MGBSFL DIVISION ONE
BLIZZARD STORM 2 CAMDEN PARK 3
A deflected strike from Jake Saunders gave Camden Park maximum points as their bid to book an instant return to the top-flight started with a hard-earned win over highly-fancied Blizzard.
Camden went into the game missing seven first-team squad members, including star player and captain Robert Hershkorn. They managed to get some last minute recruits. with Greg Meller agreeing to play in goal for the first time.
However, the match started very brightly after Camden forged ahead after 10 or so minutes courtesy of David Khalastchi’s fantastic long-range effort - curing the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Shortly after the goal Camden had their standard 10-minute lapse of concentration, which cost them so dearly last season in the Premiership - with Dean Shaw and Adam Speck putting Blizzard ahead.
Things went from bad to worse for Camden when, just before half time, Meller had to go outfield due to a hand injury. Sam “Ludicrous” Bennett, "like the true mensch he is," agreed to jump in between the sticks.
Camden player-manager Nick Kagan rallied the troops at half-time and they came out for the second half as a different animal. Saunders, who was brilliant throughout the day, was pulling the strings and it was a case of just winning the ball and giving it to him, for the rest of his team.
Khalastchi was a beast in midfield and after a few chances missed, Leo Feldman from the left side passed the ball infield, Khalastchi let it run cleverly to Saunders who played a scrumptious through ball to Meller, who slotted the ball home nicely displaying some brilliant composure.
Blizzard Storm came back into the game and conjured up some dangerous passages of play, especially with Ben Ellis up front who was drifting out to the left intelligently and causing the Camden defence some problems.
However, Camden's brilliant second-half attitude and pressing game paid off with 10 minutes to go, when Saunders’s long-range shot deflected slightly fortuitously over the Blizzard keeper, who to his credit had made a number of decent saves. The goal itself may have been lucky, but the victory at the end was fully deserved," Camden's Max Saunders told JC Sport.
He went on to say: "A decent start to the season, but with our full team back we’re really looking forward to this season and hopefully bouncing back to the Prem as soon as possible."
Blizzard boss Simon Linden told JC Sport: "It was a frustrating to let a 2-1 lead slip. We weren't at the races second half and Camden took advantage.
"It was a close game, Camden I'm sure will be up there at the end of the season. We turn out attention to a next week against Bilbaum where we must bounce back."