Team sheet; Kraus, Jaimin, Hall, Marcus, Chandi, Lewis, Haslam, Bexson, Platt, Walton, Livesey. Subs; Roche, Jayaram, Probert.
Hoping to follow on from their success against Bio Munich three days previously, the UWMCCFC took to Tarkett on a cold Tuesday night for their much-anticipated match against Tennis FC. With a win guaranteeing that we finish top of the table before the Christmas break, our boys were more than up for it. So much so that Platty showed up late having mis-timed the bus and Kraus missed the first five minutes due to traffic in Leam.
With Roche taking Kraus’ place in goal, the UWMCCFC started strongly with first-half referee Jayaram helping by giving us a few dodgy throw-ins. Very early on, a UWMCCFC cross led to a loose ball in the box which Platty brought under control and finished left-footed through the legs of a defender to give us the advantage. With Kraus showing up shortly after the goal and replacing the admittedly decent goalkeeper Roche (a man of many talents?), it looked as though it was going to be plain sailing from then on in.. However, merely a minute or so into Kraus’ tenure, a very pacey Tennis striker kept himself onside and burst onto a loose ball before coolly slotting past Kraus. At 1-1 the UWMCCFC players started to look nervous on and off the ball. Tennis failed to create any clear-cut opportunities but nevertheless dominated play for the remainder of the half.
At half-time Captain Platt was not too impressed with the performance; labelling it “the worst we have ever played.” However, at 1-1 we were very much still in the game and with added desire in the second half, Platt was confident we would get the win necessary to win the league. In the interests of transparency, I must also add that Tennis were prepared to falsify the result in our favour as they did not want to go into the “cup” competition next term. Regardless, nobody wants a hollow victory.
With Jacob Roche and Rhys Probert replacing Bexson and Walton on the wings, the UWMCCFC started the first half more confidently. Haslam and Dan Lewis fought tremendously in midfield, winning the ball back regularly and starting attacks. Hall and Marcus took control of the defence whilst Chandi and Jaimin kept the Tennis wingers busy by joining in on our attacks. However, despite the improvements, we still couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net. Not to worry though as after a succession of corners from the left-hand side, the ball dropped loose in the box to Livesey who volleyed it home with panache to restore our lead. With the result back in our favour, the UWMCCFC put their woeful first-half performance behind them and replaced it with the confident attacking style of football which we have become accustomed to over recent weeks. Jayaram came on to replace Livesey and started to combine nicely with Jaimin on the right-hand side. One particular combination came to fruition when Jaimin whipped in a cross which Platty met in the air and headed in to give us a two-goal cushion. With fifteen minutes to go, Bexson and Walton came back on to replace Platty and Jaimin. With Bexson back in his preferred central berth he began to combine with Jacob, Jayaram and Rhys leading to some dangerous UWMCCFC attacks. One such attack created confusion in the Tennis box and after a couple of shots were blocked, yet another loose ball fell to an onrushing Sam Haslam who headed it past the keeper to make it 4-1. With such a large cushion, Jonny Hall looked like a man possessed, bombing forward from centre back in search of a goal, with or without the ball at his feet. Livesey came back on to replace the tireless Dan Lewis for the final ten minutes which saw a lot of UWMCCFC attacks but unfortunately for Jonny, no goals.
The final whistle blew on the first term of UWMCCFC’s season leaving them top of the league going into next term’s “cup” competition, comprised of the seven best teams across the two Saturday leagues. On reflection, having edged Maths from top-spot on goal difference, the 11-0 win against Per Gende and our defensive masterclass in the first game of the year against Maths were defining performances. Platt would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the UWMCCFC effort over this term and looks forward to more success after the holidays!
Goals scored; Platt (x2), Livesey, Haslam