Falcons finally hit top gear with a 4-2 win over AFC Muswell Hill in Barnes.
There was disappointing news in the week with both Olu and Ed announcing they would be out for several weeks with injuries. However, we welcomed back John, Jimmy and Conal for the first time this season as we looked to build upon two draws to claim our first three points of the league season.
Muswell Hill – formally Romans Manor House – arrived with some momentum on the back of an impressive first game win. Falcons, on the other hand, were desperate to put right the wrongs of last week’s 2-2 draw with Stonewall where our passing game disappeared and everyone got on each other’s backs.
We also finally had enough of last season's team in attendance to get a photo with the league trophy won last May.
The first half was dominated by Falcons and there should have been at least one goal in the first 15 minutes as Chris fired over from a volley and Jimmy had two good chances. However, when the first goal did come on 20 minutes it was a stunner. The ball was headed out towards the edge of the area by the opposition defence and Chris beautifully struck a left foot volley into the far corner to make it 1-0.
The scoreline was doubled on the half hour mark when Pete’s free kick was headed on and Jimmy made no mistake to score his first of the season and make it 2-0.
Changes were made as Ben came on for Kieran and Matt for Pete but the 20 minutes either side of the break saw Falcons let the opposition into the game. The lead was halved on the stroke of half time with a complete clusterf*ck of a goal as we failed to clear from a long throw and Muswell Hill pounced with a close-range finish.
We rotated the team after the break but it was the away side who had the best two chances early on, going wide with one attempt while Conal made a finger-tip save to deny them an equaliser.
Then, as Pete came back on for Alex and Jimmy for John, there was a Falcons third. Jimmy’s hold-up play saw him pass the ball back to Ben who delivered a peach of a cross to the far post to give Pete a simple header and score his first goal for a year. 3-1.
Any thought of making it easy on ourselves was naturally short-lived as a catastrophic series of errors from front to back let Muswell Hill in to make it 3-2.
However, the final 20 minutes were all Falcons. Alex had already hit the post and when he was put through for a second time he made no mistake, striking with his left foot again to finish the game at 4-2.
This was much more like the Falcons of last season and, despite a slightly dodgy spell in the middle, we played with the confidence and positivity that deserved a win. What was even more pleasing was our ability to bring substitutes on without weakening the team – Ben in particular enjoying another solid outing on the right.
Next week we enjoy another home fixture as we host Soho FC before taking a break in early October for the Soho and Titans tournaments.
Squad: Conal, Cal, Kieran (Ben 25), Andrew, Pete (Matt 35), Brady, Duncan, John, Alex, Jimmy, Chris
Scorers: Chris (20), Jimmy (30), Pete (60), Alex (80)