Today was a top performance, we never once stopped fighting for the ball even at 7-2 with 1 minute left we were still tracking back and blocking everything. We have now got that team spirit where we are all working hard to help each other and if that can continue through the training and into the matches it will give us the right atitude to be able to beat any team in front of us.
Man of the Match was Mateusz for a well taken hat trick, but that would not have been possible without the team working so hard to win the ball back all over the pitch and provide the assists for him to get that hat trick.
Finley Cowell once again proved what a fantastic player he is becoming, another impressive display, yes he gave away a penatly but that shows he is fighting to win the ball and to stop the opposition.
Delroy, Ryan and Calum were like a brick wall, the opposition barely got through with any clear chances, we won almost everything in the middle of the park and quickly turned it into a counter attack, Ryans vision and superb weight of pass setup many opportunities for his team mates.
Tom, Marcus, Finley and Ben White at the back were also immense today, if they didn't clear up the danger then Lewis was on hand to gather comfortably due to his anticipation and reading of the game.
Mateusz, Charlie and Sean providing the up front threat I thought were all outstanding as well, with the addition of Joey and Mason who both played superbly well to create and convert chances as well.
Today, you played as a team, worked as a team. When someone made a mistake you didn't moan or point a finger at that player, you fought and helped to rectify that mistake and make sure the team didn't concede. This alone will improve the results the team will achieve.
Well done to all. Happy Xmas from Me, Carol, Ryan and girls. See you in the new year!!!!
Thanks to Alex for the below match report.
A festive flavour about this match report, a taste of Xmas pud and brandy sauce no less. To end the year we played some sparkling football, won the three points-never in doubt-and battered Dave's pal's team. We saw some interesting player cameos, and never needed to look under the tree or shake the wrapped prezzie's. Lewis, who has taken to collecting yellow cards, since deciding his Match Attax collection is a little young for him, added another on Sunday. I am sure the ref likes a friendly chat and a tete a tete from time to time, but when trying to run a footie match he is perhaps less inclined. He brought it upon himself I think with the linesmen decision of 'no I don't want', to 'OK I will have them', which felt a bit like, 'I'm forced to have them so will ignore them completely'-all a bit odd. Anyway perhaps Lewis is a jot like van Gogh-just obsessed with yellow. Ben-our cinders character-arrived late for the ball, but if we played in a striped kit his shirt would be black and yellow, such is his tackling-he is a tiger on the pitch. On the other side of the pitch at left back we had Finley who put in another top performance in this position. He entered into the spirit of goodwill by giving the opposition another penalty, one each in the last two games, but it may have been because he was jet-lagged due to a trip to Germany during the week. Anyway, gesundheit, Fin. Thomas Skinner returned to the centre of defence and it was good to hear his dulcet tones, such a mellifluous sound to those with earache; if he had an Xmas carol attributed to him it would no doubt be, 'Silent Night.' When utilising his player-guidance techniques they are a welcome addition to a very 'quiet' team, carry on barking out the orders and instructions, Tom. 'Woof! Woof!' Marcus at centre back is a revelation. Personally I think he reads the game as well as anyone, but his positional awareness is second to none. It answers the question of why he is often on hand to clear the ball off the line-his party trick. He can also cause havoc in the opposition's area, and on Sunday he hit the bar-he does this regularly but I'm told he never 'stands a round'.
Another who never stands around is Ryan-our 'Mister Perpetual Motion'. His arrival has coincided with the new formation which appears to be producing the results expected. His 'assist' stat is ever burgeoning, and his was a stunning performance on Sunday. His partner in 'crime' is Callum, as the driving elements of the side. Callum scored his first goal for the club on Sunday, a deflected shot which met the adjudication 'own goal' panel's criteria, it was on target and therefore a goal is accredited to him-'a managerial decision' was taken after the match, so well done Callum. Another scoring his first for the season was Mason, and what a very good goal it was, hope Santa gets you an even bigger train set as a reward Mas. Delroy has profited from the new positioning and laid another sterling performance alongside his previous week's endeavours. A wonderful athlete who is now involved at the base of our defence as the 'anchor man', our central defensive midfielder. It gives him a greater involvement, he gets more of the ball now, and an opportunity to showcase his skill by constantly winning the ball and starting many moves. He is the opposition's 'D Notice'-(ask your parents).
On our left flank is Mateusz, who celebrated the team's first hat trick of the season; it was very welcome Mat, (enjoyed getting that one in). His game has altered slightly too as he is more involved in the main body of the side; working the ball forward, more inter-passing and a better balance to his performances. Dobra Mateusz. Joey registered another first on Sunday, his first assist of the season. His application both at training and in games is admirable, full of commitment and unselfish play. He has suffered a fair share of injuries and health issues, but in true 'panto' style like his back hopefully they are also 'behind him' now. Sean-well he is a bright fellow and knows only too well CFCs are dangerous to the environment as well as Premier League football-all that Russian gangster money. However his football is paying good dividends. He scored in his second successive game on Sunday and it was much deserved. Again a hard-working unselfish player and his hold-up play is an excellent ability in his personal arsenal. It gives those around him a much vaunted opportunity to profit by his skill-he is gunner make a genuine contribution in the second half of the season. Charlie Steine 'enjoyed' an interesting situation on Sunday. He came to the game as centre forward, was asked to go into a wider attacking position due to player availabilities, then asked to fill in at right back as Ben was arriving late-the price of versatility. Three positions and we hadn't even kicked off! His assist rate has always been exemplary and has added goals to his game. In fact he has scored the opening goal in consecutive matches-it gets our show on the road. This weekend's goal was different though in as much as it was scored from a right full back position-though Charlie is an archetypal wing-back. I learned after that he had carried an injury throughout the match, so well done to you too, Charlie. That personifies the spirit in this squad, and that emanates from the manager's stamp-which you can often witness during training sessions when the player's don't follow instructions! Galin appeared as a spectator with news that he would have completely recovered within a few days as his problem was a muscle strain near his heart. It must have something to do with his heart being as big as a football-such a good lad. His football reflects his nature. Tough tackling, great upper body strength, determination and a lad that gives everything from first to last whistle. Others missing from the action were Charlie Howard-a lad who has developed well at full back and centre back. We haven't seen him for a few weeks but is missed like you miss a headache-only kidding Charlie, see you at the next training session I hope. Sam cried off ill over the weekend so again was missing-I think Mourhino's departure has sent him spiralling into meltdown. His play has come on leaps and bounds too. Scoring and assisting with great proliferation. A clever well-balanced player...except when he falls over! Tom Barker has been absent for a while due to an injury followed by a virus. He too has brought a degree of class to our defence-all second, (only kidding buddy), an upright and yet tough tackling ball winner. See you soon Tom. The final player piece in the jigsaw is Michael. A hard player to get past, and a devil to be stuck behind in the queue at the supermarket checkouts. He is also an honest to goodness lad who works tirelessly in a game. Hurry back Michael. That brings us to Reece, having a break is one thing but this is just plain silly, Reece. Such an unfortunate and ill-timed circumstance, as well as the pain and discomfort that goes along with it. I have suffered a broken limb in football and I have itched to get back, literally spent ages pushing knitting needles under the plaster cast just to relieve the itching. It would be good to have you around again young man-see you in the new year. Then finally we have Fudge. What a miss you proved to be young dude. Just as you began to carve out a place for yourself the injury struck. We all want to see you fight your way back, the entire squad realises your value on the pitch. Again to you I endorse that same sentiment already expressed, just get yourself fit and hurry back.
A mention of Carol, the power behind the throne. If anyone ever finds themselves in a position of organising and orchestrating things behind the scenes, they will fully appreciate what this lady has done for the team. Her recent acquisition was to obtain a new kit for the side-quite amazing. I'm sure in this squad we do recognise her immense and invaluable contributions-she also makes a good cup of 'Rosie'. This brings us to David. I have always been an admirer, and it is a great satisfaction to see this squad maturing and beginning to accept responsibility, a reflection of his doctrines. On occasions I have seen him in dismay, in dis June, and dis July, in fact throughout the close season, but never quite as upbeat. At training I have oft witnessed him throwing his arms in the air in frustration-but he was always able to catch them when they came back down. The contract between him and yourselves is a straight forward one. He explains and guides. You listen and try to apply. Simples! That comprehension is beginning to settle on you, and it is very pleasing.
The report proper.
The day was mild and dry. We looked good for this one. Within two minutes we forced a succession of three corners, Marcus had his attempt blocked, Delroy and Mateusz between them saw their attempt go out, and Ryan thumped the ball over from the third. It signalled our intent. A couple of minutes later and a long ball was easily gathered by Lewis. Callum registered a shot a moment later which was comfortably saved. Two minutes later Ryan fed Callum, but again the shot was easily saved. In the ninth minute Joey made a darting run into the box and despite challenges coming in thick and fast retained the ball-it fell to Charlie Steine bursting into the box who fired deep into the far corner-this was a third successive match scoring for him, 1-0 to the Vikings. Two minutes later a defence-splitting ball to Mateusz from Ryan was just a little over hit.
On seventeen minutes we went 2-0 ahead and deservedly so. Mateusz had exchanged passes with Callum, received the ball back and shot. The keeper got a hand to it and as Ryan harried him Mateusz ran on and drilled it home, 2-0. It was a dominating game played by the Vikings but in the twenty third minute a break down the line saw a shot at our goal. Lewis had read and anticipated the danger well and came to gather. A minute later and Finley was fouled in an advanced position. Fin took it himself, Del helped it on and Mateusz saw his shot saved. In the twenty sixth minute we had controversy-directly linked to the referee's decision to officiate without linesmen. A good shot hit the bar and bounced down and was gratefully clutched by Lewis. The forward appealed and the ref gave the goal, despite Lewis and Finley protesting to the contrary. Lewis collected a second yellow of the season as he is still learning when to complain and when to stop.
In the thirty second minute Marcus performed acrobatics from a corner that we'd won. He swivelled and hooked a shot towards goal but it crashed against a post, but a minute later we had restored our two goal cushion. It again came from striking the woodwork-a shot by Mateusz cannoned off the bar and Sean was on hand to put the rebound away, 3-1. A few minutes before half time saw Ben enter the fray for Joey, and Lewis gather a cross. Just before half time the Vikings, aware it was pantomime season performed their own scene. Two corners saw our defenders doing a 'keystone cops' impression; mistimed tackles, air shots, falling down, bumping into each other, before the ball was put behind for a goal kick-a real comedy of errors, but that's entertainment, folks! Half time 3-1.
It took us one minute of the second half to kill the game, as we had done last week. A long ball by Lewis, Mateusz first to the ball took it on and confidently placed it beyond the keeper, 4-1. Ironically within a minute it required Tom Skinner to shepherd the ball away, forcing a snatched shot from a forward which Lewis held comfortably. The game had become a one way traffic zone and six minutes later Mateusz found Del who managed a shot that the keeper held. In the fiftieth minute Mason replaced Sean. Within a minute a 'sandwich' foul on Charlie Steine-I have asked him to hold the ball in tight situations because it will often draw the foul, and he gets a fair share of them-won us a free kick. Ryan passed short and Callum drove it at goal. The defender got a touch on the ball but it flew home straight and true, 5-1.
We were as patient as was necessary and in the intervening time a shot by Mateusz cleared the bar, and a deep cross field carry by Charlie Steine had their defenders tied up in knots. In the fifty sixth minute Mason passed to Mateusz who had his shot saved. A minute later we were treated to another memorable sequence of play. Another fine carry by Charlie Steine which wrong-footed the defenders, he slipped the ball to Callum who passed to Ryan and his lay off to Mason produced a fabulous goal. Mason controlled, looked up and placed his shot deep into the back of the net, 6-1. In the sixty fourth minute Ryan gave the ball to Charlie Steine and he set off on yet another mazy dribbling run which nearly proved beneficial. Defenders do not like people who run at them with the ball. It asks questions and disturbs the defensive equilibrium-it also places in their minds the likelihood that a certain player may do it the next time he receives the ball and deflects attention from other passages of play. There is much to this game of football gentlemen beyond tackling, saving, passing, shooting and scoring. Once more a defender took him out, and Callum's free kick hit the wall, and Del fired the rebound over. A minute later Charlie Steine and Callum came off for Joey and Sean. As we moved into the last ten minutes Ben was called upon to make a wonderful winning tackle to force the ball out for a corner. Three minutes later and he was asked to give a repeat performance. This corner was hooked away at the far post by Ryan. Five minutes on the clock remaining and Finley reminded us it was the season of giving when he fouled a player in the area to gift them a penalty. The spot kick was saved by Lewis but as the ref hadn't signalled, it was retaken and this effort found the net, 6-2. An interesting aspect of ethics here, methinks-no Thomas, it isn't the county to the east of London-a forward seeks to gain an advantage by taking the keeper unawares with a quick free kick, fails, then promptly gets a second bite at the apple; something Sleeping Beauty never enjoyed...'Oh yes she did!' 'Oh no she didn't!' 'Oh yes she did!' Immediately from the re-centring we scored. For the second successive week Ryan manufactured three assists; he slipped a carefully weighted ball through to Mateusz who finished sweetly, 7-2. Each attained their hat tricks-three goals for Mateusz and three assists for Ryan. A couple of minutes later they had an opportunity to score again. A foul by Ryan, and Callum came to the rescue by heading the free kick away. Then in the last minute they won a corner from a Marcus tackle and the cross was knocked in for Lewis to save with his legs. Full time 7-2, and our biggest victory of the season-and it laid down a marker. Chartham's hundred per cent record went 'pop' with a 5-5 draw with Canterbury City, so we see new life breathed into our aspirational title challenge. More of the same at training and in the next match please, gentlemen.
Goalscorers: Mateusz 7, Charlie Steine 6,Sam 5, Del/Fin 4, Joey/Sean 2, Callum/Mason 1.
Assists: Charlie Steine 7, Ryan 6, Mateusz/Sam/Lewis 3, Fin/Callum 2, Joey/Sean/Del/Galin 1.
A last opportunity to wish all my readers, and to those who haven't yet mastered that art, and have the reports read to them at bedtime-a certain cure for insomnia-a very merry Xmas, here's to a successful new year Vikings, oh yes, and thank you.