By Gary Britnell - manager for the day :O)
Nottingham Ball Bois 1 - London Falcons 2
Friendly • Sunday, 23rd September, 2007 • Nottingham
The London Falcons XI kept up the recent good form of the London Falcons with another convincing display away to the Nottingham Ball Bois last Sunday.
The game was played at a good pace on the Ball Bois’ favoured 3rd generation pitch, similar to the surface England will play on when they visit Russia next month.
Starting with a host of debutants the Falcons XI took a while to get into their stride. But once they did they controlled a game in which they could and should have scored more goals.
Starting with birthday boy Chase Newton upfront in a lone position, the Falcons dominated the midfield with runners attacking from all positions. Zdenek Hrdliker was the first of these to test the home goalkeeper with an attempt that was a whisker from crossing the goal line only to be pushed wide for a Falcons corner.
It was left to Tony ‘Chav’ Kerr to open the scoring from 25 yards with a super strike that wouldn’t have looked out of place if it were on Match of the Day’s goal of the month competition. In fact it would probably win!
With the defensive line including regular first team goalie Aaron Jameson and Falcon’s new boy Jamie Okaro looking untroubled at the back, and the midfield full of creativity particularly from club captain Ian Kehoe and Lewis Marshall, the Falcons were unlucky not to go further ahead before half time.
The second half started brightly for both sides, with Nottingham unlucky not to equalize from a corner when an unchallenged header flew narrowly wide of the Falcons far post.
The Ball Bois didn’t have much longer to wait for their equalizer. A quick break caught the newly assembled back line sleeping as the Ball Bois striker latched on to a through ball which the pacey forward confidently side-footed past Falcons’ debutant ‘keeper David Ritchie.
In search of the win player-manager for the day, Gary Britnell instantly changed formations and threw himself on for club coach Chris Maughan, who gave another rock-solid performance at centre-half.
The more direct formation instantly caused Ball Bois problems deep in their own half. With Britnell unlucky not to open his Falcons account with another shot cleared off the line, this time after beating the goalkeeper.
Shortly afterwards pressure from Chase Newton forced the Ball Bois backline into a sloppy clearance which fell straight to danger man Lewis Marshall who in turn played an excellent lobbed pass to Ian Kehoe who was strong enough to hold off his marker to race into the area and smartly dispatch his first goal this season.
The Falcons again switched things about bringing on the reliable JP Kesseler (on loan for the day from sister club Birmingham Blaze) at right back and coach Chris Maughan back in Centre Midfield to see the game through.
At the final whistle the Falcons were overjoyed at a performance which proves the strength in depth the squad now has, and sent another message to the rest of the League that the Falcons will be a genuine threat in all competitions in their debut GFSN season.
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images by James Dyke/Mark Paffett