Falcons took fourth place in our first season in the Wimbledon and District Football League with a 3-2 win over Kew Antigua.
Sometimes it helps if the manager looks at the league table properly. After thinking that this game would be meaningless, it turned out that we were only two points behind Ocean Rangers going into this game, meaning that a win would give us a fourth placed finish we desperately wanted. Things weren't helped by George and Sam being away, Will and Steffen being injured and Conal being barely able to function as a human being on a Saturday morning. However, there was a welcome return for Toby, Joe and a just-about-fit Percy.
It's usually taken us a little while to settle in games this season so the first 12 minutes of this game were simply amazing as we raced into a 3-0 lead. Kieran's long throw from the left was flicked on by Frank at the near post and Ed raced in at the far post to tap home and score his second goal of the season on 3 minutes.
Just a couple of minutes later there was a simply stunning goal from captain Jimmy. The midfielder picked the bouncing ball up and hit a dipping shot from fully 35 yards which the goalkeeper couldn't handle and it was 2-0. The race for the golden boot continues!
The third came courtesy of a set piece. Pete's free kick from the right found Chris's head and, although the defender was denied his first Falcons goal when the goalkeeper pushed his attempt onto the post, Toby was on hand to tap the ball in from close range.
If the first 20 minutes were very good, the second 20 were poor as Kew found their feet and we lost a bit of concentration. On the 20 minute mark, their striker got in behind the Falcons defence and crossed low from the left for his striker partner to finish at the near post and reduce the deficit to two goals.
Sadly, Conal's season came to an end on the half hour mark as a back injury forced him off the pitch, leaving Matt to don the gloves and Joe to come into midfield as Percy dropped back. After Kew hit the woodwork, they then took advantage of Falcons switching off at a free kick and a cross from the right was headed in at the far post to make it 3-2.
So, plenty to talk about at half time. Where we had been strong was where there was quick movement of the ball forward and utilising Lee and Frank to get in behind the opposition defence. At the same time, we were determined to concentrate better in defence and not let in any sloppy goals.
That there is far less to report on in the second half and that's to the credit of the whole team as we controlled the play really well to seal out the game. There were chances for Falcons as Lee started to exploit space in the left channel and Toby somehow missed the target in the final couple of minutes but, other than a late shot from the edge of the area which went narrowly wide of our goal, it was a solid final 45 minutes of the season which deserved three points. A word too for Kieran, who put in a lung-busting performance to keep out any threat down the Falcons left while also having a couple of good efforts from long distance.
And so we take fourth place in the league and everyone at the club deserves a massive pat on the back for raising our collective level across the season. Back in September we lost our first game 6-1 and were wondering where we would be heading for the rest of the campaign. After narrowly losing our second game we started to show the fight and consistency we've become known for in this league and it's paid off. There's been a terrific team ethic and we now look forward to seeing if we can push on in 2019/20.
Our final game of the season is next week in a rather meaningless cup group game against Raynes Park United Churches FC.