Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers Over 30s 4 - 0 New England International

Match Statistics

NEOTHSL Division 3 South
BB&N School, Cambridge, MA
Kickoff Time:
9 am
Sunny 65 Degrees
Pitch Conditions:
Team Lineup:
O’Toole (captain), Law, Barden, Skehan, Coffey, Kilbride, Finnan, Regan, Day, Kilpatrick, Sinclair.
Archer, Sepe, Kiziuk, McElwee, Hamell, Mann, Fontela, Cunningham
Team Formation:
Goal Scorers:
Ian Sinclair, Aido Finnan, Denis Cunningham, Johnny Kilpatrick
Ian Sinclair(3), Joe Regan
Man of the Match:
Ian Sinclair

Like the changing of the seasons, or the ebb and flow of the tides, there is something reassuring about the continued presence of Dennis Cunningham and his famous binder on the Over 30s sidelines. For the third year in a row (is that a record?) the Kendall veterans assembled to listen to his soothing Mayo tones suggest that “with the good weather and a nice field, it’s a chance to play a bit of football, lads.” No need for Bobby Knight-style exhortations with this group of proven winners.

After last week’s (eventual) postponement, the first opponents of 2008 were New England International, at their home field of BB&N School. Having beaten them comfortably there in the fall, we were confident of securing 3 points to get the season off to a quicker start than last year. The squad is stronger than in 2007 as Noel Coffey has replaced the departed Vinny Rodgers. We have also added the returning Marc Archer and Colin Hamell, and Mike Kiziuk and Barry Roche.

We made a bright start and the first 15 minutes saw some nice passing movements, particularly on the left where Daz, Giles, Killer and Joe linked up well. Joe created an early chance for himself when he robbed a defender of possession and looked up, saw the keeper off his line, and tried to chip him from distance but missed by a couple of yards. Lar was heard to exclaim from the back that laziness had prevented Joe was taking the ball in on the keeper. He redeemed himself with a defence-splitting pass to Killer, but the keeper came out quickly to block his shot. Shortly after, a superb first-time ball from Killer over the defence sent Ian clean through on the keeper, but he got caught in two minds and ended up shooting tamely wide. Some rustiness there certainly.

A few changes were made after 20 minutes and this disrupted the team’s rhythm. Passing movements broke down, players got in each other’s way, and we started knocking speculative long balls over the top. Fortunately, the opposition were unable to take advantage as too often their final ball was poor, and the back 3, with Archer and Brian McCormack inserted into the fray, were able to mop up fairly easily. Johnno in goal was never really tested.

Towards the end of the half, we got our act together again. Jonah, playing on the right, got himself into some good positions and had a couple of shots on goal. Collie found himself clean through but scuffed his shot and hit the outside of the post. Russell Mann hit the crossbar from distance, and Marc Archer’s powerful header from a pinpoint Cunningham corner was only denied by a goal line clearance.

At half-time the general consensus was that if we kept up the pressure, the lack of subs on the opposition bench would start to tell, and the floodgates would surely open, and so it proved to be. Ian Sinclair got things started after Ronan found Joe and his well-place flick-on put the Michael Bolton look-alike away. As the keeper came out, Ian remained composed and knocked the ball past him with his right foot. 1-0 Kendall. Next up was the irrepressible Aido who burst into the box and smashed the ball past the keeper (with more aplomb than Sinclair, it has to be said) to make it 2-0. Something strange then came over Ian as not once but twice did he find himself in the box and he actually passed the ball to a better-placed teammate! Dennis knocked the first one in and his replacement Killer the second. 4-0 after only 20 minutes or so.

After this, more changes were made and the team went off the boil again a little. In fact, on a couple of occasions things descended into farce. After a kid ran on the field, the referee decided to restart with a drop-ball. As NEI had been in possession, Joe sportingly tried to knock a long ball back to their keeper but sliced his attempt and succeeded only in smashing it right into his drop-ball opponent! Much hilarity on the Kendall bench. Just as funny was Giles’ penalty attempt. Ian was pulled down in the box, and so Gilesy’s teammates, ignoring the well-documented inability of Englishmen to handle the pressure of a penalty shot, decided to let him mark his final Over 30s appearance with a goal. What followed was one of the worst penalties any of us has ever witnessed as Giles gently rolled the ball straight at the keeper. Poor Giles. Not how he wanted to be remembered, but that is how he will be.

Further chances ensued, notably for Shane McElwee, who drove narrowly wide after a clever one-two with Killer, but the score line was to remain at 4-0. It could have been 8 or 10, but no doubt Dennis and new skipper Johnno would have settled for 4-0 before the game. Tougher opposition lies ahead and some midweek Emigrant Cup games should help this large and talented squad prepare. All in all though, it was good start to the 2008 campaign and the push for promotion to Division 2.

And so we bid farewell to the enigma that is Giles Day. The language of a sailor and the accent of a toff. He liked his designer gear and his flash car, but could still get stuck in on the field as demonstrated by his permanently bloodied knees. We will miss his dashes down the left wing and the busty blondes at his parties. Just a shame about that penalty.

By: Johnny Kilpatrick

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