Second-placed London Falcons shared six goals and the points with leaders Imperial College 2nd XI, on an emotional afternoon where club legend Pete Ransom played his final league fixture for the club.
Falcons XI: Matt H; Matt D, Jeff, Charlie, Pete, Kieran; Jimmy, Ed S, George (c); Will, Stevie.
Subs: Myles, Abdul
Goals: Will (x2), Jeff
Man of the Match: Will
With an injury-hit threadbare squad, the Falcons knew that they would have to be at their very best to get anything out of this top-of-the-table clash. They were not helped by a combination of surface water on the pitch and tempestuous gale-force winds that created a hostile arena for Saturday afternoon football.
Yet the visitors were undeterred and took the game to the league leaders, who spent the majority of the first half camped in their own half. However, on one of the few occasions that they broke forward, the winds played early havoc with the Falcons back line and allowed the hosts to steal a lead. A long throw-in from the right caused chaos as it danced in the breeze, before an unlucky final touch off defender Kieran saw Imperial go 1-0 up.
On such a windswept day it will come as no surprise that set-pieces were a constant danger throughout and it was indeed through two corners in quick succession that Falcons were able to turn the scoreline on its head. Firstly, a looping corner was punched into the air by the keeper, who could not get to the second ball as quickly as Will, who was able to dink the ball into the net. Two minutes later, it was another header that saw the Falcons take the lead. Again, Kieran was the provider, whose low cross ricocheted off a defender before Jeff rose like a Wild Alaskan Salmon to place a sublime headed finish into the top-right hand corner.
But the Falcons were quickly pegged back after another Imperial counter attack saw the hosts break down the pitch and level the scores at 2-2. The Falcons regrouped and deservedly went in at half-time 3-2 up with a swift counter attack of their own. Marksman Stevie held the ball up strongly on the half way line before getting his head up and spotting the run of Will, whom he found with a beautifully weighted ball. From there, Will was through on goal, and he kept his composure to slot between the legs of the onrushing keeper to restore the Falcons lead.
There was a twist in the tale though as the Falcons were unable to hold onto their lead and take all three points. It was another set piece that was the Falcons’ undoing as a ball back into the box after a corner saw two men free at the back post, who were able to get the ball down between them and find a precious equaliser for the under-pressure hosts.
The Falcons can still be very happy with their performance this season so far though, sitting second at Christmas, just two points off top spot with as many games in hand. The club now finds itself in an incredibly strong place both on and off the pitch, none of which would have been possible without the hard work of Pete Ransom. He will be a huge loss to the club and will be sorely missed - but at least it provides everyone at the club with a reason to get up to Manchester to see him for a big night out!
We’ve now got a month off until we’re back in action. If you fancy joining the squad, why not come down to training at Kennington Park, where we meet every Tuesday night at 7:45pm! We play league matches on Saturday afternoons, which means Soccer Special and drinks in the pub afterwards!