Weekend Round-up: The First of the new Season
About time, and we are back!
The Halls Youth boys all headed to Stone Rec this weekend to get signed-up and ready for the new season ahead... Well done to our Manager's and Committee for their efforts with this on Saturday, and it’s great to see everyone back together!
After training, the Halls 1st Team headed to the newly finished Thamesmead Town facilities to play Bexley Borough in our final pre-season match of the summer.
Luca Fortunelli Lee Wright Steve Vanstone(c) Robbie Foreman
Josh Covill Jamie Waddington Dave Stevens Bradley Marshall
Subs: Adonis Ibrahim, Russell Allen, Dan Harris, Alex Carter, Dan Stark
The Halls boys dominated from the beginning getting in some good early positions with some decent possession. Bradley found some promising positions, and with some quicker, more thoughtful final balls we could have created some good scoring opportunities. Bexley had some moments in the first half and we trying to keep the ball, but our midfield was working too hard, with Deji, to present Vano and Ray with any real problems.
Deji was creating plenty of openings and we headed into half-time 0-0 and on the front foot. Dan Harris replaced Luca and Adonis changed with Brad after Dave Stevens retired with a broken boot, Rocket had found himself back on the wing after returning from his honeymoon.
We should have started brighter, and we were sluggish. 0-1 and a deserved goal for BBFC within 5 minutes of the restart.
The gained some confidence from the goal and were playing with more intent and pace. The game needed it to be fair, and with some pressure soaked up and defended well on the final ball (Vano having a quality match again) we kept the game 0-1 and capitalised on some space now opening up. Good link-up play with Deji saw the ball inside the box for Covill to tap in home for an equaliser. Jamie, Deji well done. And a goal for Covill. His first senior goal along with his first tackle...all in one game!
We were forcing Bexley into mistakes now, and Deji was still creating his chances and working so hard leading the line. John, Jamie, Rocket, we were all on the ball now and playing forward with a really good pace. Bradley re-entered the game alongside Brad as we readjusted and pushed forward looking for the winner.
And it wasn’t long, it was always coming. Luca, Deji, Jamie, Adonis, well done, and a trademark Waddington goal after running 50 yards to get into the box. 2-1 Halls.
We should have took the game 3 or 4-1 at this stage but we weren’t quite sharp enough in front of goal. We know our defence is solid, and we work hard enough on the pitch to hold any lead we get...
2-1 it was and we soaked up a last 5 minute resurgence from BBFC to win the match.
A good last pre-season match. Well done to Adam Back for officiating - and well done to the Halls Boys for showing great Respect.
MOM was thrown to Jamie Waddington, well done.
After a good work-out on Saturday morning, the Halls Under 15s were raising the goals at Stone Rec on Sunday morning to play their first real match on the pre-season. We were entertaining Blackheath U15s after meeting at the Summer Beacons Football Tournament in July - a 2-2 draw that day was enough for us to qualify through to knock-outs and we went on to win the final! So with some good memories and a first opportunity to see some new faces play, we shaped up with:
Ben Lewis R Josh J Lewis P
Ashley RyanT(c) Lewis T Reece
Nathan Joe T
Subs: Josh H, Lewis W
We started the match really well and adjusted to our new bigger pitch quickly. Some great link-up play down the left saw our Tristram Trio getting plenty of touches, and keeping the ball well. Simple passes were working, and with some good defending from JJ and Lewis R, we kept the ball moving forward. Nathan was linking up superbly with the midfield and brought Ashley into the game well with some good territory down the right side.
With Sam stationary in the Halls goal for a long spell, we didn’t sense the threat on goal when the ball was half cleared on the edge of our box. And a controlled long range finish from 35 yards, found its way into our empty net. 0-1. Early lesson learnt and as long as we keep playing, there is a quick way back for us in this game.
And it wasn't long. Lewis T had taken a knock and changed with Lewis Worley who headed up front for his debut. And some good possession again and sucked Blackheath into the ball and high up the pitch... with some good link-up with Ben at right back, Reece had picked up the ball and was bombing down the right wing. He beat 2 men and smashed the ball home for 1-1 and a great solo effort.
We had deservedly levelled the match and the pressure seemed to ease off the shoulders of the Halls boys. We continued to push forward and keep the ball really well. Nathan was a constant presence in the half, as was Ashley and Joe T breaking forward and linking up really well. Again, simplicity is the key and we were getting it right. And it was down the right again with Reece hurling down the wing again... He beat 2 men and headed towards goal, and with an excellent run from Lewis W, we had a tap-in inside the box 2-1. Well done Reece, well done Lewis!
We could have had a few more goals in the first half, gaining plenty of good territory and great to see us tighten up in defence before the half-time whistle. A few half-time shuffles gave us the opportunity to look again at some positions and to try and score some more goals.
We restarted after the half well, but heading into the midway point we lost our focus and control on the game. We were giving Blackheath too much time in midfield and they were able to come running at our defence. Blackheath equalised the game at 2-2, but it did shake us up at the right time.
We re-organised once again and Ryan and Lewis R started getting on the ball once more. With this Nathan starting getting more touches and we were able to get ourselves further up the pitch. And a deserved winner came from Nathan to cap a decent performance from him and the entire 13 man squad.
Sam made two top saves in the second half to keep us in the match, and we were especially pleased to see such positives debuts from Reece, Ashley, LewisW and Josh. There were special mentions for JJ in defence – a solid first match in that position – Nathan for leading the line very well, and for Reece who looked a constant threat.
We will hopefully welcome back Jordan, James, Anthony and Abdel back to the squad for next weekend as our pre-season is nearing its close. Looking back on the summer, with 2 tournaments cup final wins at Beacons and our own Halls Festival; we can’t wait for the season to get underway.
Thanks to Paul for coaching the lads on Saturday! A big welcome to you!
MOM: a few...
Elsewhere on Sunday, the Halls Youth Team entertained Bromley U18s at Long Lane JFC. With the new look side virtually all on display it was great to see such an attacking, positive match.
Bromley come with a good reputation, but our lads started quick. Delvin bagged another pre-season hattrick, and along with a scorching 30 yard free-kick from Paul and another from a debutant, the lads won the match 5-3. Great stuff!
BRING ON NEXT WEEKEND.... The Halls First Team open their season in the Haart of Kent County League with a HOME match against AFC Mottingham - who were also promoted last season along with us. Game at Princes Park, DA11RT, 2.45pm KO.