A superb win for the Sharks to end the year in style – with an incredible five goals for Nile, a fantastic first goal for Alejandro and a clean sheet. It was their biggest win of the season so far and an impressive way to close 2011.
The Sharks were on the front foot right from the off, with the midfield two of Sebas and Wiktor feeding Ben and Nile in the wide positions. In the first minute Ben turned his defender on the right and fired in a good cross, only for the Hampton defence to clear. On the other side Nile started what would be a superb game for him with a couple of dangerous by runs on the left.
He soon opened the scoring with another fine run and a well placed shot across the keeper and into the far corner. Great finish and 1-0 to the Sharks.
He added an excellent second minutes later as a loose ball fell to him on the edge of the box. In one sweeping movement he fired the ball high over the keeper from the edge of the box for a fine goal.
At the back, Alejandro, Rory, Phin and Elliott in his holding position were coping comfortably with any brief Hampton pressure. And in goal, Jakub came off his line quickly on a couple of occasions to snuff out dangerous through balls.
Meanwhile, the Sharks were keeping up the pressure on the Hampton goal. Nile continued his brilliant game with some superb runs and determination on the ball. He shot again across the keeper, but it was saved, only for Sebas to follow up well and hook the ball into the net. 3-0.
Minutes later and it was 4, as Wiktor received the ball from Alejandro and danced through the Hampton defence and fired a good shot over the keeper for a great goal.
Ben then had the ball in the net, as Wiktor fired a low cross into the box, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
There was time for another before half time, however, as Nile completed his hat trick after a great through ball from Phin. He showed great strength to run into the area and shoot powerfully past the keeper. An excellent hat trick – and more to come!
5-0 at half time, but there was no room for complacency. In the home game against Hampton, the Sharks had lead 4-0, and conceded 2 goals before finally killing off the game 5-2. So we knew the game was far from over – and Hampton would be likely to cause us problems if they got a goal or two back.
As it was, the Sharks continued to play superbly and were quickly on the front foot again. Jake and Martin had come on from the subs bench, and the goals kept coming.
Nile added a fourth to his tally for the day with a great close finish from Martin’s corner from the left. 6-0.
Phin came on in an advanced midfield role and was soon on the score sheet, placing a delightful left foot shot into the corner from the edge of the box after a good through ball from Wiktor.
And then came a goal that everyone cheered extra loudly. Ben was fouled midway in the Hampton half and Alejandro lined up the kick. It seemed too far to shoot, but he placed a superb curling shot which fell just inside the post and out of the keeper’s reach. A brilliant free kick – and a first goal for the Sharks’ Captain which delighted everyone. 8-0.
As the game drew to a close, Hampton started putting some pressure on the Sharks defence for the first time in the game. But the defence held firm, as Rory, Jake, Alejandro, Elliott, and Martin all got important blocks and interceptions in. Jakub also claimed the ball well when a couple of shots came in.
As Hampton piled forward in search of a consolation goal, the Sharks were able to break away quickly with clever ball into space. Twice Ben raced clear from his own half – but on both occasions the keeper was quick off his line and managed to get there just in time.
The final goal eventually came for the Sharks as Martin surged down the right wing, freed by a good ball from Rory. He crossed perfectly into the area, where Nile was surging in – and he met it first time and slammed it into the net. 9-0 and 5 goals for Nile – an incredible haul against his old team!
And that’s how it finished.
It was a terrific performance from the Sharks – a fantastic way to finish the year, adding impressively to their goal difference and a clean sheet for Jakub.
It’s been a fabulous first half of the season. The boys have played some breathtaking football, which has been widely admired. They have shown great strength, character and team spirit. And the new players – Sebas, Elliott and Jake have settled in excellently.
Let’s hope we can continue it into 2012!
Have a great Christmas all – and see you in the New Year.
Thanks to Nick for running the line this week.