Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 'A' 4 - 3 Bukowski

Match Statistics

Competition:
BSSL Division One
Venue:
Progin Park Field #11, Lancaster, MA
Date:
4/26/2008
Kickoff Time:
10 am
Weather:
Sunny, breezy
Pitch Conditions:
Nice Grass, Downhill in the first half, Uphill in the second
Team Lineup:
John O'Toole,Paddy Curran,Barry Roche,Gumsey,Daz,Matt Armstrong,Chopper,David Kelledy,Matt Scheufele,Ian Sinclair,Jonah Fontela
Subs:
Kieran Connolly,Gerry Daly,Shane McElwee,Colm Mcrory
Team Formation:
4-4-2
Goal Scorers:
Jonah, Matt Armstrong, Ian and Kieran
Assists:
Matt Scheufele
Man of the Match:
Jonah, Matt Armstrong, Ian and Kieran
Bookings:
None
None

The Kendall made the trek to their new home field in Lancaster with an eye towards extending their unblemished record to three games and maintaining their position atop the BSSL's 1st Division table. The challenger was the newly promoted Bukowski Tavern, a formidable opponent coming off a strong showing in last year's 2nd Division. Playing on a well-manicured grass field, the likes of which is rarely seen in BSSL action, this one promised to be a show of fast-paced, skillful play. But as they say, "Eggs and oaths are easily broken" and that promise would go mostly unfulfilled.

With a slightly undermanned side, Gumsy had some decisions to make in setting the lineup. Before the Kendall had a chance to find their positions, Bukowski had taken a one goal lead and Kendall was faced with their first deficit of the young season. It was a wake-up call that was probably much needed. The defensive lapse came as a result of Bukowski's quickness to the ball and Kendall's inability to realize that the game had started. This veteran club did not panic, however, and quickly asserted their dominance on the game. Going on the attack and pressuring the Bukowski defenders into coughing up the ball, Kendall looked to equalize. That chance came just a few minutes later as Jonah broke in alone and found the back on the net. The next goal would follow quickly with Matt Armstrong racing down the right wing and putting the ball past the Bukowski keeper to take a 2-1 advantage. Kendall was determined to show that they were the better side and kept their foot on the accelerator, looking to extend the advantage.

Bukowski was strong in the center of the park, however, using a five midfielder formation that kept Chopper, Gumsy, Davey and the rest of the Kendall central midfielders to defend multiple players. Bukowski continually pushed forward and their strikers looked dangerous on several occasions, but this strategy left them vulnerable at the back. One such counter came later in the first half as a Scheufele lefty cross found Ian Sinclair, who was able to get just enough of the ball to put it in the back of the net and stretch the Kendall lead to 3-1. With the two goal advantage, came a bit of complacency and Bukowski proved to be a pest that would not go away. Just as Kendall began to have thoughts of cruising to their third victory of the season, Barry Roche showed a graceful bit of skill that resulted in a turned ankle and a nearly flattened ball. As Rochey was carried to the sideline, Bukowski pounded the net and put away an uncontested rebound to get within one before the half.

Bukowski came out energized for the second half and their strength in the central midfield continued to show. The 3-3 equalizer came shortly thereafter and Kendall was left searching for answers. Knowing how important every point is in this league, Kendall refused to allow the upstart Bukowski to steal any points. They dug in once more and stood up to the Bukowski attack, creating some chances of their own. It was Kieran who would get the much needed decisive goal, with some clinical finishing in front of goal.

Down the stretch, Bukowski would not go away, but the Kendall defense found just enough energy to preserve the victory. In the end, although it wasn't the prettiest of games, a win is a win. With a 3-0 record and a feeling that their best football is yet to come, Kendall can see the opportunity that lies ahead.

With each of the forwards contributing a goal to the Kendall cause, they collectively get the man of the match award.

By: Matt Scheufele

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