It was a hard-fought affair between the league’s top two sides and it ended in a rare 0-0 draw.
We had a continuing absence of players as Paddy joined the injury list while Elliot and Francesco were unavailable. Fortunately, Pete and Kieran were just about fit enough to make the starting line-up and bench, respectively, while Duncan also returned at the back. Stevie made his first start up front.
Romans started the better of the two teams and had a shot charged down from the edge of the area early on. Utilising Tom and Craig as strikers, it was clear their aim was to use pace to get in behind the Falcons defence, although the guys at the back did a very good job of neutralising the threat.
As the first half progressed, we improved and had the better of the game either side of half time. There was one glorious chance for Duncan as Andrew flicked the ball on from Alex’s cross but Dunc’s effort didn’t quite have enough on it and the goalkeeper tipped the ball around the post. John also had a chance that was saved but as the teams went into the break there was little in it.
The first 15 minutes of the second half was edged by Falcons and there was a terrific chance for Stevie who headed over the bar from a great cross by Jimmy.
However, as the game wore on it was the hosts who upped the pressure and, while there was little in the way of attempts on goal, their control of possession and territory grew and the whole of our team had to be switched on and at their best to prevent a goal. The one big chance for Romans came from another set piece as a header clattered the bar before being cleared.
And so it looked as though the game was heading for a draw until the very last minute when a misjudgement in the Romans defence saw John break through on goal. As the goalkeeper advanced on him he passed the ball to Alex but as he shifted the ball onto his right foot a tremendous last-ditch challenge prevented what would have been the winning goal.
Final score 0-0.
This was one of our least fluid performances of the season but on a day where the wind was swirling around and against a quality opposition, the determination and mental toughness to get our first clean sheet of the season made it one of the most impressive displays of the campaign. Hats off to everyone across the team for their workrate, which has gone up tremendously in the past two weeks. There’s also now the long-awaited pizza night – a promise made by Pete to the players three months ago when the first clean sheet came along.
With Soho losing to the resirgent Titans Two Brewers, Falcons now enjoy a two point lead over Romans with a game in hand, while Soho now sit four points behind. 2nd and 3rd place face off against each other next weekend, while we host Titans XXL in the first of three home games in March.
Well done all!
Squad: Conal, Jimmy, Duncan, Andrew, Pete, Olu (Jack 70), Brady, Alex, John, Chris, Stevie (Kieran 80)