Match Reports

Kendall Wanderers 'B' 5 - 2 West Town Rockets

Match Statistics

BSSL Division Two
Pine Banks Park
Kickoff Time:
Pitch Conditions:
Slippery when wet
Team Lineup:
Tim, Mike Mc, Kenny , Barry, Nick, Shane, Paul, Mick Murphy, James, Jesse, David
Team Formation:
Goal Scorers:
Andy, David, Jesse, Doug, Mike Tuttle
Man of the Match:
Shane McElwee for an all round midfield display

After missing out playing on the Saturday with those genuinely nice blokes at the Union Brew House, we resumed our Spring Fixtures with a make up game against West Town Rockets at a drizzly Pine Banks on a Wednesday night under the lights. Needless to say the weather didn't keep the fans away. Kendall had a total home support of one, (honorable mention to Killer) whilst the referee was responsible for the other supporter inside the ground. A small smattering of people took in the game from the cheap seats, outside the perimeter, quite rightly thinking that the football on display would be better watched from distance, without any ocular aids.

Everyone turned up prompt, present and correct and the regular practice of sifting through the kit to get the larger sizes begun, now everyone aware that if you turn up late and end up with a low number, chances are you will look like Austrian fashion reporter Bruno. Kendall had plenty of numbers with an excellent turnout from the boys, meanwhile West Town where a few short to start but had lads on the way so a quick start from the Kendall was essential.

After my usual "no mugs these boys" team talk (whilst Nick Sze is off on his own outside the circle doing kick ups and taking on imaginary defenders), I rehashed the usual pre match speech mantras of talking, first and second balls, win your battles etcetera, etcetera. We took to the field in the usual 4-4-2 set up with a view of getting things wide early and taking advantage of the numerical difference in personnel.

We started lively with plenty of possession and probed either flank and looked to open the scoring early with Andy Sumner sending a looping header goal wards from a deep Mick Murphy cross. Further pressure resulted in some early corners and early opportunities. With the corner swung deep, Barry roche planted a solid header back across goal, Mike McCormack stole in at the backpost and found the net only to be ruled offside, which was highly debatable. This didn't deter Kendall and certainly didn’t deter the rampaging right full back that was Mr McCormack as he found himself again in the six yard box with what can be best described as a "bobber". With the ball at his feet , the keeper to beat and the goal at his mercy, Mike's frustration in front of goal seemed to continue from Monday night where he was seen trying desperately to administer punishment to a cow's behind with a large banjo to no avail. The Red Hot McCormack managed to find the keepers grateful hands and the chance went begging.

Kendall continued to press but frustration was growing and the crosses where not finding their intended targets until Barry Roche advancing up the field from center half sent in a delivery that was met by Andy Sumner who headed past the keeper from 10 yards. A goal to settle things down and Kendall began to play a little more relaxed. The advantage was doubled soon thereafter when good work from a combination of Jesse and David Sheehan saw the ball bouncing around the box, just out of the keepers reach. With the ball not completely in the keepers hands, David slid in to prod home his 2nd goal in as many games.

West Town had a shot in the arm from some more of their players arriving and with numbers even, the game became a little tighter with less room for the switching of field tactics that served Kendall well in the first twenty-five minutes. Kendall continued to make chances with Jesse controlling a deep cross with a great first touch before firing wide of the goal. JK also came close flashing a shot over after some good interplay. Despite West Town’s renewed optimism, Kendall continued to look more likely to score, with Barry "don’t call me pussy" Roche and Kenny marshalling the back line, Tim had a relatively easy first 45 between the pipes. Kenny looked in good form, heartened by the news that his contract as Dunkin Donuts spokesperson will run through till 2012.

As the half time whistle blew, Wanderers retired to the sidelines with a two goal lead and more than worthy for it with a lively first half display.

The first half team talk was a pretty straight forward affair, "we score first and we kill them off – they score first and we have a game on our hands". Nick Sze was off to the side again, juggling, doing step overs, practicing goal celebrations. The 2nd half got underway and it was West Town who started brighter, their work rate and constant hounding forcing Wanderers into giving the ball away cheaply and in bad areas of the field. Without being able to push back the tide, Kendall defended goal desperately and West Town seemed to be applying pressure and getting the ascendancy. On corners in particularly they began to employ a screening tactic normally reserved for the hardcourts of inner city Brooklyn. Whilst jostling for the ball, one man would make a run whilst his counterpart did a Kendrick Perkins as you gave chase and stepped across your path. I got my ass "Scalabrined" on a couple of occasions as West Town used this bush league tactic to devastating aplomb without the intervention of the ref. The pressure paid off and off a corner they got their break through winning two headers in succession with the later finding its way past Tim. With the rear guard breached, the fears outlined in the half time talk came to fruition and The B team boys knew the next ten would be like a lively night at Michael Vick's house.

Luckily the boys responded in the best fashion, rather than letting the Rockets build on their breakthrough Kendall set back at them looking to get back their advantage. David Sheehan flashed a shot wide from outside and threatened every time he picked the ball up. Paul Lyons continued to work tirelessly in the middle with Shane Mcelwee coming in on an excellent shift to steady the ship, play things simple and plug some holes. It wasn't long before things boiled over as the wet surface and some niggling started to result in the ref reaching into the top pocket. Challenges began flying and West Town where soon down to ten after a 2nd yellow for the big center mid. This shifted the balance slightly and Kendall capitalized, Jesse ambled through challenges into the box and crashed one onto the bar. Not soon after David Sheehan flicked a great little ball inside the center half and Jesse ran onto it and finished well at the near post with a true strike. 3-1 to the Kendall and at that point, it looked like it would only go one way. New boy Doug looked lively with the ball and soon he was himself on the end of things, running through on goal and finishing very calmly to seal the victory. As Kendall begin to relax with the things well in control, they began to play the type of football they showed in the first half. Robert "Augusta National is giving me the runaround" Mcauley impressed on either flank and soon nearly had himself the goal of the season as he delicately chipped the keeper from a ridiculous angle only to see his effort carom off the post.

Even with a three goal deficit, the Rockets continued to play hard and their industry was rewarded with probably the best goal we will concede all year. After failing to clear the ball, the Kendall back four found themselves out of position and the ball was returned into the box quickly only to be headed upwards where it was thrashed into the net with an acrobatic over head kick. A finish of high quality that nobody could do anything about. It wasn't Pele in Escape to Victory, things didn’t go in slow motion and it wasn't replayed 3 times whilst surrounded by stern looking Nazis, but just like Ted Bundy it was excellently executed.

The highlight of the night however was provided by Mike Tuttle who scored Kendall's goal of the night. Impressive work by Doug saw him get to the byline, where Mike made a clever run to the near post from his opposite field position, Doug found him and Mike stroked it past the keeper into the far corner first time and proceeded to celebrate in a manner not seen since David Pleat ran across Maine Road when Luton beat City in 1983. All that was missing was the cream loafers and brown suit. (about the 1 min 19 second mark)


The final whistle blew as the mist began to descend on Pine Banks with Kendall well worth their 5-2 win.

By: Andrew Sumner

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