A tremendous first round cup win for the Sharks against a newly-formed Kew Association Colts team. In the first home game of the season there was some excellent football on show, some great goals (spread around the team) and a chance for the boys to play in some different positions.  All in all, a good day’s work.Kew Association Colts are a new team, playing only their second game together, but the Sharks were not complacent going into this cup tie.  After a tough draw last year, they were eager to make progress this season and continue their excellent form from last week.

And they were soon on the front foot attacking the Kew goal with great purpose. Sebas, Wiktor, Jake and Elliott were combining well up front and making inroads on the right. On the left, Ben found himself up against a very good right back, but was still finding space and getting in behind to cause problems. The fullbacks – Jakub and Martin were getting forward well and linking up effectively with the wide men.

Like last week, the Sharks were looking dangerous without quite creating a clear-cut chance, as Kew defended well and just blocked shots or cleared the ball behind for corners.

After 10 minutes, the first goal came from a corner. Martin had already whipped in a couple of great corners, which had gone across the area but bounced to safety. This time Ben was there to meet the ball on the edge of the six-yard area and slot it home neatly.

Francis and Phin now came into the action and both found themselves on the score sheet within minutes.  Jakub was doing a superb job at left back, so Phin went up front as a striker, and Francis settled into the right wing role for his first game of the season.

Francis was soon terrorising the Kew defence with his skill and pace, while Phin was linking the play intelligently up front.  And soon the second goal came.

Francis exchanged passes with Martin on the right, skipped past a couple of defenders and into the area.  He steadied himself and fired a scorcher high into the top right corner, which dipped just below the bar and gave the keeper no chance.  A superb goal.

The Sharks kept piling on the pressure and Phin was unlucky with a good turn and shot on the edge of the area.  Seconds later he found himself through when the keeper parried a fierce shot from Sebas.  Phin kept his composure and played it perfectly over the diving goalie to make it 3-0. Another really fine Sharks goal.

At the back, the Sharks looked solid and quick when called on, with Martin, Jakub and Alejandro all covering the ground well to snuff out the occasional Kew attack. In the middle, Elliott continued his fine form with another controlled performance – winning the ball well and distributing it intelligently.

For the rest of the half the Sharks kept up the pressure, but Kew were determined in the tackle and their goalkeeper made some tremendous saves. Phin and Martin (I think) both hit the post and the half ended with score at 3-0.

Second half saw the Sharks really make their dominance pay. Wiktor, Jake, Sebas and Francis were all involved early on, buzzing around the Kew area. And soon the fourth goal arrived after good work down the right wing from Francis who squared the ball for Jake, only for a Kew defender to get there first and steer the ball into his own net.

Ben came back on in the right wing role and was immediately involved as he ran at the Kew defence. He was brought down on the edge of the area and Alejandro stepped up to take the kick. He floated in a great cross, which Martin met with his head brilliantly, but it just went wide of the post.

Minutes later Ben made another run into the box and was up-ended again, and this time the referee pointed straight to the spot for a penalty. Martin came forward to take it and fired a thunderous shot against the bar. But the Kew players had encroached, and so the ref ordered a retake. Under a lot of pressure, Martin ran up again and with a super cool head slotted it home firmly into the corner.  An excellent penalty.

The Sharks were starting to turn on the style now and Wiktor went close with a great curling shot from the edge of the area, which the keeper somehow managed to turn around for a corner. He followed that up with a superb run from the halfway line into the area, but he just poked his shot wide of the post.  Sebas then fired the ball across the area where Jake met it perfectly, only to see it come back off the post. Very unlucky not to open his Sharks’ account.

Wiktor then got on the score sheet after good work down the right between Jake, Ben and Martin. Ben ran to the bye-line and chipped in a great cross to the far post, where Wiktor was waiting to slam it home.  A really excellently worked goal.

Ben then got his second as the Kew keeper attempted to clear the ball.  It fell to Ben who chested it down and volleyed it sweetly into the net. Another nicely taken goal.

By now, many of the Sharks were getting a chance to play in different positions, and were sparkling there. Elliott slotted in brilliantly at centre back, Phin showed his determination and intelligence in the midfield anchor role, Jake demonstrated his ability at right back, and Jakub gave another display of versatility by going into the striking role.

Meanwhile Alejandro was given a rare opportunity to play in the advanced midfield role, and he relished it. He was desperately unlucky not to score, and there was one moment late in the game when it looked as though he’d get his chance, but the ball just wouldn’t fall for him in the area.

And Rory, who didn’t have much to do all game, was superb when called upon.  It’s a sign of a classy keeper to be able to pull off great saves and keep concentrating despite long periods of inaction.  He made a fine save first half in one of the few Kew attacks, and he held onto a fierce shot brilliantly in the second half when Kew started to threaten at the end.

They did manage a goal – as the Sharks started to push too far forward chasing further goals and left big gaps at the back. Despite some heroics from Martin, Elliott and Rory, Kew eventually scored a consolation goal from close range – and all credit to them for keeping going until the end despite the score line. We wish them well for the rest of their first season.

As it was, Jakub had the last word after some more fine work from Ben. From the kick off he waltzed around the tiring Kew defenders and raced into the area where the ball dropped to Jakub who smashed it home over the diving keeper for a well–deserved goal.

Overall an excellent game from the Sharks with some superb goals, some great passing and wonderful performances.

Back to the league next week, with an interesting match against Hampton Rangers, with some familiar faces for some of the Sharks in the opposition.

Well done lads – let’s keep up the great start to the season on Sunday!

Damien

PS I’d like to make special mention of Rory and Jakub who very maturely agreed to share the goalkeeping duties this season. We called them over on Saturday to discuss it with them and they announced that they’d already sorted it out between themselves!  Well done boys – great attitude and great initiative.  

Thanks to Andrzej for running the line this week.