September WEEK 5 Round-up
September WEEK 5 Round-up
Well the weekend started much brighter for the Halls Seniors – we had a match! And it was over to the cup for the boys this weekend with a slightly daunting away trip to Premier League outfit Bredhurst Juniors. Sitting in 3rd position in the league above us, we knew we had to start this match bright and suss out our opposition early.
Deji Kolawole made his Halls debut leading the front line with Luca Fortunelli, and Josh Covill continued his stint in the First XI with Raymond Marshall keeping goal; other than that, it looked a pretty familiar line-up for the Blues despite the absence of our golden boot winner from last season Lekan Bakare – sidelined with bone bruising.
Bredhurst started sharp. And their front two were seeing a lot of the ball. Ray in the Halls goal had to be quick off his line on several occasions early on, as we snuffed out some neat interchanges and then broke quick on our opponents. Deji had too seen quite a lot of the ball early on, and dragging the Bredhurst defence around, we could sense our place in this game and took the fight back to Bredhurst pretty quick.
After 20 minutes, Dave Stevens had taken a heavy late challenge on his ankle and we thought we had another injured player on our list… it looked bad, but Dave was determined to continue in the match and limped back onto the pitch – and he must have been pleased that he did. I certainly was! Within 5 minutes, Dave lined up another free-kick from 40 yards out, and drove a ball into the box that saw Luca lunge at the ball to get the first touch, and he lifted the ball over the on-rushing keeper straight into the back of the net. 1-0. And the boys certainly enjoyed that one with their celebration! Well done Luca, pure instincts! And 1-0 Halls.
The new-look front line was looking dangerous, and we continued to use the ball much better in both halves of the pitch. Josh Covill from right back, and Robbie Foreman from left back were both enjoying the width of the pitch and getting space to travel forward, and Bredhurst looked a little shell shocked from the goal. Skipper Steve Vanstone was winning everything as usual in defence, and with a loose ball played forward from Bredhurst, he cooly chested the ball into the path of Dave Stevens who turned and drove out of his half with the ball. With his head up, he had plenty of options…Rocket had pulled out wide, Luca had spun off the shoulder and Deji had plough his way right through the middle and left a small opening for Dave to slot the ball through for him, and he did. With an excellent first touch, his second and then his third soon found the net. Boom. And he made it look very easy, cooly lifting the ball passed the on-rushing keeper once again. 2-0 Halls and a fantastic break-away goal.
Debut goal for Deji, and it could have been his second in this match with a few near headed chances just before this.
Right on half time, and the boys came off the pitch looking pretty pleased with themselves. With 2 weeks off through last minute cancellations, I doubt no-one had expected to come out so quickly in this match. Credit to Ray in the Halls goal who played a big part in some very early chances in this match, and credit to Dave for carrying on and setting up both goals, despite his swelling ankle.
We headed back out for the second half, and knew we had to restrict Bredhurst in their next few chances in the match – and we was only too aware of that. But it was the Halls Boys that continued to dominate the midfield and use the ball so much better. With pure composure in our defending, we couldn’t have made it any easier for our lads to play…and the pitch was in a beautiful condition, only adding to our game. Nice and wide, and as flat and neat as you like!
Deji came close again from a headed corner, just nipping it wide of the upright, and we should have definitely made this game 3-0 when we combined superbly down the left with some great 2 touch passing only to find Jay staring at a one on one on the penalty spot…he shanked his first touch to Deji, who again was staring at the Bredhurst keeper, but he too, shanked his touch and blasted the ball wide from 12 yards.
With 15 minutes left on the clock, Bredhurst switched to a 3-4-3 and Adonis replaced Covill in a switch to a Halls 4-5-1 and Rocket taking up position at right back, and Luca marshalling the right wing. We looked to have done enough, but with 5 minutes on the clock, Bredhurst found some fortune and got the ball over the line in their first real effort on target in the second half.
It set-up an itchy last few minutes, and when their striker took the ball down inside our box and went through on goal, we might have all just thought for a second that Bredhurst were going to send this game into extra-time, but Raymond had different ideas. He made himself huge, and flung himself at the shot and tipped the ball over the cross bar for a great match-saving save in the very last minute.
The final whistle did go, and we took the game very deservedly, 2-1. We could have been 3, or even 4-0 up before the goal so just very pleased we see the game out in the dying moments.
A very good display from the boys in Blue today. Well done lads, a great day in The Kent FA Intermediate Challenge Cup. We go on to next week where we face NK Aces in the Inter-regional Cup back at Princes Park on the PrefectPitch! And a big thank you to Bredhurst for their great hospitality after the match.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the Halls Reserves headed away to Dunton Green in their first league match of the season, and despite a real good effort, and even match, we succumbed to a 0-3 defeat. We had a fair exchange of chances, but Dunton took theirs and we need to be more clinical in front of goal. Onwards and upwards here though as we look ahead to Hospital Cup action next week verses Sutton Athletic Reserves. Should be another tough match-up!
But there was some delight away from the First Team, as the Halls Veterans entertained Tanber Vets at Stone Rec. The game twisted and turned in every direction, and after previously never beating Tanber, the lads snatched victory in a 4-3 thriller. Quality stuff!! And the celebrations showed how much this meant to our lads….. keep it up!
AND ONTO SUNDAY….
Up first were the little Halls Under 7s, and they entertained Hayden Youth. It was a very lively match and the Halls players scored 2 fantastic goals this week. Albeit not outscoring their opponents, it was great to see the team look much more fluid going forward and they certainly enjoyed their goals! Quality stuff…we aim for 3 or even 4 goals this weekend…. J
On the other side of The Rec, the Halls Under 15s lined up against local rivals Hexley Rangers. With two cracking games in the memory from last season… the Halls boys lined up strong despite the absence of their number one Sam B, who was recovering from surgery but a very keen spectator alongside the injured Ben.
So big Josh made his full debut in the Halls goal, and Jake also made his full debut in position at the back next to JJ. And we started strong. Nathan had 2 early chances superbly parried away by the Hexley keeper, but he made the third one count, after pulling off the shoulder of the defender with a good through ball, and he buried his chance across the keeper into the far bottom corner. A lovely strike, and this one was unstoppable! 1-0 Halls.
Half time came and the boys were delighted to have got themselves in front for the first time in 3 matches. Previously very unlucky in their matches, we now had something to show for our hard work, and we continued to dominate this match after the break…soon making it 2-0 with James Lee netting from inside the area. An instinctive finish for a good goal-scorer. Well done James.
Hexley continued to battle however, and did nick a goal late in the second half to set-up and interesting last 10 minutes, but the defence was well organised today and we continued to snuff out the Hexley chances, and restricted them to just a few half chances. 2-1 it stayed, and a very good win for the boys. Well done!
The Under 8s were then up to face Ebbsfleet. And we found out pretty early on that this Ebbsfleet team were strong. They looked very comfortable in front of goal and out-powered our Halls boys. That said, this game could have been 3-3, 4-4 at half-time with Sonny having another cracking game leading the front line, and taking shots from everywhere in the Ebbsfleet half. Thomas had also entered the game and looked a real spark in attack, and rattled the cross-bar just before half-time.
Sonny did take the Halls goal however, and celebrated in real quality style to the massive applause of the 80 strong crowd! A lovely finish! And a well deserved goal. Jake in the Halls goal continued to impress in the match, and restricted Ebbsfleet to a very respectable score line. VCD up next, so we must continue to improve and enjoy it boys…
Steve’s Under 9s Blue faced Long Lane, and after trailing 0-1, found themselves flying back into the game with 2 quick goals for a 2-1 lead. Long Lane continued to win the physical battle however, and eventually over-come the boys in a 2-3 scoreline. An entertaining match, with plenty of action and certainly some memories to carry forward into next week. Nothing gets this Halls team down, so bring on next week boys…!
Crayford Arrows were up next at The Rec,facing our Halls Under 10s team, totally depleted through injuries to Ben, Max, Alfie and Imi, it was a great chance for the remainder of the squad to get a full 50 minutes of football. But Hayden were much stronger on the day, and took the game 0-6. A big thanks to little Jack, who stepped up from the Under 9s to make this tie an even 7v7. Great stuff. The team head away on tour this weekend, in their annual visit to Surrey….have a great weekend away everyone!! And get better soon to all those lads currently injured J
The late kick-off at The Rec was over to the Halls Under 12s who also entertained locals Hayden Youth. Trailing the match 0-1 quite early on, the game was quickly turned around with a GREAT half-volley from Harry.L on the edge of the box, and flying into the top corner. What a great finish to level the scores at 1-1. And it was soon 2-1 Halls, with Harry.L again converting, this time from the penalty spot for a half-time lead.
The drama didn’t end in the second half however, as Hayden levelled the scores at 2-2, and then the game twisted back again when Harry.L completed a fantastic hattrick slotting the ball into the bottom corner for 3-2 HALLS. Hayden never gave up however and equalised again for 3-3 and set up a tense last 5 minutes in the match. But no winner came from either side and they shared the points on the day…
A decent start to the season boys, keep it up, 2 games unbeaten!
Unfortunately to end the day, both our Under 18s teams lost. The Yellows were beaten away to Belvedere Youth, whilst our Kent Youth Team went down 2-5 to Erith & Belvedere, after the scores were locked at 2-2 at half-time, we just didn’t show up in the second half of this match. BRING ON NEXT WEEK LADS! #TrueHallsSpirit and we turn them both around…
October is here…. And so is Week 6… ComeOnHalls!