Falcons 2017 - 2018

Sedlescombe 2 Langton Green Falcons 1

U15 Cup Final, Sunday 15th April - 12:00am ko at Hailsham Town FC

Match reporter: Paul RichardsHailsham Town FC, the scene of many shattered dreams!

Two years ago, the Langton Green Falcons were cruelly denied a cup victory against Wadhurst. It was therefore sobering upon our arrival to witness a similar fate befall the under 13 Sevenoaks team, who lost to Hailsham in a penalty shootout.

The resulting match overrun enabled our boys to divest themselves of their smart tracksuits and make use of the time with some pre-match training in the adjacent field. But not before a study of the programme and player bios was enjoyed.

Meanwhile, Sedlescombe delayed their pre-match warm-up and for the most part remained in their dapper shirt and ties, while their enthused coach (no doubt driven by his team’s previous 3-1 defeat against top of the league Langton Green Falcons) gave a presentation with the aid of an impressive magnetic tactical board.

However, for me at least, both teams were visually overshadowed by the on-pitch warm-up performed by the referee and his linesmen.

With the lumpy pitch finally cleared of all previous match tears, celebration debris, prancing officials and an invading toddler, the limbered-up teams marched on.

After all-round handshakes, all assumed their positions.

12:25 WHISTLE BLOWN FOR THE START OF THE MATCH

(Sheldon and Jack started on the bench)

Sedlescombe, having won the toss, wasted no time in squaring up to the Langton Green Falcons.

The pace and physicality of both teams added to the already tense atmosphere.

The Falcons were certainly not looking for a pedestrian game that risked settlement with a penalty shootout. Unfortunately, Sedlescombe appeared to have a similar game plan.

Luca broke cover and took the game right to the Sedlescombe defence.

The referee appeared keen to exert his authority. Within the first five minutes two free kicks had been awarded, one to each team.

Harry displayed impressive control of the left wing.

Each team enjoyed the opportunity of a corner. (Did I mention this was tense?)

Some solid Falcons midfield passing from Josh and Max led to Ben gaining possession and with it some ground towards the Sedlescombe goal. A well placed forward pass to Joey - who remained on-side - a shot, but saved by the goalie.

Sedlescombe responded with a similar heart-stopping shot across our goal mouth. The ball was picked up by a Sedlescombe forward, who took a shot. Thankfully the ball flew above the crossbar and bounced off the clubhouse roof.

Then the Falcons seemed to exert some much-needed dominance.

Harry determinedly charged with the ball but was boxed in by the Sedlescombe defence. Dan Baker built upon his dominance of ball contact in defence with a big kick down the field. Luca artfully followed up and brought the game back to Sedlescombe, whose defenders successfully rose to the challenge.

12:59 GOAL:

A throw-in from Jack. The ball bounced off a Sedlescombe defender. Some confusion, but Joey definitely in the thick of it and with a possible touch that led the ball to calmly roll past the keeper and cross the line. Not our usual back of the net stuff but a goal nonetheless.

1:0 to Langton Green Falcons

Before the first half ended, we witnessed a superb long shot by Lewie, right on target, but right at the goalie.

WHISTLE BLOWN FOR HALF TIME

No doubt the behind the scenes opportunity was used to bestow some well-meant words of advice.

13:18 WHISTLE BLOWN FOR THE SECOND HALF

(Josh and Harry start on the bench).

Jack maintained his dominant presence on the wing. Max held his ground in midfield and Lewie persevered with some artful possession of the ball.

The referee also maintained his whistle-blowing skills.

A free kick was awarded to Sedlescombe, dangerously close to the Falcons box.The resulting defensive line-up was formed, another whistle was blown, and the ball landed just outside of the goalmouth. The ensuing melee led to a Sedlescombe shot that thankfully hit the wrong side of the net.

Some good play from the Falcons was interrupted by a Sedlescombe substitution.

Then a Sedlescombe player fell over, seemingly untouched by a Falcon. The referee again made his presence known and awarded a contentious free-kick. The resulting kick flew almost the length of the pitch and found its way to the Sedlescombe number 9, who promptly ran through to square up with our beleaguered goalie Dan. A shot was promptly taken and landed squarely in the back of the net. 

13:00 EQUALISER 1-1

Another unshabby cross from Ben connected with Joey. Sedlescombe managed to clear the ball.

Sedlescombe looked more dangerous. Frustration appeared to set in to the Falcons.

Harvey made his presence known in defence. Another free kick was given. Fortunately, goalie Dan got to the ball.

The Falcons fought back. Max to Ben, offside whistle blown.

Sedlescombe looked dangerous. Kaan knocked the ball back. Sedlescombe responded. Dan tried to shift the ball away but it bobbled on the dreadful pitch, and the Sedlescombe no9 was on him.

13:46 GOAL

A brutal, but nonetheless legitimate goal from Sedlescombe.

2:1 to Sedlescombe

Desperate play ensued from the Falcons.

Some injury time but no reprieve was to be found. For a while the prospect of penalties had some appeal.

FINAL WHISTLE BLOWN

Post-match comment:

In short, not our best match, but our boys did well to get to the final. Some artful substitutions from the management ensured everyone had a game - albeit a hard-fought one. My apologies for not mentioning each players' contribution by name.

The Falcons still have the league title in their own hands. Let’s hope they pick themselves up and get over the line.

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Tonbridge Rangers 3 Langton Green Falcons 1

Sunday 25th March - 11:30am ko at Tonbridge Farm

Match reporter: Steve Conn

After a seven-week break, the Falcons were always likely to look a little rusty in only their second match of 2018, particularly on a very bumpy, ploughed field of a pitch. But the manner in which they meekly surrendered their 100% record against a 10-man Tonbridge side was as unexpected as it was disappointing. After giving up two very soft goals in the first 20 minutes, the sole bright spot of the match for the Falcons was a well-taken strike from Max near the end of the first half. But despite playing with the slope in the second half, the Falcons gave up another soft goal and rarely threatened at the other end. They were simply outbattled by a far more committed, physical Tonbridge team.

Football is about winning and losing, and the Falcons’ winning run was always likely to come to an end at some point. The boys have a cup final to look forward to, and the league title is still in their own hands with five games to play, so the double is still on…but it will all depend on how the team can respond to, and learn from, this defeat. We know the boys have great character, and they will need to show that with away games coming up against Hastings, Sedlescombe and Broad Oak, as well as the reverse fixture against Tonbridge Rangers.

So all to play for, and let’s hope the real Falcons we all know and love turn up against Hastings in our next fixture on 8 April. Please come and cheer them on.

League table below:

http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/ProcessPublicSelect.do?psSelectedSeason=704764918&psSelectedDivision=7276552&Submit.x=6&Submit.y=4&Submit=Submit&psSelectedCompetition=0&psSelectedLeague=4344945

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Broad Oak & Horam Legend 0

Sunday 4th February - 11:00am ko at Groombridge, Cup Semi-Final

Match reporter: Steve Conn

Semi-final day arrived with a heavy pitch and Arctic winds. Much to the Falcons’ bemusement, when they arrived they were locked in the dressing room by Ian and told to stretch muscles and huddle together for warmth.

This tactical masterstroke obviously paid dividends because, when freed from the confinement of the dressing room, the lads started the match warm, flexible and on the front foot.

After six minutes, a towering defensive header from Harvey on the halfway line found Harry.

Harry controlled the ball superbly, beat his man and put in a perfect cross, which Joey slid past the keeper with a side-footed volley. A lovely goal. 1-0

As always between these teams, the match was very competitive and end-to-end.

A goal from Ben was chalked off for offside, Kaan had to use his pace to deal with the dangerous Broad Oak attack, and Dan fielded a couple of dangerous shots. Max and Josh were holding their own in midfield and Dan and Lewie were making their trademark marauding runs up the flanks, aided by Harry, Luca and Victor.

Ben and Joey were working tirelessly and always looking sharp.Then just before half-time, the Falcons doubled their lead. Harry controlled the ball on the left, and slid it to Max on the edge of the area, whose shot nestled snuggly in the top-right corner of the Broad Oak net. 2-0 at half-time. More huddling for warmth, helped by jaffa cakes and hot chocolate and blackcurrant courtesy of Kerry and Jemma.   

Broad Oak started the second half strongly. After a few minutes a free header from a Broad Oak corner glanced off Kaan’s head and onto the bar. Though Dan in goal definitely had it covered (says Dan).Shortly afterwards, a swift Broad Oak attach saw the Falcons’ post rattled. Though Dan in goal definitely had it covered (says Dan).

Play continued to be very competitive, with Max in particular having a very strong game to ensure the Falcons kept a grip on the midfield.Then after 65 minutes, a pivotal minute in the game. A Broad Oak break saw their combative striker through one-on-one with Dan. Dan did enough to put him off balance, but just as it looked as if he must score, Kaan appeared from nowhere to sweep the ball away.

The ensuing corner was cleared to Luca just outside the Falcons' box. Luca burst forward and fed Joey. Joey beat the defence for pace down the right and put in a measured cross…and who was there to tap it in...Luca. So what could have been 2-1 turned into 3-0, and the Falcons were comfortable.

Jack and Sheldon, on debut, both contributed well as the Falcons saw out time.All in all, the match was a real test for the Falcons, and the boys passed with flying colours, a clean sheet and three of the best goals you’ll see all season.

They have earned a day out at the cup final vs Sedlescombe, scheduled for 15 April. Put it in your diaries and get making those banners.

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Langton Green Falcons 11 TW Youth Falcons 1

Sunday 28th January - 11:00am ko at Groombridge

Match reporter: Marc Parris (yet again…thanks Marc)

The all too familiar faces were on the side-line for the start of the game!!! Myself and Colin.

The extremes people are now going to to avoid the match report are on another level and quite comical.  Just to let you into a secret: we know you are hiding as you all appear within five minutes of the match starting ;)

From the warm-up that everyone was in hiding for, the boys looked in good spirits, even though there were a couple shaking off the tail-end of some nasty bugs.The game was pretty much ours from the start, with the Falcons straight to action.

Opening the goal tally for the day was Joey after a nice pass from Ben, four minutes in.

GOAL - Joey - 1:0

More possession from the Falcons and some great movement!

GOAL - Harry - 2:0

More possession from the Falcons and some great passing!

GOAL - Max - 3:0

Short lapse in concentration - something you don’t see every week!!!

GOAL - TWells Youth - 3:1

Within seconds, another strike.

GOAL - Max - 4:1

Some great movement and passing from Ben, lovely pass through.

GOAL - Joey - 5:1

Another push forward from TW Youth and another shot on goal, over the bar.  Corner for LG Falcons, header from new boy Jack, just wide. Goal kick out to LG Falcons, shot.

GOAL - Lewie - 6:1 

HALF TIME

Straight out trap and a great shot on goal.

GOAL - Ben - 7:1

A push forward from the LG Falcons and out for a corner kick. Nicely whipped in from Victor, which produced some kind of dramatic chest volley from 2 inches out by Joey, but ended up going vertically over the bar.  Would have loved to have seen a replay of that. (Joey wouldn’t..)

Another great pass from Victor to Ben, strike.

GOAL - Ben - 8:1

Another great strike from Josh.

GOAL - Josh - 9:1

Could this be the first time in the history of Langton Green Falcons that they get to double figures!!! Yes, shot.

GOAL - Joey - 10:1 - Hat trick 

Some more great passing and spreading the play wide, great cross from Ben to the feet of Joey.

GOAL - Joey - 11:1

Another cross from Ben to Harry, shot, cross bar.

FULL TIME

Looking forward to this weekend's game, and not having to do the match report as I’m sure there will be a few more parents available, seeing as it the semi-final of the cup.  Good luck boys, we know you can do it.

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Wadhurst 0 Langton Green Falcons 8

Sunday 14th January - 10:30am ko in Wadhurst

Match reporter: Ben’s Dad

Our first match of the new year, and a welcome to new player Jack (former Kings Hill player).

A sunny but chilly morning with the usual side-line banter rudely interrupted by Steve, with the pen forcefully awarded to yours truly and the flag to Colin.

On the pitch, our boys were busy familiarising themselves with the new ground and a good flat surface under the stage direction of Ian and a series of well-choregraphed warm-up routines. 

Colin used the pre-match lull to brush up on the offside rules with Howard. This led to some reminiscing on how, two years ago, Wadhurst cruelly snatched the Cup from our boys. With this in mind we braced ourselves for the referee's whistle.

10:30: KICK OFF

Subs: Victor & Jack

Within the first six minutes the Falcons had secured two corners. The Falcons strength of disciplined play compounded with effective defending (Dan) and solid midfield passing produced several shots on goal. First a touch of showboating from Max with a back kick and then two wide kicks from Ben. Further dominating play from the Falcons led to possession for Joey who took a shot – but wide and high.

10:42 Goal to the Falcons care of Josh, who managed to scoop the ball within the box to place it past the goalie.

1-0

10:44 Goal. With little time to recompose, the Wadhurst defenders were having to chase Luca, who managed to retain possession and pass the ball at the feet of Joey, who wasted no time in tapping the ball into the back of the net.

2-0

The Falcons maintained dominance of the Wadhurst half. Harry let fly with an impressive header, only to be frustrated by the goalie.

10:50 Goal. Solid shot from Joey who got the ball past the beleaguered Wadhurst goalie.

3-0

General comment from both supporting camps that the Falcons were playing some great football.

Ben took another shot, but struck wide. He was then taken down on the left wing, play continued. Wadhurst presented some danger with an impressive cross. Our keeper Dan reached high to regain possession.

After some hard fought game play, the Falcons were presented with a free kick.

Josh squared up to the Wadhurst line-up to take the kick. With the wise words of advice from Simon ringing in his ears, “make sure its on target” Josh took the shot.

10:54 Goal. An impressive well-paced and on target strike from Josh got the desired result.

4-0

The Falcons maintained dominance with some great passing. Luca gave the ball to Harry who just missed with his shot.

The Falcons were awarded another free-kick. Harry took the shot. The keeper saved, but gave away a corner - to be followed by a scrappy goal-mouth exchange. Ball cleared but back again. Wadhurst goalie down. Bad fall? Thankfully he got back to his feet and play continued.

11:00 Goal. The stoic Wadhurst goalie was then presented with Luca who after a dominating run with the ball chipped the ball above his head and into the back of the net.

5-0

Support for the Falcons wavered in the face of the grim determination presented by the beleaguered Wadhurst team.

Thankfully Wadhurst reshaped and brought the ball into the Falcons half. Potential for offside, but Colin for reasons he alone knows (thankfully) allowed the game to continue.

11:06 Goal. Max hit the Wadhurst post. Ben regained possession and stuck at the goal to score.

6-0

7-0

Wadhurst retained their fighting spirit and came back with a shot at the Falcons goal, only to be frustrated with the ball hitting the post.

HALF-TIME WHISTLE BLOWN

A very welcome and all too rare opportunity to procure a hot chocolate and Kit Kat from a well provisioned and reasonably priced pavilion outlet. Which was nice!

11:20 SECOND HALF

Subs: Max and Ben 

A half-time team talk to the Wadhust boys obviously had the desired effect. The Falcons defence was immediately tested.

The Falcons regained possession and penetrated the Wadhurst goal-mouth. A amazing back flip from Lewie followed, who displayed enviable flexibility, given my own stiffness at having to bend down to pick up the pen.

8-0

The Wadhurst management were fired up, as evidenced by the vocal stage direction “chase shadows”. Whilst we were figuring that one out, the Wadhurst team fought back and continued to hold the Falcons in check.

Lewie broke cover, retained possession and managed to take a shot - wide.

The Falcons created chances, but were now frustrated.

Colin for a moment appeared asleep.

In spite of play focused within the opposing half, Wadhurst continued to display great spirit.

The Falcons game arguably became shabby and allowed for Wadhurst to take a shot on goal. Saved by Dan.

FINAL WHISTLE BLOWN 

Falcons 8 Wadhurst 0

A great start to the new year for the Falcons, who continue to dominate.

And respect to the Wadhurst team, who proved their metal and held the Falcons to account in the second half.

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Langton Green Falcons 8 Rotherfield 0

Sunday 3rd  December - 11:30am ko at The Tanyard 

Match reporter: Ian Berry

At the halfway point of the season, devoid of ideas, tactically out-manoeuvred and out-thought, I turned to Steve and said:

“The match report is down to me then ……… !”   

Safe in the knowledge a reporter had been found, the Falcons supporters suddenly appeared and took their positions pitch-side, looking positively gleeful in their victory (a masterclass in match report avoidance if ever there was one).

The pre-match message to the team was clear, each word carefully chosen to inspire and motivate.  Pass the ball, work hard, play with confidence like the champions you are. Do not get beaten on effort.

The response was equally clear, delivered in a way only 15-year-old boys can:

“Yeah, whatever .... you say this every week and we always win.”  

I think we’ve been rumbled. In football terms, we’ve lost the dressing room.

Recent form suggested a comfortable victory for the Falcons and so it proved. 

After a disjointed first half the boys took a flattering 3:0 lead into the break, thanks in the main to two stunning long-range strikes from Dan Baker (playing out of position replacing the absent Lewie), a close-range effort from Luca and a superb “one on one” save by Dan Conn in the Langton goal, keeping a spirited Rotherfield side at bay. 

The second half began with Josh back in his favoured central midfield role and George slotting in at right back. The boys, having decided to up their effort and pass the ball, started to dictate the game, resulting in five second-half goals. A second close-range effort from Luca, a 25-yard shot from Josh, a ricochet off Harvey (Harvey‘s backside?) after a goal=mouth scramble, a typical striker's goal from Joey (his 15th of the season) and to complete his hat-trick another wonder goal from Dan Baker (has there ever been a better hat-trick scored at the Tanyard? I very much doubt it. Has there been a better goal scored by a Falcons left back? Now there’s one to debate…).

Credit to the referee for allowing common sense to prevail and ignoring calls for the match to be abandoned after a Rotherfield player was inadvertently injured in a clash with a Falcons player (a nasty gash to his knee). We wish him well.

Final score: Falcons 8 Rotherfield 0 

So with half the league fixtures completed, and nine wins out of nine, who knows what the remainder of the season has in store for the Falcons. What we can be sure of is that this incredible bunch of boys will face things head on and continue to do things their way. 

All we can do is sit back, enjoy the ride and work out ways to avoid the dreaded match report.    

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Hawkhurst 0 Langton Green Falcons 8

Sunday 26th November - 1:30pm ko at Benenden - Cup Quarter Final

Match reporter: Steve Conn

The Falcons made the long trek to Benenden on a chilly afternoon for the cup quarter final. The stuff of dreams. The spectators had the side of the pitch with their backs to the low sun - cold but able to see the match. The coaches had the side looking directly into the sun - a bit warmer but no real clue what was happening on the muddy, bobbly pitch. I’m glad I’m a coach. Still freezing though.

The match kicked off with Langton on the front foot, and as often happens, Luca running riot. After 90 seconds, Luca was felled wide on the right. Josh delivered a teasing cross which Dan B simply nodded past the Hawkhurst keeper. 1-0.

A minute later, the Falcons were on the attack again. Ben’s pace surging into the box was too much for the defence, and a mistimed tackle had the ref pointing to the spot. Joey tucked the penalty away. 2-0 after three minutes.

Play settled down a bit, but the Falcons were still having all the play. Ben came close with a couple of well-hit shots.

Then a lovely through ball from Harry. Joey was quickest to react, neatly chipping the advancing keeper. 3-0 after 13 minutes.

A couple of minutes later, Josh’s through ball deflected off a defender straight to Joey, who calmly completed his hat-trick within 15 minutes. 4-0.

More Falcons pressure followed, with close efforts from Max, Ben and Josh, and Harry hitting the bar. Ben was fouled just outside the box. Josh hit a sweet free-kick, back off the post.

Then after 25 minutes, a corner from Luca was headed around in the box by Dan B and Kaan before being turned in by Max. 5-0.

The rest of the half saw more Falcons possession, notably some cultured play from Kaan and Harv building from the back, and a trademark burst forward and shot from Lewie W. Just before half-time a rare Hawkhurst attack tested that Dan C was still conscious, forcing a sharp save.

Half-time 5-0 to the Falcons

The Hawkhurst lads had obviously been given a stern team talk, and started the second half in much more robust fashion. But the Falcons were still dominating play. Max was shooting from everywhere, and a lovely move down the left by Harry and Josh ended with Ben rattling the woodwork.

After 55 minutes a short corner move between Harry and Lewie saw the ball end up on Josh’s right foot. A sweet, precise shot gave the keeper no chance. 6-0.

With the game won, play became a bit messy on the heavy, uneven pitch. Then some quality. Like a masculine prima ballerina, Lewie sashayed through the Hawkhurst defence before being clipped in the box. Despite the protests of the home side, the ref again pointed to the spot. One defender overstepped with his protest and a red card was brandished. Lewie quite rightly grabbed the ball for the penalty, and promptly hit the post. Still 6-0.

Victor was now having a lot of joy down the right side, and one great run ended with him feeding Joey and forcing a fine save from the keeper. With 5 minutes to go, Victor broke up a Hawkhurst attack and fed Luca, whose effort came back to Harry, who made no mistake with a lovely finish. 7-0.

Then just before the whistle, more battling by Victor saw the ball come to Josh, who dribbled into the area and slotted for 8-0.

Thankfully the ref whistled just before frostbite set in. 8-0 for the Falcons. Job done, and now a semi-final against Broad Oak to look forward to.

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Langton Green Falcons 3 TW Foresters 0 

Sunday 12th November - 11:30am ko at Groombridge

Match reporter: Paul Richards

A very cold morning at the Groombridge Tanyard, but thankfully the early morning downpour had given way to some semblance of sunshine. However, I am not convinced that our linesman coming out in sympathy with the boys by wearing a pair of shorts was entirely appropriate.

In a fitting tribute on Remembrance Sunday, both teams were smartly lined up by the referee to pay their respects with a one-minute silence and the opportunity for reflection.

The whistle was then promptly blown for the unbeaten Falcons to once again go head to head with Foresters.

The last time these teams met, our Falcons had a convincing win of five goals to nil - could this be the match that the Falcons finally get to face a defeat?

FIRST HALF

In no time, Luca set the pace with some spirited charges down the right flank to finish with a couple of great crosses into the mouth of the Foresters goal. Sadly for us, on both occasions our forwards were unable to seal the deal.

This was not for the want of trying, as evidenced by the Falcons white kit looking decidedly muddy within the first 10 minutes.

Harry was next to put in a cross - which was met by Joey, but not a goal.

Luca then gained possession and kept the ball to deliver yet another dangerous cross, this time Harry was onto it and shoots…

GOAL 1-0

Perhaps it was the cold, but the Falcons' pace and pressure appeared relentless.

Max then lobbed the ball into the box, Joey was again onto it, but the Foresters defence got the better of him.

Ben was also to experience the pack instinct of the Foresters defence and found himself surrounded and boxed in. 

The Falcons' hunger for another goal resulted in a goalmouth melee; Harvey got a touch of the ball and promptly chipped it past the Foresters' goalie.

GOAL 2-0

Max produced a now familiar long lob, only for the ball to just go over the crossbar.

Ben followed with an attack that saw him hold onto possession and take a shot, only for it to be saved by the keeper.

The pace was relentless and Foresters were proving to be worthy adversaries. The Foresters linesman played his part by allowing continued play.

The effective Luca was then taken down, leading to Harvey taking a free kick against a line of Foresters.

The ball was promptly sent back towards our keeper, Dan.

Luca once more drove down the right flank and produced another cross, which was again met by Harry and a near miss on goal.

Joey had a rest and Victor joined the fray.

Ben gained possession and held onto the ball with some aggressive play. He took the shot, but was thwarted by a defender.

The first half concluded with some amazing tackling and retained possession from Lewie.  He created the space in which to take a shot, only for the ball to rebound off the cross bar and back into the game.

WHISTLE BLOWN FOR HALF-TIME

The cold was now penetrating my thought through layers of clothing. No sympathy for our underdressed linesman and Colin’s request for some of my attire was refused.

WHISTLE BLOWN FOR THE SECOND HALF

For an unseen reason, a member of the Foresters midfield is down. Looks like a painful ankle injury. Sadly he was unable to recover and to the applause of all spectators was escorted off the pitch.

Ben’s spirited possession of the ball was rewarded with an opportunity to take a shot, but was again unsucessful.

Foresters were now very much on the attack.

Lewie produced another spirited sprint back up to the Foresters goal.

The heated play on the pitch proved a welcome distraction to the cold off it!

Ben took possession of the ball and the unwelcome attention of a defender. This led to the defender going down and some words of advice from the referee.

Joey was next to receive some referee advice following a scrappy tackle and some argy bargy.

A Foresters free kick lead to a dangerous threat to our goal. 

Scrappy play ensued.

Joey managed to square up to the goal and took a shot that went just wide of the goal mouth.

The game resettled into the Falcons favour with retained possession and dominance thanks to some controlled passing.

Shots on goal followed. The cross bar bruised again.

The Falcons were playing a forward game with our defence lined up at the halfway line.

Harry stole the ball from a Foresters' forward. He ran with it and chipped it across the Foresters goal mouth. The ball was promptly intercepted by a diving Lucca, who at full stretch and mid-flight headbutted it into the goal. 

GOAL 3-0

One of our season’s finest.

The Foresters crossbar again received some punishment, this time from Max.

Undaunted pressure from Langton and spirited defending from Foresters.

Final whistle blown but not before Luca produced another great cross, and due to the cold my hands gave up the ability to write.

FULL TIME

Before the start of the game we had the opportunity to reflect. At the end of the game, reflection can quite rightly turn towards the success of this remarkable team of lads. League winners for the past two seasons, so far unbeaten this season, and with three players listed in the top 10 goal scorers.

A defeat may come, but there is no harm in living in the moment, is there?

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Sedlescombe Rangers Junior 1

Sunday 29th October - 9:30ko at Groombridge

Match reporter: Steve Conn

Sunday brought an early kick-off against tough opposition at Fortress Groombridge. By 8:30am many of the Sedlescombe team had already arrived - they were either really up for the game or hadn’t noticed the clocks had changed.

The ref checked the pressure of the match balls and deemed that only two out of five were rock hard enough. Cue the pump. So the match kicked off with a solid ball, a healthy contingent of Sedlescombe parents but an absence of Falcons support, save the admirable Jorge waving his flag. Seems matchreportitis has reached epidemic proportions in Langton Green….

The Sedlescombe boys had obviously eaten their porridge and started the game on the front foot. A dangerous free-kick then a corner were fielded well by Dan C (who had had Weetabix). 10 minutes in, the Falcons began to shake off their hangovers and put some football together, with Ben just failing to turn the ball in after a scramble in the Sedlescombe goalmouth. A dangerous Sedlescombe attack was then thwarted by a superb last-ditch tackle from Lewie. 

The breakthrough came after 20 minutes. A Falcons through-ball caught the keeper handling the ball a couple of yards outside his box. Josh hit a sweet free-kick past the wall and against the post. Ben was first to react, turning the rebound in effortlessly. 1-0

The Falcons nearly added a second immediately, as Max broke up play and fed Joey, whose shot was well-saved. This seemed to sting Sedlescombe into action and once again the Falcons found themselves under pressure, and too often second to the ball. 

On 25 minutes, a stitch for Josh brought Luke off the bench (remember him??). The game was very even and fiercely contested. Good pressure from the Falcons, a nice overhead kick by Ben well saved, a superb through ball from Luca nearly put in by Joey, and some determined play by Harry and then Victor down the left.

At the back, the Falcons defence were their usual impeccable selves. Harvey's reading of the game was excellent, Kaan stamped out every threat without breaking sweat, and Dan B and Lewie again showed what excellent attacking full-backs they have become. Behind them Dan C was mopping up anything that came his way, showing very intelligent positioning and coming off his line decisively. The communication between the back five was exceptional….really good to see.

After 35 minutes, the Falcons were getting on top. A big goal-kick from Dan was allowed to bounce, Joey flicked on intelligently, and Ben showed immense strength and speed to break away from the Sedlescombe to defence and finish clinically. 2-0

The Falcons nearly put the game to bed before half-time. Luca hit a sublime cross-field ball to Luke, whose shot was deflected onto the post.

Half-time - and a deserved 2-0 lead.

Sedlescombe obviously ingested more Jaffa cakes than the Falcons at the break because they came out with great determination and energy, testing the resilience of the Falcons’ defence. Then some sleepy defending from a corner saw Dan have to make a sharp save at his near post.

As in the first half, the Falcons took 10 minutes to get their heads together. A great driving run by Luke was only stopped by a foul.

Then another dramatic burst from Lewie took him into the box, only to be thwarted by a challenge that could easily have been seen as a penalty. Dan B broke up play and fed Max, whose shot was cleverly turned towards goal by Joey….and very well saved. Then after 55 minutes, the pressure told. Sedlescombe failed to defend a throw in, leaving a smiling Ben unmarked six yards out. He doesn’t miss from there. A second successive hat-trick for Ben and 3-0 for the Falcons.

Max and Luke were getting a grip on midfield. And Max nearly extended the lead but shot just over the bar.But all credit to Sedlescombe, they didn’t give up, and after 60 minutes got their reward with an unstoppable shot to make it 3-1. The Falcons dug in well. The rest of the match was a tight affair, but the Falcons were never really threatened. In fact they nearly extended their lead with a few minutes to go. A typical mazy run from Luca led to a nice shot from Harry, well saved…..the keeper tried a quick throw but Harry intercepted and send a lovely lob back over his head. The crowd waited for the inevitable bulging of the net, but a Sedlescombe defender appeared from nowhere to acrobatically overhead kick off the line, injuring himself in the process. A suitably dramatic end to a high-quality match, and the Falcons’ hardest test so far this season. The ref stopped by at the end to say that he thought the match was a great credit to the league. So the Falcons march on - seven games, seven wins, some very nice football along the way and a very healthy looking league table. 

http://fulltime-league.thefa.com/ProcessPublicSelect.do?psSelectedSeason=704764918&psSelectedDivision=7276552&Submit.x=11&Submit.y=9&Submit=Submit&psSelectedCompetition=0&psSelectedLeague=4344945

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Tunbridge Wells Youth Falcons 0 Langton Green Falcons 9

Sunday 8th October - 10:30 am ko at Ridgewaye Playing Fields.

Match reporter: Marc Parris

The game this morning started on a bright and sunny day with a pitch that at least had some grass on it this time.

The game started with a little too relaxed Langton and the ball didn’t seem to flow amongst the players as well as it normally does. The passing game was certainly not up to the normal Falcons standard. This in turn made for some interesting early runs from the TWells Youth boys. The first 10 minutes were definitely end-to-end stuff with a couple of half-hearted shots agains Langton - if they were accurate shots things could have been different!

A nice run down the wing from Harry forced a corner, could this be the start we needed? Ball in and a lovely little side chip from Joey was tipped just over the bar from the keeper, another corner. Taken but quickly out by TWells.

Some great work in midfield by both team and some hard tackles going in. A nice pass forward saw the ball go out for a corner. Great corner taken by Harry but out by TWells straight to the feet of Lewie for the first shot on goal, just over.

The Langton boys are now showing signs of upping the pressure a little, but still the passing was shocking. The ball was gathered by Luca who made a great run down the wing, took it inside and had a great shot, just wide again. Is this ball going to go in today?

Some more pressure from Langton saw Joey have a shot, just wide. Then again the ball to Josh and another shot, this one went even closer, but not close enough!

The ball then quickly ended up in our half and a very tense minute followed, then a free kick to Twells. Taken and just over the bar. This was a bit of a wake up.

Then a bit of magic by Ben, a lovely shot, out by the defender but only back to Ben who slotted the first goal.

GOAL 0:1

This is all we needed, someone to get us off the floor. Suddenly the boys' heads were up. A free kick to Langton taken firmly by Josh, hit the cross-bar, out into the path of Joey, in for a header, goal.

GOAL: 0:2

More positive midfield work and the passing was starting to improve. Some lovely ball work by all the midfield and a nice pass through from Harry saw the feet of Joey, shot, but just tipped over by the goalie.

The game was definitely not won at this point as there was some great individual play from a couple of the TWells boys. Some pressure in our goal-mouth again saw a corner awarded to TWells. Great corner but safely caught by Dan.

HALF TIME

Some words must have been said by the wise one, and a load of jelly babies and caffeine shots, as the boys came out a different team. Passing was great and general team play was so much better, oh, and they were talking to each other.

The pressure was on and a nice little run by Joey saw a shot just wide, then a quick Harry in the right place slid it in the bottom left. Goal.

GOAL: 0:3

Now all the boys were on it, heads up and team play was back to normal. Some more passing saw a great run by Harry again to Luca, who had a short run then to make all on his own. Goal.

GOAL: 0:4

Some more general midfield play saw a great pass through from Max to Joey, short shot came off a defender back out again for a second shot, which saw the ball almost burn out when it orbited the sun!

There really is nothing to write about apart from the amount of pressure the Langton boys were now pounding on the TWells goal.

Out for a corner taken by Harry, strike from Dan B who hit the cross-bar, out to the feet of a waiting Max. Strike. Goal.

GOAL: 0:5

From the kick-off we were back in the goal-mouth of the opposition, some great short one-touch passing and to the feet of Joey, who managed to flick it over the head of one defender and on the half-volley buried the ball into the top-left corner. Goal.

GOAL: 0:6

More pressure, a lovely run by Victor and great cross onto the head of Luca for yet another. Goal.

GOAL: 0:7

Another lone run from Luca, chipped in to Joey, who managed a little chip into the back of the net. Hat-trick. Goal.

GOAL: 0:8

Sub: Joey off. Harry on!! Missed that one, when did Harry get subbed?

Great move from the management. A great run from Luca, who fed Harry, who managed slot the ball straight into the right-hand side of the goal. Goal.

GOAL: 0:9

Final whistle

Tunbridge Wells Youth Falcons 0 Langton Green Falcons 9

Another great performance from the boys in the end, but I feel there is a lot to be taken away from the first-half performance. We don’t want to be caught out in future games.

Well done boys and management.

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Raw Skills Saints 0 - 9 Langton Green Falcons

Sunday 1 October - 10:00ko at Edenbridge Rec

Match reporter: Steve Conn

On a soggy morning in Edenbridge we were welcomed by a very smart chap in a suit and tie, who explained that the pitch we were due to play on had a broken goal. Ian immediately decided we need a besuited ‘greeter’ for opposition teams at Groombridge (Paul Richards, obviously...). The pitch we moved to turned out to be bigger and wider than Wembley…wingers on the far side would struggle to even hear Simon’s dulcet bark. There was also a notable absence of travelling support for the Falcons…..this match report dodging is getting out of hand. It was at this point that we noticed the ‘greeter’ had slipped into a little black outfit and was actually the ref. After a detailed instruction session for the linesmen and players, the match kicked off. The Falcons, with George in for fractured-wristed Harv, started to dominate from the off. First chance, a free-kick from Max, deflected off the wall. Then after 5 mins a corner was cleared to Lewie, who smacked it into the top corner with his swinger - he is making a habit of scoring spectacular goals. 1-0.

The Falcons were dominating play. Ben came close. Then 15 mins in, Max slipped a lovely ball to Joey, who made no mistake. 2-0

Some drama - match stopped for the ref to give a linesman a ticking off for 1) not moving, and 2) not noticing offsides. But we all knew Colin was doing his best.

The Falcons were continuing to dominate possession but struggling to get their usual slick passing game going. Luca came close. Dan and Captain Kaan had to clear up a Raw Skills attack. George fed Max, spread nicely to Harry, lovely shot that the keeper could only palm into the path of a hungry Joey. 3-0

A few minutes later Harry got clear again and his cross-shot (let’s call it a shot) found the net. 4-0

The Falcons won the ball straight back and attacked again. Another lovely cross from Harry (this one definitely a cross), neatly turned in by Victor. 5-0

A few minutes later, as half-time loomed, Victor beat his man, fed Ben, some lovely feet, then deftly poked into the top-corner by Josh’s left foot. 6-0

Half-time Jaffa cakes and a good lead for the Falcons without them ever really getting their game into gear.The second half started with a pinpoint cross from Victor. Joey leapt like Billy the Fish, hung in the air, surely the hat-trick. No, over the bar. Some rampaging runs from Dan B and Lewie, but the Falcons were a bit flat. Then after 50 mins, a Falcons corner was punched out by the keeper, landing just outside the box at the feet of Victor, who arrowed an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net. A Raw Skills spectator commented: ‘I bet he practiced that on FIFA 18’. 7-0

Play became more even and Raw Skills started to have a few attacks, testing Kaan’s pace and Dan’s handling. A Raw Skills shot shook the post, but the Falcons kept their goal intact (and keeper Dan said he had it covered…).Victor just missed his hat-trick with a shot agonisingly wide. Joey again thwarted as he hit the bar. Then after 65 mins, a lovely interchange between Ben and Harry. Harry weaved past three defenders and rolled the ball into the corner of the net. 8-0, and now Harry on a hat-trick as well as Joey and Victor. 

A minute later, Luca fed Ben, who calmly made it 9-0. Max nearly turned a corner in. Luca had a point-blank shot straight at the keeper. Another shot from Victor, so close to completing his hat-trick.The full-time whistle was imminent when Max slotted a lovely ball through to Harry, who had timed his run to perfection. Surely 10-0 and Harry the one to claim the hat-trick…but the ball trickled wide. Just time for one more Falcons attack. Joey clear and surely the hat-trick. Just wide again. 

Final whistle. 9-0. Obviously nobody wanted the match ball. And no post-match water for the boys because a cute little dog had lifted its leg on/in the drinks bag. So the Falcons maintain their perfect start with four wins out of four, but they’ll have to raise their game for some of the tests ahead.

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Langton Green Falcons 3 Broad Oak & Horam Legend 1

Sunday 24h September - 11:30am ko at Groombridge.

Match reporter: Ben’s dad

PRE-MATCH WAFFLE
For once no hiding in hedgerows or purposely turning up late. This week’s intrepid reporter, much to the surprise of Steve, volunteered for the task.

A case of let’s get it over with and feeling tempted to exploit a gained insight into the inner workings of a number of players, thanks to Birthday Boy Ben’s sleepover.

So to the task in hand, note pad and pen at the ready (old school for this hack) for some determined note taking to offset a last season comment (Ian) that my reports 'are all the more interesting because it's as if you are reporting on a different match’.

As the two old adversaries squared up, the modest home crowd warmed to the task. Some direction from Ian to keep the noise down as there was a tennis tournament next door. Good luck with that.

11:30 The Referee’s whistle is blown.

ROUND ONE
Broad Oak (BO) win the toss followed by a threatening presence in the Langton Green (LG) box. Dan politely instructed to wake up by Simon.

Dan responds with a goal kick bringing the ball nicely into the BO throng of defenders. In the ensuing melee, Birthday Boy Ben, sporting a handsome pair of new sock boots and appearing up for another all-night session, breaks cover and takes a shot - thwarted by the BO goalie.

The ball promptly returns to the LG half. This could be a close game.

Some great defence from Lewie and a switch back to the BO half whereupon Harvey seizes on the ball and nearly gets a goal.

Harvey to Joey - shot on goal - saved.

Back and forth play ensues, LG politely asked to fill the gaps. Simon’s helpful suggestion ignored, for what followed was some close quarter scramble and passing, resulting in the ball being mopped up by Ben.

11:45 GOAL-1-0

Ben gives the game a lift by tapping the ball past the crowded BO goalie.

Unfazed BO retain their composure to deliver the ball within threatening distance of the LG goal.

11:48 GOAL 1-1

A cross hits the far upright bar (editor’s note: it’s traditionally called a ‘post’) … only to rebound with a heart-stopping effect into the back of the LG net.

LG respond - Joey takes a shot - saved.

Determined play from both teams. Whistle blown against LG - offside?

Ball back in the LG half…nice cross kick from the accomplished looking BO number 22 - Harvey blocks. Great tackle from Luca. Harvey gets stuck in again. This time Kaan blocks the attacking BO 22…phew.

LG concede a corner only for Dan to pick up the ball. Assisted by Luca, the ball is now back in the BO half. Close quarter encounters and then the whistle blown. Ben has been cut down in the BO box, but is thankfully back on his feet (the bag of frozen peas can be consumed this week).

Penalty given.

12.03 GOAL 2-1

Joey takes the shot and slots the ball into the back of the net.

LG keep the pressure up – Josh hits a lovely shot from the halfway mark and just misses the goal.

Solid support in the midfield, Max blocking and running with the ball, some tidy passing

Even play ensues with some great defending from LG.

Ball perfectly cleared by defender Dan.

HALF-TIME WHISTLE BLOWN.

As is the way…the home team support has now swelled. Banter ensues, seems last week’s match was filmed and is now on YouTube.

At this rate the match report could be a thing of the past...just a thought.

Also, all hope of striking my own hits against a group of delinquents has been thwarted by their remarkable recovery.

ROUND TWO
LG kick off

Solid start with the ball remaining in the BO half.

Ben shot…wide.

Ben to Joey…no joy

Josh great pass to Joey - strikes hard, ball comes back , Josh gathers it and strikes at the goal…saved

Whistle blown, why… this is good stuff.

Attention switches to the LG end. Harvey is down (how, why) and after some attention is helped off the pitch.

(Post-match update: against Harvey’s wishes, for he and his dad had tickets to the Brighton game, he was promptly taken by his dad to A&E where it was found he had fractured his wrist by falling on it. A serious loss to LG in the coming weeks.)

New boy George, who has been patiently waiting on the sidelines, is quickly brought into the game. Welcome aboard.

The game restarts.

BO pick up the pace and threaten the LG goal. BO 22 takes a solid shot, Dan saves. Lots of exciting play but at the wrong end of the pitch. Nail-biting stuff.

A hefty goal kick from Dan brings LG back onto the attack. Good defence from BO. BO get a throw in.

LG respond. Luca runs with the ball - passes to Ben - back to Luca, Ben runs forward Luca passes to Ben who is promptly swamped by BO defenders. Shame…all the makings of a set piece.

A solid LG midfield keep the pressure up on BO. Max running with the ball again. Determined but thwarted.

Ben has the ball and goal in his sights. BO goalkeeper comes out and both boys collide hard. Joey collects the ball and puts it into the back of the net.

Whistle blown. No goal

The clash looked nasty. Ben is up but the BO goalie is down.

Protests from the BO sidelines. Thankfully, the BO goalie gathers himself and is back in the game, as evidenced by the following long goal kick.

A good chip of the ball from Max puts LG back into the game. Some determined possession and running of the ball from Luca.

Ben stops short of the goalie this time.

12.55 Joey off, Josh back on the pitch (missed that!)

Back and forth

1.02 Ben off Joey on - must be in extra time now?

1.04 GOAL 3-1

Victor runs down with the ball followed by a lovely cross. In the melee, Joey jumps up to the high ball and heads it into the goal.

1.05 FULL-TIME WHISTLE BLOWN

Langton Green Falcons retain their season’s unbeaten record.

Despite the score, this appeared to be an even, hard fought match. Here’s to Harvey making a full recovery before these two teams meet again - and Fruity Ciders all round (perhaps not!).

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Langton Green Falcons 5 Hastings Utd 1

Sunday 17th September - 11:30am ko at Groombridge.

Match reporter: Colin Campbell

It was as I looked through the long undergrowth behind the goal for the match ball kicked into the bushes in the opening minutes of the match that I copped the dreaded match report.

The tactical late arrival of several others, who shall remain nameless, left me the obvious target for an apologetic Steve.

Before my first notes were made with knackered biro on a scrap of ketchup stained paper, the ball had already caressed the back of the net twice. We all feared Hastings would be formidable opposition, but the Falcons were dominating.

Goal one was a Ben R slot home in the first minutes, the second a Lewie C surging run from midfield. In truth, the Falcons put Hastings on the back foot from the get go and then throughout. Our passing was sharp and intricate, our runs fast and multi-directional. The Falcons defence was impressive, as always our goalie Dan on his toes.

But this was a physical game and both sides battled hard. Joey and Ben were felled and subbed off, leaving the Falcons temporarilly neutralised up front. But hang on, here comes Josh B. In the box, dummy right, shoot with his left. Three nil.

The Falcons' attacks were relentless, the ball often spread wide to Harry, who supplied a stream of perfect crosses. Luca forging forward, skilling his way towards goal with footwork a ballerina would be proud of. At the back, an impervious wall of steel and speed, Kaan, Harvey and Dan.

But the Falcons' defender Harvey G featured at both ends of the pitch. Another perfectly delivered corner dropped to Harvey in the middle of the box. A back heel? Or was it his backside/hip? Anyway it was in the net - 4-1. Cue crazy Mum dancing on sidelines from ecstatic parent Sharon in the style of MC Hammer!

You notice I missed the opposition's goal and a Hastings yellow card. Oops was talking about my hangover at that stage.

The first half was a stressful watch, a bit like eating chilli: painful but enjoyable and left wanting more.

Round two, but could the Falcons hold on to the score line?

The Falcons just continued with their attractive football, Josh B winning balls, Harry sending in curling passes behind the Hastings defence, often with Joey on the end of them. Dan B made a few great runs but also several goal-saving interceptions.

Then came the controversial moment of the match, a hastily produced red card for a Hastings player. From the sideline it was clear Hastings were being frustrated by a well-organised side. A few minutes after the red came a yellow for my own son. Ouch, I am told I owe a tenner. Instead, can I ask he just puts his boxer shorts in the dirty laundry for a month, or perhaps not take his phone to bed every night? [Editor’s note: yes, you can]

Lewie peppered the Hastings goal on several occasions. But it finished 5-1, a final goal coming from Joey, who confidently placed it into the side of the net in one of his many sprinting runs that sliced the Hastings defence in two.

All the boys played brilliantly including our new signings Victor and George.

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TW Foresters 0 Langton Green Falcons 5

Sunday 10 September - 10:30ko at Southwood Road, Rusthall

Match reporter: Alastair Cameron

The first match of the new football season and how unlucky can you be to cop the first match report.   I had forgotten all the old tricks of arriving late and lurking behind bushes to avoid the dreaded approach from Steve.  A “just say no” campaign was clearly waged from some other parents. Even before the match report disaster, my morning had taken a turn for the worse having begun so well with a gentle stroll to the pitch, the sun was shining, birds singing and even the angelic Lewie had managed to string more than two words together, and then the bombshell was delivered.  “You do know that we now play 40 minutes each way.”  My life is over….!

There was some nervous discussions amongst the coaches as by 1000 the team was only about nine strong and some doubt about there being enough players. However, it all came good in the end and a full complement of boys and a sub appeared as if by magic.  A good time to welcome Victor to the team!

I’m not sure if other parents have noticed the ageing and shrinking effect that standing in wet and windy grass fields is having on us, as most of us are now lower than the boys.  Just to set the scene for our first match, we had a “proper” referee, a short and narrow pitch, a very long pair of shorts and a formal circular handshake on the pitch. Captain Kaan won the toss and elected to kick downhill, and the game got underway with a steady start.   It really looked like the training throughout the summer holidays had paid off as the boys seemed keen to make the most of the full pitch with cautious play and good ball control at both ends of the field.

The Falcons started to look dominating after about 10 minutes and there were several opportunities and a corner shot, but none hit home.   Then at 1042 Joey put the ball firmly into the net to put us at 1 – Nil This inspired Harvey to take a power shot that cleared the goal and most of the hedge behind – Lost Ball #1. Ben took a couple of shots over the next few minutes but we still remained at 1 – Nil.  Not a lot happened on the pitch for the next 15 minutes (or I nodded off).  Then Harvey managed to foul Kyle, who took the free-kick and Dan made a cracking save. Victor made his debut after being subbed on for Harry and got straight into the action.  

A few minutes later it appeared the ball was in the goal but there was no excitement to claim it from the boys, so “play on”.   A decisive goal from Ben just before half-time brought the score to 2 – Nil, inspiring Lewie to make a long run with the ball but in the end he passed it and the half time whistle was blown. Foresters came onto the pitch and moved the play into our end and seemed to have a new lease of life, but we soon got things back our way, Harry came back on and Luca went off.  A long cross from Victor to Ben and that made 3 – Nil. 

The pressure was on now from Foresters and Dan was earning his keep with some great saves. Foresters managed two corners in a row but that’s as far as it went, apart from Lost Ball #2. Play moved into the opposition’s half and Luca got hold of the ball, ran around the keeper and let the ball casually roll into the net, making 4 – Nil, and Lost Ball #3. 1155 (surely it will all be over soon?) Joey makes the score 5 – Nil and five minutes later the full-time whistle was blown. 

An excellent start to the season and it’s worth adding a few comments to the victory.  Maybe George needs to reflect if he made the right move, especially as it seems to have made Mark half the man he was!   And although it wasn’t supposed to be mentioned, an avocado in Ben’s smoothie certainly did the trick; unbelievable that parents lie and say “of course it was banana”!