Falcons got their first win in the Wimbledon and District Football League with a fine performance on a rainy day in Tooting.
The previous weekend's trip to Newcastle added Pete and Will to the injury list so in came Matt to defence and Rob up front. George was rewarded for his strong substitute appearances with his first start of the season while Brady returned to replace Steffen who was struck down with the flu.
Raynes Park United Churches (RPUC) were the only team below us in the league heading into this fixture so there was a lot of importance placed on gaining three points from it. Fortunately, we rose to the occasion with a super display where 3-1 almost flattered the visitors.
It was a day of heavy rain which actually served to make the hard Tooting Common pitch easier to play football on. After an early scare in the first minute where Conal made a sharp save, we settled quickly and dominated the first half. After ten minutes, Jimmy put Rob through on goal but as he was about to shoot he was the unwilling beneficiary of a horrendous bobble and the scuffed effort went wide.
Toby and Rob's high-pressing ensured that Falcons could keep the action in the RPUC half for extended periods and we particularly enjoyed success down the right, with Ben and Jimmy linking up well. After Kieran's first corner had evaded a willing recipient, we got our opening goal from his next one as the ball landed perfectly for Ed to fire home from close-distance.
Further chances followed but there was a deflating feel when the opposition grabbed an equaliser out of nowhere shortly before the break.
Half-time was broadly positive. 95% of what had been done was really good but it was just a couple of minor lapses which had cost us. Fortunately the team responded and put in an even more emphatic display in the second half.
It took a while for the second goal to come but when it did it was a cracker. Kieran picked the ball up mid-way inside the opposition half and somehow managed to fire in a 35 yard shot which took the goalkeeper by surprise and smashed into the back of the net.
Stevie and Abdul came on for the injured Ben and Toby but it looked like it might be a day of disappointment when Rob was judged to have handballed in the area. Not for the first time, Conal came to the rescue and he made a super save from the penalty to keep our noses in front.
RPUC added more pressure as the game reached it's closing moments but it seemed more likely Falcons would gain a third on the break, with Abdul firing in a super shot which was tipped over. However, it was George with the one that mattered with just a couple of minutes to go, following in on his own shot to make it 3-1 and score his first Falcons goal.
Squad: Conal, Matt, Ed, Sam, Kieran, Ben (Stevie 55), George, Jimmy, Brady, Rob, Toby (Abdul 75)
Scorers: Ed (30), Kieran (60), (George 88)