Reece Horn-Haynes ⚽⚽, Dan Alldis ⚽, Andreas Bryant
Saturday 29 September 2018
Oakfield Playing Fields, Forest Road, Barkingside IG6 3HD
SAL Junior Division 1 North
The Mighty 3s marched on to their away fixture at Parkonians with 3 wins from 3 in the league, the only team to achieve the feat and a win against a decent side such as Parks would surely prove our credentials to ourselves and the league as people would surely be looking at us as possible contenders to win it.
We don't want to get ahead of ourselves and we prepared well as we’ve done before lining up very much the same. The pitch was dryer than a night in watching reruns of Taggart. We’d have to be mindful of injuries. The other team looked well prepared and we got underway we stuck to playing football, playing out from the back getting the ball wide when necessary. It was boiling hot out there and the expansive pitch was taking it out of us early doors. We were wide open at points which was a cause for concern.
We had the better of the chances early on and we tried to squeeze them from the front. We had some opportunities and a couple of pot shots but nothing concrete. Parks applied our own press to us but we have the Albanian version of Manuel Neuer in the sticks he pinged the ball miles the defenders read it all wrong and the ginger ninja Reece Horn-Haynes was on hand to nip in behind and delightfully chip it over the keeper. The game then descended into what can only be described as a night out in Watford. We had corners, goalkick given; clear free kicks to us, no fouls. Some of us kept our heads others weren’t so sensible.
We picked up a booking but continued to play and Drew Dawson opted for one of his quarter back passes to Fraggle Coghlan who was doing the hard graft between the lines to feed Bryant who buried it. The opposition got themselves back into it moments later some backs against the wall defending meant the ball ricocheted and fell kindly to their striker who hit it low, Igli Gyata thought he was in a Nike Joga Bonita video and currently in possession of Bernand's watch was suddenly brought crashing back to reality when the ball that was at his feet that he had just saved with instead of his hands got away from him leaving the striker to follow it up to make it 2-1.
Just before half time we kept attacking and got our reward. We had been careless with finishing and our decision making was all wrong but Ryan Lyttle bombed down the right hand side beating a couple of defenders he squared it and it was buried by Dan Alldis giving us some vital breathing space.
The second half got pretty gritty and there was lots of niggling and arguing which was stopping the game's natural flow. We then got a chance, the ball came into Rob's feet who had been holding it up lovely all afternoon. He laid it off about 30 yards and it was all instinct as Reece picked up the ball 30 yards out he poked it ahead of him and buried it with aplomb in the top corner. 4-1.
Their striker controlled the ball with his hand (think Henry vs Ireland) and laid it yer man who stuck it away from about 20 yards. Our protests fell on deaf ears. Then the other end it was our turn in this tit for tat affair. Player 8172 then decided to use his hand to control the ball. It wasn’t so much 6 of one half a dozen of the other- it was pretty blatant. Being on a booking the ref had no option but to send him off. We were now down to 9 men. For those who play FIFA it was time to hit the left arrow on the D-pad 5 times this puts you in Park-the-bus mode. This leaves you short of attacking options but means you’ll have a chance if you use your brains to defend. We managed to hold on and the boys at the back mopped up and we held on for another 3 points.
SAL Junior Division 1 North
Scribe: Dan Dawson
The Vampires 3rd XI lined up at home to play Finchleians on Saturday off the back of a 7-0 win and impressive winning streak of six games inclusive of those played in pre-season. We were missing quite a few players, but this wasn’t an immediate cause for concern as we have displayed already the quality in the depth of our squad.
We were treated to the rarity of playing on the 1s pitch which we hoped would help us play our expansive game which was working so well for us already sticking to the same 5-3-2 formation as before. We started well putting the pressure on we immediately won a free kick about 35 yards out. Dan Hodges must have pondered an effort on goal but maybe deemed it too soon. It didn’t matter, the delivery was Royal Mail first class: Drew Dawson would have had more trouble missing the target and he buried it to make it 1-0.
We harassed them off the ball from the kick off again rob held up the ball nicely and played in Reece Horn-Haynes who was clearly onside to the dismay of the opposition making it 2-0. A rout was on the cards we had the wind in our sails now and the opposition were looking nonplussed. The rain continued to come down and the ball was moving quickly.
The Vamps were keeping possession well getting it wide when necessary. The opposition got into the game a little bit and had a couple of attempts mostly coming from deep with free kicks we had stupidly given away. They got a corner from one and sweeper keeper was forced to use his hands for once much to everyone’s surprise and it was some save tipping it onto the bar it came back into play and was brilliantly denied twice once by Dan Alldis on the line. Alldis went from defender to attacker again as went went up the other end and he scored with a header.
3-0 up you know what time it is: Brodie Harrower started warming up. Sam Lawrence gave way at about 35 minutes as he was blowing - this isn’t the Premier League after all. The boys at the back were doing fantastically well containing them, playing out from the back at will and the midfield trio providing a decent gel between attack and defence. The wingers were causing untold problems for Finchleians, Rob Handleigh was holding up the ball well drawing defenders and sending it wide for Reece and Ryan Lyttle to attack. We gained another corner and Daniel Dawson bundled it home making it 4-0 at half time.
The opposition looked totally dejected. We weren’t idiots and didn’t want to lose our clean sheet. We were playing good football keeping it solid at the back. We didn’t want this game finishing 4-2. It was now hammering it down - it was wetter than Whitney Houston’s last spliff. We came out for the second half with fire in our bellies. We got flying into tackles and stamped our authority on Finchleans. We were still playing well but maybe getting slightly excited as everyone was bombing forward trying to get a slice of the action sometimes leaving us short at the back, Daniel Phillips and Drew Dawson having to shut up shop with last ditch tackles on more than one occasion.
Alldis pulled up with an injury and made had to come off for the local derby - Stuart Hart. We then went 5-0 up courtesy of Reece again following more scintillating attacking play. The opposition got a corner a few minutes later from nothing and Reece thought scoring made him exempt from defending/jumping/doing anything in his own box and the ball came in straight over his head and they had scored.
Our clean sheet had gone and we needed to stay focused. Drew Dawson was now regularly getting rushes of blood to the head channelling his inner Cafu bombing up the pitch he had a 30-yarder tipped round the post and then played a lovely 1-2 before the ball eventually found its way to ginger Arjen Robben who dispatched it for his hatrick. The game finished 6-1 but could very easily have been more. We go into next weeks game full of confidence that on our day we can do a job against anyone. 🧛♂
TEAM: Igli Gjata, Andrew Dawson ⚽, Dan Alldis ⚽, Daniel Phillips, Ryan Lyttle, Reece Horn-Haynes ⚽⚽⚽, Daniel Dawson ⚽, Daniel Hodges, Sam Lawrence, Brodie Harrower, Rob Handleigh
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: 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.