Lucking key players and facing 2nd top table opponent, the coaches spirit was not so high. But players did not share the same, they are in high spirits. The game opened with Latini pace. 14: Our DF's clear was to Latini FW. (0-1) 15-23: Latini had several goal occasion but our GK Takuya well. 26: Latini took defensive strategy. We kept the ball but did not have any way to score. 28: Latini got second by counter attacking. That was number 14's quick dribbling. (0-2) 45-52: Latini had several scoring occasion but GK Takuya did well to prevent. 67: Latini got second by counter attacking. (0-3) 72: Latini got second by counter attacking. (0-4) 77: Minato was struggling to accept our fate. He dribbled and left 2 Latini defender behind and gently put the ball into. (1-4) 80: Our defenders were out of stamina. Careless back pass was robbed by Latini FW. (1-5) The score shows deference of each team. Their football was better than ours. The way change the pace, the way they wait for our mistakes, no way for us to change the fate.
Having qualified rather quickly for the quarter finals of the Cup (Plate), we had a tricky fixture against Nippon on Friday night under lights. With injuries and players away Tally assembled an experienced squad with a couple of debutants Mikael and Oli, plus some familiar names returning. An injury to Woody after 10 minutes meant a reshuffle with LTG switching to left back and Leo coming on down the left wing, and Lego moving central. Both teams started confidently and Nippon were very competitive. The opening goal for Latini was fortuitous but you could argue we created our own luck. Lego’s shot flew high, very high and bounced up on the edge of the area, there was hesitancy between the Nippon goal keeper and defence so Duplo gatecrashed their standoff and headed the ball in to the unguarded net, 1-0. With our tails up we then scored one of the best goals I’ve seen in my eight years with this club. Pet Shop curled a glorious 50 yard pass splitting open the Nippon defence, the ball arced and curled in to the path of Duplo, similar to a quarterback finding his wide receiver. With still a lot to do Duplo controlled and stepped inside and smashed a powerful right foot shot in to the roof of the net, right down the middle and the keeper had no chance. It really was a peach of a goal. Half time 2-0 Latini. Nippon were still very much in the match with their patient and controlled passing, though they found it hard to breakdown our shape and penetrate our 18 yard box. Midway through the second half goals three and four arrived. Duplo turned provider for Lego and Duplo completed a well deserved hatrick. The brothers reward… “Take a breather”. Latini’s resistance was finally broken after a dribble and smart finish from their left winger, a good solo goal and a shame to ruin our clean sheet. In to the last 10 minutes, Uncle Pete scored with an angled left foot shot and we saw the game out 5-1. The score line may have been harsh on Nippon but our finishing was emphatic. Coupled with our shape and work rate it was a very good performance from Latini. Stand out performers were Khy on the right wing and LTG aka the Dog. MoM obvs goes to Duple. Thanks to JT for supporting. Next game v Aioli PM, Saturday 4th March, 3pm Turf City Kit: - Big Ben