Goals: Cory Sunderland 2, Michael Barton 2, Corey Brade
Scribe: Cory Sunderland
The game started quickly with Michael Barton racing down the left hand side to cross to Cory Sunderland to place in the top corner and then also immediately after the restart Michael Barton holding off two defenders and after rounding the keeper slotted home a lovely solo effort.
The midfield continued to hassle Globe Rangers into making mistakes and again Michael Barton broke free on the left hand side to cross to Cory Sunderland who half volleyed the ball into the top corner. Michael Barton continued to show excellent form and was rewarded just before half time when he lobbed the keeper from an acute angle.
We knew that the second half was going to be difficult as Globe had five subs and we only had two and one our subs was carrying an injury, but just after the restart a lovely ball was played into Corey Brade's feet and he turned the defender beautifully and slotted the ball home. Unfortunately, this was where the hard work started with Globe throwing caution to the wind and threw everybody into attack. The defence and midfield for Crouch End, although tired, threw there hearts and bodies into the game and although Globe did manage to score three it could have been a lot worse without there tireless efforts.
We held on and came away with a well deserved 5:3 win. James Ling, in goal, receiving man of the match after making at least 10 good saves and one from a volleyed back heel that I am still unsure how he put it over the bar.
TEAM: James Ling, Gary Leslie, Ben Shields, Justin Harvey, Graham Surry, Micky Hitch, Jermaine Harley, Cory Sunderland ⚽⚽, Steve Wynne, James Reilly, Michael Barton ⚽⚽, Corey Brade ⚽, Matthew Friskey
Scribe: Sam Connor
After laying down an early statement with six goals in the season opener, the second game of offered a completely different challenge, with the longest away trip of the year, and a hard, bobbly pitch in South London. Following Wanda’s departure and with Tareeq Mustapha and Amit Gagliani unavailable, we made the journey with some big changes in personnel, most notably Charlie Fleetwood making an appearance in the sticks, and veteran centre back Rob Webber returning to steady the back line.
Despite the journey, it was the home team who started off nervously. Ryan Harrington closed their back four constantly to win the ball high up the pitch, and he put the ball just over with a dipping volley in the first 5 minutes.
Moments afterwards, a trademark jinking run from Ali Manoli, cutting in from the left wing, nearly put the vamps ahead again but was crowded out at the last minute. However, the goal was coming, and following a dangerous corner the ball dropped at the feet of Sam Lawrence at the back post, who calmly slotted the ball in the back post. 1-0.
The Warren regrouped, and the momentum swung as they constantly looked to put long balls over the Crouch End defence. They hit the bar direct from a swinging corner, and after a great one-on-one save, their striker could only put his finish straight down the middle where it was cleared off the line by Sam Connor.
With the start of the second half we looked to regain control, but it quickly became clear that if we were going to win this one, we were going to have to grind it out.
The Warren stuck to their tactic of balls over the top and peppering the box with long throws, but we had chances on the break with Gio Torre, Omar Karmali, Ryan Harrington and Tommy Pidgeon, who came on in the second half to provide a dangerous outlet down the right wing. The effort everyone put in showed as players started to take longer to pick themselves off the ground as the second half wore on, and it was Joe Ephgrave’s turn to clear one off the line following a looped effort that was heading in.
As the final whistle blew we all knew it was a massive result, with huge efforts from everyone to show that we can win even in these difficult circumstances. A big shout out to Charlie Fleetwood, who cleared up everything that was thrown at him (I won’t mention the Alisson flick 5 minutes from the end), and to Kyle Mason and Mario Hitra, who made the long journey to help out the squad. Winning is a habit, and we keep our 100% record to stay top of the league at this early stage.
TEAM: Charlie Fleetwood, Joe Ephgrave, Sam Connor, Adam Mitchell, Luke Fitzgerald, Sam Lawrence ⚽, Rob Webber, Ali Manoli, Gio Torre, Omar Karmali, Tommy Pidgeon, Ryan Harrington
Scribe: Mark Ephgrave
Nil Nil AET, so another week and another side put out that had to get to know one another as we played out this cup game against a well-organized side, too loose on pens 5-4 would have been a result that could be easy to dwell on and even though it hurt to not get a victory that I believe the 5s deserved on Saturday. Every member of that squad can be very proud to call themselves a VAMP!
We had blisters we had cramp we had players dead on their feet but after having a bit of repair work well a drink of water and a rest and let our only sub do his bit so they could get back on I couldn’t have asked for more.
The game itself wasn’t an easy affair as I’m sure Academicals thought they were going to have it easy and to be fair the first 10 mins it did look like that but like true vamps the lads dug deep and settled down and once again at times we attempted and did play some nice football-Game on now Academicals realized that they were in for a game when Martin Bickers was through on goal and from distance took the shot on, on a different day he could of gone on or released the ball but least we are getting shots away now.
The first half was over and I felt during the half time team talk that the lads were up for the challenge of the second half- special thanks to Ina for his words at half time.
Luke Unwin was wanting the ball at every opportunity he could forge the midfield of the blister brothers Luke and Ryan Burke and the whole back four were working as a very good spine of the side that enabled Martin Bickers and Lewis Spencer to buzz around and get amongst Academicals, who at the stage started to argue with each other, A sure sign that the 5s were now on top.
Academicals had their chances so it all wasn’t one sided but to be fair vamps were a Sean Roonan and if there wasn’t just enough of a boot on a stinging shot from Luke Green then we would of gone into hat for the next round.
So to extra-time a much more of the same and onto penalties all I will say was that the our 4 penalties were in no danger of being saved where as two of their 5 were so very nearly saved with both times a hand had got to the ball.
Ok I could bang on about what we could and should do better, how we should move the ball quicker etc etc etc I will but not here not now.
The lads on Saturday need and deserve the applause and can be rightly proud of what they did on Saturday.
But now for me that game has now gone and it’s on to Saturday’s game against Connor's 6s and we have a lot of work to do this week but one thing I won’t have to work on is the belief that the lads will put in their all and we work for each other we win together we draw together we lose together and are proud to be Vamps.
TEAM: Dan Oliver, John Burke, Sean Roonan, Martin Bickers, Jude Oliver, Lewis Saunders, Luke Green, Dan Leaton, Ben Shields, Luke Unwin, Ryan Burke, James Brown
AFA Junior Cup | Preliminary Round
After a great pre-season and a big first win in the league it was time to start our cup campaign. Who doesnât like a good old cup and possibly a famous Vampire final?
Old Tollingtonians the opposition. We turned up to Highgate woods at 1:15 for a 2pm kick off expecting a waiting, eager, pumped up opposition. Instead we was greeted by a BBQ, 20 dogs and a load of rugrats playing on our pitch. No Goals, no footballs, no oppo, zilch. All that waited was the oppositions kit laying in their changing room. All we could think was they see the famous 3âs come marching through the tree line and scarpered to save their dignity before the inevitable happened. Well they should have to be fair. But they actually turned up about 15 minutes before kick off with the park rangers trailing behind with the goals. Game on............or maybe not. Any game against a Crouch End Xl needs a ref. But today he decided not to show. After lots of phone calls and discussions they agreed to ref the game. However! We didnât have a whistle so Drew Dawson came up with the idea that the Ref shouted âREFâ when he wanted the game stopped. One minute in and every player shouted ref. I donât think this is gunna work. Maybe a more suitable word like âstopâ might work. And that it did.
From the first âwhistleâ we dominated the game. Weâve been winning all season but not playing the football I expect of these players. But this game we did and the first goal was something to admire. Reece Haynes doing a nice one two in the middle of the park with Dan Dawson. Then continuing on to thread a perfectly waited pass onto Ryan Lyttle down the right. Who took it to the line and cut back for Andreas Bryant who finished like a pro. For the 2nd goal it was Alldis doing the cutting back and Bryant again being the man in the right place with another tidy finish. The 3rd was a favour returned as Bryant thread through Alldis who tucked under the keeper to surely put us in the clear. âSTOPâ shouts the ref as half time looms.
We came out the second half to find that 3 young Tolly players have had enough of running around whilst we pass it round them and have f*cked off home. No club needs players like that. Theyâre honestly better off without them. 3-0 up and now playing against 10 men. Was always game over. But we couldnât get complacent. And we killed the game with a goals from Dan Dawson (pen), Reece Haynes and Andreas Bryant who deservedly got his hat trick. Something to put on his tinder profile to impress the ladies (swallows pride). Last but not least was a goal out of the top draw. A free kick arose about 30/35 yards out. âLet me smash itâ asked younger, less talented sibling Drew Dawson. And that he did. And what a thunder-bastard of a hit it was. To make it worse it was caught on camera. The only thing I get caught on camera is a missed penalty in a quarter final. Never mind. Superb performance from the boys. And another clean sheet for the boys too. Shout out to Igs aka Groot, who hasnât had a shot on target in 3 games but still manages to have a smile on his face every game. Just hope heâs awake when that time comes around and heâs needed. Finchleians next in the league. They donât get much bigger. COYVS!!!!
TEAM: Igli Gjata, Andrew Dawson â½, Dan Alldis â½, Daniel Phillips, Dean Appleyard, Ryan Lyttle, Daniel Dawson â½, Ben Coghlan, Adrian Vazquez Camacho, Reece Horn-Haynes, Andreas Bryant â½â½â½, Rob Handleigh
GOALS: Nick Dunlop 2
Scribe: Connor Eldrett
The Crouch End Vampires travelled to Enfield playing fields for a Cup group game against Winchmore Hill 8th team. The kick-off is 2pm. We all arrived at 1pm to get changed so we could have a team talk on how to improve our technique on the pitch after our last game, then a warm up session before kick-off.
Winchmore Hill kick off the game, straight away from kick off Winchmore Hill play the ball over the top they went through one on one with Toby Thurlow but Toby makes an outstanding save down to his left side post. Winchmore Hill were having most of the possession in the first 15 mins coming out up to the 30mins the Vamps start to get a hold of the game and start stringing some good passes together playing out from the back working the ball up James picks up the ball and plays a beautiful pass through their defence to Nick Dunlop he is through on goal but just puts it over the bar end to end stuff leading up till half time but The Vamps take the Lead by a Great pass from Matt through to Dunlop he doesn't miss this one he puts in to the back of the net 1-0 . But it didn't last as the defence feel asleep and they crossed the ball in back post and get a header in at the back post to make it 1-1 just before half time.
Second half kicks off and we give the ball away straight away and then they pile players forward and they get the lead to make it 2-1. There was no action up till like the 85min and Łukasz Kowalczyk plays a long ball up the pitch towards Dunlop. He collects the ball from the corner flag and he takes on one player and then shoots from a very tight Angle and it goes in the keepers near post to make it 2-2. Things started to get a bit scrappy in the last few mins in the game there was a bad tackle from there player on our keeper ref gives him a Straight red and our Keeper a yellow for his reaction toward the player but not long after that it was Full time. We ended up winning the game on penalties 3-2 to proceed in the cup. Penalties were taken by Nick Dunlop, who unfortunately missed, Sean Warner, Matt Castignetti and Lee all scored
Well-done to Ryan on his first game as captain.
TEAM: Toby Thurlow, Elliott Jackson, Connor Eldrett, Łukasz Kowalczyk, Jake Pearlman, Ryan Horswell, James Swainston, Liam Warner, Lee Graham, Nick Dunlop, Ben Miller, Matthew Castignetti, Nick Dunlop ⚽⚽, Sean Warner
goals: aNTHONY kNIGHT 5, aSHKAN kALASHY
Scribe: Ashkan Kalashy
This week we were up against Old Lyonians 3s. They had won their first game with an impressive number of goals, and when they turned up, it was easy to tell that they were a dangerous team. Luckily for us they did not seem to feel the same about us. This worked to our advantage. So true to the Vamp spirit we begin fighting for every ball from the very beginning right to the final whistle. If the Old Lyonians were going to win, they had to work hard for it!
They certainly were able to play the ball on the floor and use the width of the 1st team's pitch to their advantage. But the experience of our back 3 of (Duarte, Deano & Mackey) along side the hard work of Skinndy and Demel on the wings was enough to neutralise any threat that they might have posed throughout the game.
We managed to go 1-0 up through a volley hit by Ashkan Kalashy from just inside the 18 yard box. After that we knew that this game can be ours if we carried on being disciplined, worked hard and avoided any lapse of concentration.
Old Lyonians were trying to wrap their head around the idea of being 1-0 down when Darren sent the cavalry in to add to our momentum. The double substitution of Moriarty and Knight added a lot of pace to our front line. These two were also great at stopping the defenders from building up any play from the back. So the opposition had to resort to long balls, but we had Reily, Millard and our back three to make sure we won the majority of duels in the air.
After some pressure from the desperate opposition, Reilly sent a peach of a ball to Knighty to start his goal scoring machine.
Just before the half we managed to go 3-0 up but all of us had played enough Saturday football to know the job isn't done till it's done.
So in the second half every vamp did his job twice as hard, George made brilliant saves and managed the game well when he was called upon. Mackey, Deano and Lee Duarte made sure the opposition don't get a sniff. Skindy and Jason De Mel ran the width of the pitch up and down throughout the game. Kalashy, Flynt and De Mel dominated the centre-mid and Bradley, Moriarty and Millard made life very difficult for Old Lyonians defence.
Knighty I guess didn't do too bad either. He score one, or maybe two, or actually three, or was it four goals.... NO TO BE PRECISE, HE SCORED FIVE F**KING GOALS!!!
Despite the outstanding performance by man of the match Knighty I must say this was a great team performance in a gritty match that was never comfortable. In the second half the Old Lyonians never gave up an managed to narrow our lead by two goals for majority of the match, and they were always a mistake away from getting another goal or possibly equalising. This was no easy win and so the triumph at the end through the team work made it even sweeter. Next week AFA cup against Southgate County. COYVs!
TEAM: George Hill, Barry Mackey, Dan Coleman, Lee Duarte, Jonathan Hindi, Ashkan Kalashy ⚽, Jason De Mel, Jason Reilly, Jordan Flynt, Jaden Millard, Martin Bradley, Anthony Knight ⚽⚽⚽⚽⚽, Alfie Moriarty
GOALS: MATT FRISKEY, JASON REILLY, GARY LESLIE
Scribe: Cory Sunderland
It has been a good start to this year with a friendly win against Roving Reporters Vets two weeks ago (5-2) and on Sunday against Old Minchendenians which was won 3 – 1.
We started well in the first half with a few chances before Matt Friskey slotted one home, closely followed by Jay Riley rampaging from midfield and smashing the ball past the keeper. Unfortunately, just before half time a Minch playing was sent crashing to the ground in the penalty area. lucky for us we had Jim Ling in goal who flew to his left and denied the Minch centre forward.
The second half started much the same with plenty of chances for both sides and with about 15 minutes to go Minch scored after a scramble in the box. The Vamps kept their heads and 5 minutes later Gary Lesley picked up the ball on the left-hand side, ghosted past two defenders and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
Next week is our first league game of the season, against Globe Rangers Vets, let’s hope we can continue our winning ways.
Goals: Charlie Fleetwood 2, Anthony Knight, Ashkan Kalashy
Scribe: Jonathan Hindi
The 4’s first game of the season was against Old Parks 7’s. With the pitches freshly cut and rolled out, looking like a snooker table (yeah right), the Vamps kicked off and it didn’t take long to see that we were the better side, winning first and second balls and much better in possession. But for all the hard work we didn’t create many attempts on goal, until Fleetwood collected a long ball on his head, like a performing sea lion, rounding the defender at the same time, found himself through on goal and making it 1-0. Great stuff. Old Parks responded well, with their striker going through one on one, but could find no way past the courageous Ginge.
On to the second half, Boss Man McKeon rings the changes again, keeping players fresh and hungry. But the reintroduction of Fleetwood allowed us to grab our second goal, chasing down a great long ball from Reilly and then slotting it past the keeper. Great goal and then immediately left the field. Goal followed when Kalashy delivered an inviting ball for Knighty to head home. Kalashy also found himself on the score sheet with a 25 yard strike which the keeper made a right mess of, Massimo Taibi style. They all count tho. We defended really well as a team so it was disappointing to see the Old Parks defender cross come shot nestle in the top corner.
Final score 4-1. Today was all about 3 points. Job done.
MOM Man like Reilly
GOALS: WANDA NCUBE 3, JOE EPHGRAVE 2, ALI MANOLI
Scribe: Adam Mitchell
Vamps kicked off their new season at home with a thoroughly deserved victory, despite finding themselves 2-0 down after just 25mins from their opponent’s only shots on target in the entire fixture. Tareeq, at 19 years making an impressive and assured debut at Vamp Nou, was adjudged to have unfairly pulled down the pacey Weirside striker inside the box after 20 minutes of near-relentless Vamps pressure and possession, causing the young, card-toting (Tareeq, Wanda, Adam all picked up yellows), North American referee to award a penalty, wholly against the run of play. 1-0 Weirside.
Weirside grew more confident on the ball, shortly earning themselves their first corner of the day. With the ball placed down in a different postcode to the corner flag, the Vamps felt unlucky and slightly stunned that an uncontested Weirside header from just outside the 6-yard box saw them go 2-0 up. Step up skipper Joe Ephgrave, not at all used to losing at home, having gone full Mourinho (unbeaten at home) in his first season. Long may it continue. Vamps maintained confident, simple possession and continued to expose Weirside in wide areas. A neat through ball was tucked away by El Capitano just prior to half time. 2-1.
The introduction of Luke Fitz, for a limping Sam Connor, injected even more legs into the middle of the park, and the squad’s fitness proved way too much for Weirside in the second half. Wanda Ncube, having been reminded at half time that he might never get the opportunity to play at Vamp Nou again then proceeded to turn on the style. He opened his account with a rifled penalty into the roof of the net, having been won by the skipper having been brought down mid-pirouette. 2-2. Vowing not to be brought down in the box again shortly after, the skipper demonstrated coolness under pressure with a tidy finish to put the Vamps 3-2 up. Daylight.
An efficient second half performance at the back, and a continued high press across the middle, saw off what little threat remained and Weirside were done. 2 more Wanda-goals (pun intended) followed, including a fine shot into the inside netting from 15 yards out and a monster 40-yard finish having ran straight past the adventurous opposition goalkeeper who must’ve suffered a rush of blood to the head. 5-2. Dead-ball expert Ali Manoli also featured on the scoresheet and rounded things off with a free kick delivered into and entirely across the danger zone, nestling into the far bottom corner. A deserved goal for a tidy performance and was a constant threat when carrying the ball forward. 6-2.
A very impressive start to the new season with no one having a bad game and a good demonstration of this team’s ability to recover from adversity having seen them go unfairly behind. Roll on next week!
MOTM - Wanda (sorry Joe). 3 goals isn’t a bad way of saying goodbye. More goals for the Vamps than there are words. Denmark is lucky to have you.
Additional comments from manager Sam Connor:
Boys the character we showed today was unbelievable. It’s easy to say stay calm and believe we’ll come back, but completely different to do it. We keep the same attitude in every game and we’ll go far this year.
We know we can play great football, and we know now that we need to earn the right to play football against these teams - which means digging in and putting the work rate in for the full 90 minutes. That’s what’s going to keep winning us games.
Great games from everyone today. Enjoy your evenings and let’s keep this positivity going into next week! COYV!!
GOALS: DAN DAWSON, DAN ALLDIS, ANDREAS BRYANT, JACK LAWRENCE
Scribe: Brodie Harrower
The Vamps 3rd team got stuck into the season off the back of a near flawless pre-season campaign winning all 4 and were keen to extend their unbeaten run into the new season. The pitch, like some of our players, wasn’t in fantastic nick. match fitness is never going to come around by the first game and we were aware the game could be a slog. The 3s lined up with the irrepressible sweeper keeper Igli who turned up straight out of Coppetts Wood - rumour has it he stays there to keep any eye on his goal even when we’ve gone home - then we had three at the back with two wing backs which is the go to formation for any manager lacking any ideas of their own - just go a la Guardiola and claim it for your own. We played a central midfield trio and 2 up top. The 3s started the game tentatively, we were slightly off the boil. We couldn’t string passes or sentences together. Lacking communication and carelessly giving the ball away, we were inviting pressure on.
The opposition midfield were proving elusive. They must have all been sent homework on Johann Cruyff because they were all at it including the centre backs. Eventually it would prove their undoing. The 3s back line weathered the storm and brought about some calm as we started to get a hold of the ball a bit more and go at them. The 3s wing backs started to pin their opposite men back. In particular Norsemen’s left back will be waking up in the night sweating like Jill Dando, trying to get her keys in the lock at the thought of Ryan Lyttle who was breezing past him at every opportunity. It was very tit-for-tat at this point, second balls escaping us and lacking that killer pass in the final third.
Eventually Benjamin Mendy reincarnate Dan Alldis robbed the opposition of the ball after doing the hard graft and drew a foul in the box. Daniel Dawson stepped up and Ladbrokes closed their next goal scorer market. He cooly dispatched it. There was still work to be done. The opposition were no mugs and we tried to stamp some authority in midfield. We needed to get a bit tougher particularly in the challenges if we wanted to win this game. We started to calm down and press from the front, Alldis again on the left put the pressure on Norsemen and managed to get them to cough up possession and managed to stick away goal number two under pressure from the oncoming keeper.
The 2-0 score line wasn’t totally deserved as we kept inviting pressure on from the opposing side. Then an innocuous looking through ball was chased down by Andreas Bryant who beat the offside trap and the onrushing keeper got outside his box and did his best brick wall impression. Andreas sidestepped him and drew the foul leaving the ref with no choice but to issue the red meaning it was curtains for the opposition keeper. In-house fighting and bickering on the other side was encouraging as we had the belief that this should now be a relatively easy task to take all three points. The fouls kept coming and eventually they gave one away in a relatively dangerous area. Wearing the number 7 was about the only resemblance Dan Hodges had to David Beckham on this day - or was it? Dan had been spotted secretly practising free kicks in an East Barnet park on his tod and something must have worked. He struck the ball sweetly and it looked too high until it dipped and cannoned off the underside off the crossbar, Tony Yeboah style. If we could raise some extra money this season we could try and get VAR installed as the ball clearly crossed the line. But the ref, probably as an act of sympathy, awarded no goal.
We made it to half time 2-0 up but there was an element of sheepishness in our squad. We’d got there by the seat of our pants and with some good fortune. We elected to keep plugging away making sure we put the challenges in. Ryan Lyttle and Dan Hodges made way at half time for Joe, a Newcastle native who heard about our famous club and jumped straight on the Megabus at the prospect of playing for such a side. Reece Horn-Hayes was on the wing in place of Ryan. Reece was doing so many pirouettes warming up while eating the remaining Haribo there was fears he might chuck up. We got stuck into them in the second half having an extra man affording us a lot more space and time especially in midfield, but we were guilty of flooding forward at times leaving us short on the break. We wanted to go for the jugular though and the flood paid off some ricocheting in the box left Andreas with a tap in header.
Dan Dawson asked the ref how long and after weighing up how much damage Brodie could do in half an hour 3-0 up against 10 men he brought him on the Fraggle. We were keeping it tight and kept the ball a lot better the back three were shutting everything down particularly jack Lawrence who seemed to win everything. Reece was terrorising the fullbacks the norsemen left back must have been having deja vu as we kept attacking. The other team’s frustration was growing and decisions were going against us. Fouls and simulation were threatening to ruin the integrity of the game. But we kept the press on and like we had Jurgen Klopp screaming at us on the touchline we put the beleaguered Norsemen to the stone. Another flood following good work down the wing from the ginger Arjen Robben, the ball fell at the feet of the newly arrived Geordie Joe. There was no fog on the Tyne. He buried it, making it 4-0. The 3s finished with a clean sheet winning 4-0. The perfect start to the season meaning we’ve kept four clean sheets in five including pre-season an impressive record well look to take into next weeks cup game against Tollington.