Four-midable Oaks catch Neasden cold

October 6, 2008

JC MSFL Div 1: Oakwood EDRS 4 NW Neasden B 2


It was cold, it was wet and it was a cracking game. Littered with great goals and good football this was a dramatic game from start to finish, contested by two fiercely committed teams.

Oakwood set out to press high up the pitch and use the wonderful Parmiters playing surface to their advantage. However, it wasn't long before Neasden got a strong foothold in the game. Moving the ball around quickly and efficiently, they put Oakwood on the back foot for the majority of the first half.

Afforded too much time on the ball in wide areas, Neasden were able to move the ball accurately and quickly up to Tijo whose excellent movement caused Oakwood all sorts of problems. Drifting left and right, as well as into the hole, he was Neasden's fulcrum and at the centre of all their good work.

Yet, surprisingly, it was Oakwood who took the lead. Blank finding Rob Davidson who's first time ball released Kintish in the channel allowing him to unselfishly (and unusually) square for Matt Geey to open the scoring.

Oakwood were buoyant and Neasden were rattled but a moment of magic got them back into the game. Tijo was allowed too much time and space as he drifted in from the left and unleashed a vicious shot from 25 yards that flew into the far middle of the net. Neasden were clearly in the ascendancy and continued to move the ball well. Intriguingly though, the better chances fell to Oakwood - Matt Geey going close on two separate occasions with shots from the edge of the penalty area.

At half time Oakwood re-organised. Getting tighter to the centre forwards and protecting the full backs more they limited Neasden to possession and long distance shots. Yet it was still somewhat against the run of play when they went in front. Blank's less-than-spectacular free kick taking a wicked deflection and looping agonisingly over the keeper who may feel he could have done better.

But Neasden showed good character to come back into the game for a second time. Some tricky movement from the left-winger saw him out-fox Stefan Isaacs and force the foul. Referee Robbie Littner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, and with good reason too. {INSERT NAME} converted the penalty with the minimum of fuss.

Neasden were in pole position but Oakwood had great shape and tremendous spirit. And, with Steven Berke at his crunching best and Adam Levine leading the charge from the middle of the park, Neasden were able to create very few clear cut chances with only Josh Melzter's free header standing out.

A break in play for a nasty injury to Jamie Beale allowed Oakwood to get a second wind. Pressing higher up the pitch, Blank won the ball on the edge of the Neasden box before Nick Silver found Daniel Geey whose unerring strike from fully 25 yards was a goal the moment he laid eyes on the ball. Having spent the week in bed with flu, and the previous hour on the bench wrapped up warm it was a hell of an introduction.

Neasden huffed and puffed but their superb, accurate passing that saw them dominant in the first half, had deserted them. Bloch led from the back while Matt Geey's constant running down the Oakwood right helped negate the threat that a combination of the winger and Tijo were providing.

All that was left was for Kintish to play a one-two with the keeper before slotting the ball home and ensuring the points for Oakwood.

Typical for this division, the match was hard fought and evenly contested between two contrasting sides. Neasden will feel disappointed not to have turned their possession into goals but for all their football they rarely tested Oakwood keeper Alex Krotosky.

Both sides will relish the re-match later in the season.

Last updated: 1:46pm, October 6 2008