We’d beaten Kew Association Colts a few weeks ago in the Cup, so we were confident going into the match; but the boys were not complacent. As we learned last season, teams can improve significantly as the season progresses and the Colts showed enough to suggest they just need to play together as a team to start making an impact. And they came off the back of a 4-1 win the previous week – so their confidence would be high.
As it was, the Sharks were focused and set about their task with great determination. The first half was another display of excellent team football, with everyone playing their part, from Jakub in goal to Jake up front.
The Sharks were quick off the mark and were soon creating chances, with Francis continuing his superb form – this time on the left wing – and Ben showing his pace and skills on the right. The first goal came after great work from Francis, who combined with Jake to play in Wiktor who slammed the ball home from inside the area.
Ben was enjoying himself down the right, teasing the Colts’ defenders, and he soon added a second after good work from Francis set him free. He skipped past two defenders and powered a shot into the far corner past the diving keeper. A fine finish.
At the other end, Elliott, Alejandro, Phin and Martin were organised and solid as ever, snuffing out the occasional attack from the Colts, and pushing forward to initiate Sharks’ attacks.
Sebas, in midfield, was showing all his usual drive, energy and intelligence with the ball. Hs good work freed Francis on the right who drove to the line and crossed the ball into the area. It bobbled dangerously before falling to Jake who made no mistake with a left foot shot into the goal – his first for the Sharks to everyone’s obvious delight.
By now, we were working the ball so well from the middle to the wings that every time the Sharks attacked they looked like scoring. Francis and Ben were menacing on the wings and one great run from Ben saw him weave round four Colts in the area before squeezing his left foot shot just wide. Minutes later, he was free again on the right and held off his man to cross the ball into a dangerous area. The speed of the cross meant the Colts defender could do nothing but deflect it into his own net for an own goal and the Sharks’ fourth.
Francis then got onto the scoresheet with two excellent goals. His pace and skill are amazing to watch and he skinned his defender and surged into the box for this first goal, slipping it neatly past the keeper. His second was absolutely superb. Picking the ball up from Phin in his own half, he turned his marker and sped away like Usain Bolt, reaching the area before firing the ball into the far corner. Outstanding.
After the break, the Sharks found it hard to maintain their fluency, which was not surprising given the standards they had set. Credit to the Colts too – who showed great determination to make it hard for them and never gave up trying to create their own chances.
The Sharks are so well organised and hard to beat at the back though. Phin and Martin epitomise the defending spirit, with their tackling and their clever use of the ball once they have won it back. They hardly ever lose a duel against an attacker. Alejandro gave another Captain’s performance at centre back. He’s almost unbeatable, with superb positioning and reading of the game – and some of his tackles are wonderful to see. Again, he uses the ball so well when he wins it.
Elliott continues to make the defensive midfield role his own, with intelligent covering, speed and determination. He always seems to find time on the ball, never panics and distributes it so well.
In goal, Jakub is going from strength to strength – coming off his line quickly and claiming the ball bravely and securely when needed. His distribution is also excellent – kicking and throwing with confidence and accuracy. He fully deserved his clean sheet.
At the other end, the Sharks were creating chances but couldn’t seem to find the net. Sebas hit a good volley just wide, Martin fired a free kick in, and Phin hit a long range shot the keeper did well to hold.
The seventh goal came eventually when Ben found himself in space on the edge of the area. He dug the ball out well and looped a delightful shot into the corner of the net.
Ben got his hat trick goal and the ninth for the Sharks with the last kick of the game, as Wiktor sent him clear on the left. One-on-one with the keeper, he shot low at the near post and into the net. And the whistle went for full time.
Overall, it was a pleasing team performance from the Sharks. They’ve had a great start to the season and the new players are settling in wonderfully.
Next week sees a very tough game in the Cup against Rocks Lane, who are two divisions above, and having their own great start to the season. It will be real test for the boys, but if they can show their early season form they can go through.
Well done this week boys – and let’s show what we can do in the Cup at the weekend.
Thanks to Mark for running the line – and to Nick for stepping in at late notice to referee the second half. And thanks to Kasia for the lovely pics – so much better with them!