our first (not first vets) team. We went down early to a goal he created and then our efforts to reply were twarthed when first Erwin headed a great cross by Terry against the post, and the Reinhard hit the bar from 20m. Finally we got back in the game with a wonderful team goal, Paul chipped the ball over the left back to the byline, Erwin got to it and chipped perfectly to the far post where Oscar won it in the air and headed back across goal into the far corner. We were well in the game until with 10 minutes to go the #10 got through again, beating our offside trap with pace and finishing with class. We had a couple of late chances to equalise but it just wasn’t our day.
The Ladies had no game today.
Next weekend we have no League games, but all our cup-teams (two seniors, one vets and ladies) play cup games.
Before that, we all adjourn to the Christmas dinner festivities which start in 20 minutes (hence my not waiting for more news of the missing games before posting this, and this possible also explains why some details haven't been sent!).