Falcons saw off a stubborn SLFN team to win 2-1 in Tooting.
Pre-match preparations were slightly off the mark with Toby turning up without his boots and shinguards, presumably having slept in a ditch the night before. Lee arrived as a spectator only having arrived in a similar alcoholic haze. Fortunately, we had Abdul returning to join debutant Matt on the bench while Matt replaced Conal in goal and Ed returned to replace Steffen.
The first half didn't have much to report on as a tight affair saw us edge the opening period on chances but not quite create enough. Things were steady in defence against a constantly changing opposition formation but a save by Matt and last-ditch block prevented the visitors from taking the lead.
With Toby's ankle preventing him from having any further involvement, Matt came on for the second half, which allowed Rob to move to the middle. And what a second half Rob had. Minutes after the break, a great move from the back saw Matt feed George and his throughball saw Rob take the ball a little wide of goal but a thumping finish gave Falcons the lead.
One goal became two on 65 minutes as a long ball saw Rob bring the ball down with a super touch before it founds its way to Will. Will's been in good scoring form in 2019 and he extended his lead at the top of the scorer's chart with a composed low finish to make it 2-0.
Somehow we conspired to miss a whole host of simple opportunities over the next 20 minutes where several two-on-one scenarios either failed to produce a final ball or shot of sufficient quality. We could have been made to pay for that when one of the SLFN strikers scored with a beautiful chip from the edge of the area but fortunately that was on the stroke of full time and the only disappointment was that we hadn't kept a fifth clean sheet of the season.
This was a good, solid performance across the team. Sam and Chris put in very strong, composed performances at the back while Kieran, Will and Ed's energy meant there was no danger down the sides. George and Jimmy controlled the middle while Rob returned to his best form with a super second half.
The win takes us within three points of Ocean Rangers in fourth. We take on Imperial College Old Boys next week and, with quite a few of the team away, it's a chance for others to step up and make a starting place their own.
Team: Matt, Pete, Chris, Sam, Ed, Kieran, George, Jimmy (c), Rob (Abdul, 78), Toby (Matt, 46), Will.
Scorers: Rob (50), Will (65)