Falcons put in a stunning display to overcome an early setback and dominate in a 5-1 win over Soho FC in Barnes.
There was quite a long list of absentees for the game as last week's goalscorers Chris and Jimmy joined Kieran and the two Bens as those who couldn't make it, while Jack and Ed remained sidelined. On the plus side, Olu declared himself fit enough for a place on the bench while Paddy and Stevie returned to the starting line-up.
Things couldn't have started much worse as both Pete and Andrew's attempted clearances bounced off Soho players, allowing them to break through and score in just the second minute. However, we rebounded very soon after with the first of three goals from set pieces. On this occasion Duncan prodded home from close range and, despite a confusing offside flag being raised, the goal was correctly allowed to stand.
A combination of Conal and Cal kept the visitors at bay as a wind-assisted dropkick from the goalkeeper caused momentary problems before Mat's afternoon was curtailed by a poor late challenge which resulted in a yellow card. Phil made his way into the middle of the pitch for a very assured display while Brady moved over for a new lease of life in his first outing at rightback.
The remainder of the first half saw Falcons gradually gain the upper hand but it was two corners which proved crucial. After Alex and Stevie saw efforts deflected wide, a series of three corners finally saw Paddy head home a strong goal, while Duncan got his second and our third just before half time.
Abdul came on for the second half to give both Alex and Stevie a break and the quality of football we played continued to improve. It took a while for the fourth goal to come but a great counter attack saw the ball sent from the back to Alex on the right wing and his accurate cross was comfortably finished by John to give him a return on his hard work up front. He doubled his account just a few minutes later when good work by Abdul saw the ball break to him on the penalty spot and a low finish made it 5-1.
There were many other chances which went begging but this was as strong a 45 minutes as Falcons have displayed in some time and the scoreline was not flattering. With many players to return there will be a number of selection dilemmas when league action resumes in three weeks.
Squad: Conal, Cal, Andrew, Pete, Matt (Phil 20), Brady, Paddy, Duncan, Alex (Abdul 46), Stevie, John
Scorers: Duncan (5, 42), Paddy (35), John (70, 80)