Falcons followed up their win over Manor House with a comprehensive 4-1 win away at Soho in a game which featured a hat trick, one of the worst refereeing performances you’ll ever see and a punch-up that resulted in very different punishments.
Returning to the team in goal was captain and last year’s Player of the Season, Conal. Outfield, Duncan and Chris Grehan made their league debuts while Alex and Chris Judd were rewarded for fine substitute performances the previous week with starting places. Kieran, Dave and Ritchie made up the substitutes.
The game didn’t get off to the best of starts when Jack pulled up with an injury inside the first two minutes. This meant an outing at centre back for Ritchie. However, Falcons quickly found their feet and went on to dominate the first half hour. Francesco’s persistence paid off when he dribbled past two defenders before being tripped in the box for a penalty on 15 minutes. Juddy stepped up to take the spot kick but hit a pretty weak effort for the goalkeeper to save.
Fortunately the striker wouldn’t have long to make amends for his miss, and boy did he make amends, scoring a hat trick in the subsequent 15 minutes. The first came courtesy of a good cross from his Irish namesake and Chris hit a smart volley at the near post to make it 1-0 on 20 minutes.
1-0 became 2-0 five minutes later following a delightful team move which worked its way from the back up to the right wing and saw Chris G and Alex combine to set up Juddy for his second. Then, on the half hour mark, the striker completed his hat trick, smartly lobbing the goalkeeper from 20 yards.
Falcons made their first unenforced changes at this point as Kieran replaced Pete and Dave came on from Francesco. Further chances fell to Tom, Dave and Duncan but the end of the first half saw the first signs of life from the home team as Conal saved well to keep the lead at three goals before the break.
The half time team talk called for more of the same and to keep the passing simple after a degree of sloppiness reared its head in the final ten minutes of the half. There was also a warning to get on with the game when the referee didn’t give fouls as it was clear the young official was well out of his depth and complaining wasn’t going to get anywhere. Wise words listened to by everyone… Except Elliot apparently!
Soho started better in the second half and Conal was forced into a super save early on. However it was Falcons who struck again on the hour mark and from an unlikely source. A loose ball made its way to Brady on the edge of the area. Rather surprisingly (given his recent shots in training!), the midfielder hit a low shot straight across goal and into the far corner, giving him his first Falcons goal.
Ritchie’s day came to an end after a series of fouls (none given by the referee) left him too injured to carry on. Pete replaced him at the back and there was rotation of Francesco, Alex, Chris and Brady as a few players called for a breather. Soho took the opportunity to step up their game as Falcons started to tire, and Conal was forced into another smart save. However, the goalkeeper had a bit of a moment when he did his best Dean impression and let a shot from distance go straight through his hands to give the home team a consolation goal.
The game became a bit ragged in the final ten minutes but finished in quite unbelievable fashion. Kieran charged up the right wing and was clattered into by two Soho players. Inexplicably, the referee blew for a Soho foul and this caused a quite unnecessary scuffle with Elliot and the Soho goalkeeper trading punches. To cap off his incompetent display, the referee rightly chose to send off Elliot but then only showed a yellow to the goalkeeper who threw the first punch. Perhaps his blow wasn’t as good?
The game finished shortly afterwards and Falcons could at least reflect on another three points and impressive goals for the second game in a row. Post-match, the team were hosted by Soho at Rupert Street Bar and treated to some food where Elliot and the goalkeeper made up over a pint. The rest of the team settled for a long chat with the opposition manager.
Next up is a home game against Bexley Invicta, sans Elliot, where we’ll hopefully keep our good form going… Choosing the squad will not be easy!
Squad: Conal, Duncan, Jack, Elliot, Pete, Tom B, Chris G, Brady, Alex, Chris J, Francesco
Subs: Dave, Kieran, Ritchie
Scorers: Chris J (3), Brady