Week 10, 11 & 12
Two weekend's ago, it was the Halls First Team that suffered their first defeat of the season. Entertaining Coney Hall at Princes Park, and the scoreline had gone our way by half-time, with the lads leading 2-0. Christon Sookoo had a break away goal from the half-way line, out pacing the defender and going on to slot the ball home. It was against the run of play in the game and Coney Hall had looked bright in and around the Halls box. But 1-0 Halls.
And it was soon 2-0 Halls with Bradley Marshall bagging his fifth goal this season, and now leading the team goal-scoring charts, with a nicely placed free-kick, taking a slight deflection on the way, but in for a good half-time lead. We needed to raise our match though, Coney Hall were better than us across the whole pitch today and despite the scoreline we needed to lift it. We spoke about it.
But it just wasn't to be our day today, we started sluggish again in the second half and Coney Hall took the game to us again. A soft free-kick on the edge of the box presented a beautifully placed goal for Coney Hall, with the striker floating the ball into the top upright. Neat finish. 2-1.
Another free-kick then drew them back to 2-2. A smasher from the edge of the box, and a rebound tap-in. Text-book. And we was undone, and really treading water in this match. And it was soon 2-3 and game lost with a long range effort slipping past Ray in the Halls goal. We didn't deserve it today, so well done to Coney Hall....brought a good game to Princes today!
And the First Team didn't quite get the chance to make a menze last weekend, our match verses Peckham Town was postponed with the heavy rains we had. But we did see another senior match take place with the Halls Reserves heading down to play Kemsing United, who were placed 2nd in the league.
Bolstered by the some first team senior players - club captain Steve Vanstone, Luca and Bradley Marshall, along with Liam and Billy Judd. The match was pretty entertaining and finished 4-4 ! It swang every way, but at no stage did Halls take the lead. A few sloppy goals conceded, but we kept bouncing back and took the game to Kemsing. The old hog Steve Vanstone bagged his first goal of the season too, along with Scott Dole and Luca netting a brace for a 4-4 draw.
And back to this weekend, the Halls First Team travelled to Metrogas to take on higher ranked Premier League outfit Stansfield OB in the Kent Inter-Regional Cup.
With Christon AWOL and Luca recovering from nose surgery on Friday (from a bad incident last season verses AFC Mottingham) we were thankful to see the comeback of Deji from his holiday in Nigeria - courtesy of his family for passing his Masters Degree, well done Dej - and he led our front line right from the off.
We started well in the match and matched Stansfield well all over the pitch. We was a threat going forward with Liam taking a long range effort on target, and Deji getting in a great battle with their centre-halfs. But we looked exposed on 2 or 3 occasions when we allowed their fullbacks to push forward and from two well worked crosses we found ourselves 0-2 down at half-time.
Stansfield were a good side and they dominated possession really well in the first half, and deserved a 2 goal lead. A good re-think at half-time gave us all a little more purpose in the second half and we started bright again, and showed a lot more urgency moving the ball around.
Skipper Steve Vanstone led the parade well from the start and with the introduction of Adonis, and then Billy Judd, we found a great spell of dominance and pinned Stansfield back. A great combo with Rocket and Adonis put us in with a shout for the match, with Adonis punting home from 10 yards out for 1-2.
And 5 minutes later, we had the equaliser, Dave found Deji with a forward pass he could bring down, and he was off...out muscling his defender, edging inside the box and riffling the ball into the top corner. 2-2, great goal. We had the momentum here now and Stansfield looked the likelier to lose the match...chances came and went for us, and we needed to show more composure moving the ball forward. We must learn that if you are hurrying passes and putting yourself under-pressure, its likely to go wrong....so keep it simple!! Shorten everything up, and you can keep the passes moving quicker and more accurate.
We should have edged the game at this point, but with 5 minutes on the clock a deep cross from out right went swinging right through the Halls box to meet the head of the Stansfield front man for 2-3 and his hattrick. Game done.
We nearly produced a shock again in the cup, but the challenge was maybe a bit too much from 2 goals behind...
And it doesn't get any easier next weekend...with a seriously mouth watering trip to Kent League outfit Sutton Athletic, ranked 3 steps above us, and a huge mountain for us to take on if we want to continue our progress in the cups. Bring it on! Mountains get conquered!
ELSEWHERE THIS WEEKEND, the Halls Veterans won 2-0 in the Southern Vets Cup against Warlingham FC, and are through to the quarter-finals. Quality stuff.
Over to Stone Rec today and we see both the Halls Under 8s team's continue to improve their fortunes. The Blues entertained Eltham Lions, and after leading 1-0, lost 1-2. The result didn't reflect the match where we saw long spells of dominance and a thoroughly entertaining game - at times end to end. Great to watch, and great to see such good performances all over the pitch. Captain Jake D alongside Olli, Alfie, Lenny and Thomas were fantastic today!
And the Yellows then shaped up to face Kent Football United shortly after. KFU threw everything at the ball, with big players all over the pitch they tried to muscle their way through this match, and chased everything hard and fast. But our performance today matched everything they had to throw at us. Olli in the Halls goal, Max and Jake Cole, you three were 3 top defenders today, and we were really unlucky not to have unlocked a goal or two going forward with Eric and Lucas in such good form. A 0-2 loss was fair, but what a massive improvement we have here!!
Our mighty Halls Under 7s also took another huge step forwards today, after impressing in every match the last 4 weeks, they have certainly worked past their opening-month struggles and are now flying with confidence. A 3-3 draw in their first match against Sutton Dynamos was justice to a cracking game, which went end to end all match. And then a second match against them saw it as all one-way traffic and a convincing 4-0 Halls win! Goals all round and very happy days!! Well done everyone, and well done to Coach Dan.
Billy's Under 9 Blues travelled to Hayden and produced another master-class in attack winning the game 6-3 with some classy passing football and a real dominant display again. Other results today were:
U9 Yellows 0-1 Eversley Rangers
Halls U10s 0-3 Bromley Ravens
Halls U11s 1-3 Invicta Lions
Halls U12s 1-4 Junior Red Sabres
Halls U15s 1-3 Danson Sports
The only other match was Rob's U13s taking on Phoenix in a friendly, and sailing away 9-2 winners (I think...I lost count...) It was a dominant display and saw some Top Top goals and finishes.... great to see Wilson back on pitch with his Tottenham hair-cut too! Great day all-round.
Bring on lucky week 13....