(as we lose 4-2 to Bexley)
It wasn’t the best of days for defending on Wandsworth Common. A catalogue of errors for both sides saw Bexley emerge victorious in the first of back to back fixtures in the London Unity League.
Ben, Kieran and Pete returned to the midfield alongside James and Rueben, Louis started up front while Conal had Thian, Josh, Ritchie and Dean as his back four. There was also a surprise appearance as referee by former Falcon Tony.
Falcons took the early initiative and attacked quickly and directly with several shots going wide or not quite getting the correct contact to trouble the goalkeeper. Then, after 15 minutes, the trouble started when a ball through the middle saw the Bexley striker break through, round Conal and score. This was followed ten minutes later by a penalty conceded for a trip in the area and a well-struck spot kick made it 2-0.
Falcons had threatened through set pieces so it was no surprise to see us score from that route, although the scorer was perhaps more surprising. It was Dean who won a free kick on the left wing and, after Louis flicked on Pete’s delivery it was our angry Irish Chairman who had the simplest of headers to nod in from close range and score his first goal for the club.
James picked up a somewhat harsh yellow card for his studs being raised despite pulling out of the tackle but he was fortunate to stay on the pitch moments later when a trip in midfield could have been viewed as more worthy of a booking. Still, nice to see a bit of bite in midfield!
The difficulty with marking struck again on 40 minutes when another ball through the middle saw exactly the same result as the first goal and Bexley went 3-1 up. There was time for a bit of controversy just before the break when a Falcons goal was ruled out from a corner after it was judged that the goalkeeper was fouled, although it did seem to be his own defender that made contact with him.
So, 3-1 down at half time in a game where Falcons had spent most of the 45 minutes in the opposition half. There was some organisational talk during the break about how to mark and position better at the back, though this naturally meant that within minutes of the restart, we gave the ball away, backed right off their striker and went 4-1 down!
Jack replaced Dean and Stefano replaced the vicious Nolan as Falcons searched for a way back into the game, though the fluency of the first half wasn’t quite there and Bexley were happy to defend well and continue their threat on the counter attack. Kieran probably had the best two chances but he saw one effort saved and another go narrowly over.
A tactical change on the hour mark saw Ritchie depart and Pete join Josh at the back while Cedric and Saul came on in midfield. Falcons pushed forward but could only manage a late consolation goal when the Bexley goalkeeper dropped the ball at Ben’s feet and Ben finished from his customary distance of 1 yard. Final score 4-2.
This was a disappointing performance against a team who had only registered three points in the league prior. While Bexley were a threat on the counter, Falcons weren’t quite at the races in most areas of the pitch. As always, there was time to analyse the issues over a pint or nine at The Two Brewer afterwards and we’ll look to bounce back when we travel to Bexley next Sunday. Hopefully Jack will have recovered from falling on the floor when Madonna came on by then!
Scorers: Dean, Ben