Falcons were comfortably beaten by Imperial College Old Boys 2nds on Saturday but the scoreline didn't quite reflect a well-contested game that was decided by the more settled team.
On our debut in the Wimbledon and District Football League we'd have ideally had a recognisable team to start the new season. However, with Duncan and Andrew both departing London we were left without a centre back while Paddy, Percy and Jimmy were all unavailable in midfield. Add to that the four injuries picked up in the previous week's friendly and it was clear this fixture was going to be a struggle.
Fortunately, Cal helped out by filling in at centre back while Frank also pitched in on the right. There were full debuts for Sam, Jack, Steffen, Simon and Will who all joined over the summer.
Things got off to a shaky start with the away team capitalising on a poor clearance at the back to make it 1-0 after 5 minutes. We settled soon after but two swift counter attacks made it three and then a very effective corner routine made it 4-0 before half time. However, it was far from one-way traffic as there were good chances for us throughout which couldn't quite be capitalised on.
There was a bit of a boot up the backside at half-time. The whole reason for making the move into this league was to challenge ourselves to be better players. In order to do so we needed to up the intensity and aggression.
Falcons had by far the better of the next 20 minutes and were rewarded when good work by Frank allowed Rob to score his first Falcons goal.
However, the game was settled around the 70 minute mark as a long throw allowed the opposition to grab their fifth. At the other end, a shocking high tackle on Brady didn't even result in a yellow when it was a clear red and then a penalty for a foul on Steffen should also have been a sending off when no attempt was made to play the ball. Sadly, Frank's spotkick was saved.
With George on to make his league debut Kieran on to start his comeback from injury, Imperial College grabbed their sixth after a nice move and finish and the game finished at 6-1.
This was the sort of result that could perhaps have been predicted given the unfamiliar look of our line-up in the opening game of the season. That said, we've stepped up a level and know we're going to have to learn quickly in our new league. Fortunately everyone seems to be up for that challenge and we look forward to our next match in a week's time against Kew Antigua.
Squad: Conal, Jack D, Pete, Cal, Sam S, Steffen (George 60), Brady, Simon, Frank, Rob (Kieran 70), Will
Scorer: Rob 65