Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 'A' 1 - 0 MIT

Match Statistics

BSSL Division One
MIT Grass Field D, Cambridge, MA
Kickoff Time:
10 am
Sunny but cool (Ian wore gloves).
Pitch Conditions:
Patchy grass, field was a little heavy in places.
Team Lineup:
John O'Toole, Steve, Mark Brett, Gerry Daly, Darren Skehan, Kevin Gumsy Gorham, Christy, Colm Minni McCrory, David Kelledy, Kieran Connolly, Ian Sinclair
Shane McElwee, Barry Roche, Matt Shuefele, Jonah Fontela, Mark Smethers, Kieran "Chopper" Reid, Matt Armstrong
Team Formation:
Goal Scorers:
Kevin "the Gaffer" Gorham
Man of the Match:
John O Toole
Barry Roche, Kevin Gorham

Fresh from a well-attended midweek training session in Melrose, Kendall A lined out on a crisp April morning to kick off the 2007 season. Expectations were high after a thorough and extensive pre-season regiment under the charge of gaffer Kevin Gorham, ably assisted by David Kelledy and substitute substitute co-ordinator Mike Mac.

Some new faces were on display with re-inforcements having arrived from the second and third teams in the shape of Chopper Reid, Kieran Connolly and Mark Smethers. Mark Brett made his first appearance since a brief midweek training cameo last autumn in Melrose where he laid a marker by thoroughly outplaying all and sundry. The new management team also brought in a couple of fresh faces in Steve McGill and Christy.

MIT started in the usual formation with their crafty and skillful number 10 sitting deep in the hole and causing all sorts of problems with his passing. He was also throwing his weight around a little. They stretched the Kendall back line with strong running down the flanks and created some nice openings which Johno was equal to.

Kendall eased into the game and began to get on top with Ian and Kieran holding the ball up well and causing problems with their running and physical play (in Kierans case anyway). Christy was looking dangerous on the left and the midfield was passing the ball well getting it wide to feet allowing Christy and Minni to play to their strengths and run at the MIT backline. Christy took one such pass, turned inside and got off a decent shot which the MIT keeper held comfortably.

Christy also possesses a nice long throw and it was from this that the all-important first goal came. A throw from the left was allowed to bounce in front of the MIT keeper and hesitation allowed Gummsie to nip in and give it the faintest of touches. The ball rolled into the corner of the goal and Kendall had their tails up.

MIT came back quickly, breaking through on the right side and forcing one of many fine saves from Johno in the Kendall goal. A shot hit high with pace looked destined to find the net only for Johno to stretch his limbs and use those big mitts to tip it over the bar.

Later in the half, Kieran Connolly chased a through ball through the middle of the MIT back 3 and was met by their gargantuan keeper who collected the ball and presented a forearm shiver to his head knocking him to the ground. Whether it was confusion from the blow or meeting someone bigger than himself on the football field Connolly took a minute to compose himself before getting up and sauntering off in that loping stride of his none worse for wear.

The subs started to roll in, Matt Armstrong and Jonah up front, Paddy "Dougie" Shields and Matt Shuefele coming into the midfield, Rochey at sweeper (given a special dispensation from Gummsie to sit deep-no doubt to take advantage of his ability to play long balls), Chopper at right and Mark Smelly Smethers at left back.

In midfield Paddy Shields looked composed on the ball and busy on defense, unfortunately he fell awqwardly injuring his shoulder in the process. Shuefele was his usual tidy self and all the lads put in a decent shift with Mark looking strong at left back.

Halftime came and the score was still 1-0 to the Kendall, a sense of relief came with the whistle and we looked to the new management team for words of wisdom for the 2nd half.

Low and Behold, a figure appeared from the shadows and began to talk about fighting spirit and getting stuck into MIT, the voice was familiar yet something was not quite right, was this a spirit from 2006, no it was substitute “substitute co-ordinator” Mike Mac showing up to give the lads a dig out as Donal was out of town.

Gummsie then emphasized what he wanted each player to do whilst on the field and reminded anyone on a yellow not to get sent off. We were dispatched for the second half with only one change from the starting 11, Mark Smethers was rewarded for a good first half display with some extended time at left back.

MIT again began strongly, Kendall were unable to maintain any possession and the front two fought for scraps with a comfortable MIT backline. Pressure was mounting on the Kendall back four and it looked a matter of time before MIT would score. A one on one with Johno enabled him to show again why he is the best keeper in the league when it comes to such situations and he stuck out a foot to block the shot.

A corner to MIT and the ball flashed in front of the goal, an MIT forward got a foot to it and it looked a sure goal, again O’Toole got a hand to the ball and put it behind again. As the half wore on you got the feeling that it was not going to be MITs day and Kendall could hang on for an important victory.

The subs again started coming in, a little more slowly this time-given the scoreline and how tight the game was balanced it was no wonder. Rochey came in at right back, Daz at left and Chopper into midfield, Matt went to left mid and Jonah up top with Ian and then Kieran. Everyone fought hard until the final whistle eventually came, a decent display but a much better result.

A few candidates for man of the match. Gerry and Mark Shields were rock-solid at the back, Gummsie and David tidy and hard working in the center and everyone put in a good shift whenever they were on the field but for me there could only be one Man of the Match… “he is a class act, a rebel” and one hell of a keeper-John O Toole.

Ironic though that he had been asked to write this report and turned to me instead.....(perhaps not wanting to do a "Mick Murphy"?).

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