JC MSFL DIVISION FOUR
BRIXTON OLD BOYS 2 SPEC FC 5
The 13 fans who travelled from far and wide to reach Palmers Green may have had to skip breakfast to arrive on time ... but left the match full up after they were treated to a feast of football.
On a morning when the Brixton management would have hoped that their old boys became men, it was in fact SPEC's players who showed maturity in brushing aside their opposition.
The Bananas were fast out of the blocks and made Brixton pay for a sleepy start. Before the Old Boys even had a chance to blink, they found themselves a goal down thanks to the power of Pike. Making his first league start of the season, Daniel Pike lashed home a ferocious drive high into the roof of the net after pouncing on a loose ball in the box. Advantage SPEC.
Marc Hecht soon made it two, sliding in a cross from Ashley Burns to continue his record of always scoring when his Dad comes to watch (92 games, 92 goals*).
The Bananas were enjoying their football and continued their first half siege with a further brace from captain Burns who said that his goals were like London Buses "you wait an age for one, and then two come at once". This, his third brace of the season, was taken with aplomb.
The first saw him drive through the Brixton defense more like a bulldozer than a bus before applying a precise finish, whilst the second was a cross come shot steered in from a tight angle 25 yards out.
The only transportation needed here was a Taxi for the Brixton keeper. The first half ended with SPEC 4-0 up and Brixton wishing they could turn the clocks back by an hour ... again.
Whatever Brixton gaffer Daniel Selt said to his players at half time certainly worked as they fought back courageously to give the Bananas quite a scare. A sensational 40-yard lob, followed by a cool finish from Brixton striker Danny Sherman saw the Old Boys reduce the deficit to 2-4 with Max Martin converting but the industry of Ricky Lawrence sitting in front of the ever solid SPEC back four ensured the early Halloween scare was more of a Michael Macintyre than Michael Myers moment.
Craig Cohen made the points safe with a cool finish at the second time of asking after fine work in the closing minutes by Sam Freedman.
Praise must be given to Brixton who played with an improved discipline and heart, but SPEC proved too much for them on the day. 5-2 to the Bananas as their promotion push continues.
SPEC manager Laurence Conway said: “I was very pleased with our overall performance, particularly in the first half. Some of the stuff we played in the first period was terrific and was a joy to watch from the sidelines.
"Credit must also go to Brixton, who put in a really good performance in the second half, and had us getting slightly twitchy. I think it really shows what we are capable of, even with a continued lengthy injury list.
"We know what we can do, but it is all about transferring that onto the pitch week in and week out and proving that to the rest of the league. We must continue to work hard in training and there is still a lot of improvement to be had. If we continue to work hard, then this squad can go places. Feet firmly on the ground though, and all that we will be concentrating on is the next game, on Sunday.”
Brixton boss Dan Selt told JC Sport: "It was a bizarre game because we took the game to them in the first 10 and then we suddenly fell to pieces and found ourselves 4-0 down just 30 minutes in.
"We then made a change and I truly believe for the next hour we had the majority of play and actually created a lot of chances. It is actually frustrating that in the last four games we have shown flashes of what we can do.
"I’m looking forward to the day we string a full 90 minutes together with our strongest possible 11. But fair play to SPEC. They are an organised side and played the game in terrific spirit."