Olu’s second hat trick of the season saw him tie level with Chris in the battle for the Falcons Golden Boot as we defeated Stonewall 9-2.
With both Chris and Andrew away there was certainly a lot of height missing but Jimmy and Elliot both returned to be effective replacements. For their part, this was a very different Stonewall team to the one that ran us very close in a 5-4 win back in November.
Much like our previous game against Phoenix, things couldn’t have started better. There was a clear foul on Francesco after just two minutes and Olu made no mistake from the penalty spot. On 10 minutes, Alex took a quick free kick from his own half. The diagonal ball caused problems for the defender and goalkeeper and Pete’s touch eventually found its way for Olu to score his second.
There should have been a third on 20 minutes but referee for the day, Ed Connell, took pity on the Stonewall keeper and awarded a free kick when it looked as though Olu had won the ball before they collided. However, after Stonewall pulled one back through a confident finish from Eamonn (who played a game for Falcons at this stage last season), Olu finally got his hat trick in slightly comedic circumstances when the goalkeeper’s clearance struck him and slowly rolled into the goal.
While there may have been some fortune with the third, there certainly wasn’t with the fourth. The ball fell to John 30 yards out and he hit a stunning drive into the corner of the goal to make it 4-1 going into half time.
With eyes ahead on the title deciding weekend in mid-May, it was noted during the break that every goal scored would help if we draw our final game and Romans win. Therefore it was a case of keeping the flow going while trying to keep better possession of the ball.
Francesco got his reward for an energetic performance with two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The first was a simple tap-in after Olu recovered the ball well in the area. He then ran on to a through ball and hit a confident finish for the sixth Falcons goal. In between this, both Jimmy and Alex went close.
Substitutes were made throughout as Matt, Jack, Kieran and Stevie entered the fray and John got his second of the day on 70 minutes, the beneficiary of a deflection to his curling effort to make it 7-1.
Stonewall grabbed a second goal when Conal had a rare flap on 75 minutes but Stevie finished things off with two nice strikes late on to triple his tally for the season. Final score 9-2.
Much like the previous game, this was one of the more comfortable performances of the season. That said, there are things to improve on as there were a few signs of complacency, ball possession wasn’t great and there were one or two slips of concentration at the back. All of these will need to be tightened up before our final game of the season back at Dukes Meadows on May 14th when we face Titans XXL. That said, who can’t be happy with scoring nine goals? Falcons were a constant threat in this game. Olu kept up his consistent form, John’s goal laid down the marker for goal of the season and it was wonderful to see Francesco sign off from the team with two goals before he departs for Spain.
We return to training at the later time of 8pm on Tuesday at Kennington Park. New players are always welcome. If you’d like to come please get in touch!
Squad: Conal, Duncan, Elliot, Ritchie (Jack 70), Pete (Kieran 30), Jimmy, John, Alex (Matt 60), Brady, Olu (Stevie 65), Francesco.
Scorers: Olu (3, 10, 35), John (40, 70), Francesco (50, 60), Stevie (75, 85)