Falcons 2019 - 2020

Langton Green Falcons 4 Heathfield & Horam 2

Sunday 15th September - 10am ko at Groombridge

Needing to get a win on the board after their opening defeat last week, the Falcons lined up on a glorious Groombridge morning with Charlie pushed up to anchor the centre of midfield behind Max and Kyle, and Tom starting as the lone striker.

The pattern was set with the Falcons having most of the possession and H&H playing on the break, and creating the first chance of the match, requiring a sharp save from Dan. Gradually the Falcons took a grip despite losing Josh to injury, and after 10 mins a sweet ball from Tom caused panic in the H&H box, which Harry exploited to block the keeper’s clearance and tap the ball in for 1-0.

H&H continued to threaten on the break, but 10 mins later the Falcons doubled their lead as Lewie’s determination saw him win a ball 30 yards out, drive towards the box and hit a swerving shot that the keeper couldn’t turn round the post. Chances came at both ends, with H&H rattling the bar. Then on the half hour the Falcons made it 3-0 after a great run and cross from Luca was turned back into the middle by Harry, and Luca was there to knock home. H&H were still creating chances, and Harv and Jack had to be on their toes to snuff them out, while Dan had to make another couple of important saves. At the other end, Kyle was showing his creativity and Joey and Ben battled hard but couldn’t create a clear chance. Then with the final kick of the half, Harry swung a perfect corner under the bar and Dan B leapt like a salmon to nod home.

So 4-0 at half time and the job should have been done for the Falcons, so long as they didn’t get complacent in the second half. But the lads were slow out of the blocks, allowing H&H a tap-in in the first minute after Dan had saved. 4-1.

H&H were showing great determination to get back in the game, and chances were being created at both ends. Then 20 mins in, H&H won a header from a free kick, their striker controlled and hit a snap shot that gave Dan no chance. 4-2 and the Falcons suddenly needed to show cool heads to see out the game. Charlie and Max had to dig in to secure midfield, Wayne used his strong running as an outlet to relieve the pressure, while Luca set the tone with a 20-yard sprint and tackle to stop a potential H&H attack.

Some half chances were created but none were taken, and the Falcons were able to see the match out despite playing the last 10 minutes a man down after Joey had his first, and hopefully last, taste of the sin bin. All in all a deserved three points to open the Falcons’ account for the season. But lessons have to be learnt from the second half that the intensity and concentration must be maintained for a full 90 minutes at this level.

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TW Foresters Colts 2 Langton Green Falcons 0

Sunday 8th September - 2pm ko at St Greg’s 3G

Match reporter: Steve Conn

A new season dawned for the Falcons, now as U18s and the senior team representing Langton Green. How they’ve grown from the cute little things we used to watch chasing a ball around Langton Rec.

The pre-match chatter was how the Foresters team had played many pre-season friendlies (6, 10, 12?) so were likely to be out of the blocks quicker than a scratch Falcons squad. But this didn’t prove to be the case as Simon’s pre-season bootcamps showed their benefit, and the Falcons had the better of a tight first half.

Many very good chances were created but sadly none were finished off, with Dan having a quiet half in goal but for one excellent diving save. So 0-0 at half time and a nagging fear that so many missed chances would come back to bite the team. The hot afternoon duly appeared to take its toll on the Falcons and the second half was a more even affair, but still tight with few chances at either end.

After 15 minutes Foresters broke down their left and a nice strike gave Dan no chance. The Falcons continued to battle and create opportunities, but still with no end product. The boys switched to 3-4-3 for the last quarter of an hour but couldn’t fashion a clear chance. Then with the Falcons chasing the game, Foresters counterattacked and created an overlap down their left. A nice finish and the Falcons were 2-0 down with a couple of minutes to go, and no way back.

So a defeat, but with many positives. The overall performance was good but the result shows the importance of taking your chances at this level. New boys Charlie and Tom, both winners of the Crowborough U18 league and cup with Langton last season, fitted in seamlessly, as did fellow new recruit Wayne. Dan’s shoulder injury didn’t affect him, and he made a couple of superb saves. The back four of Dan B, Charlie, Harvey and Lewie looked like they’d played together for years and used the ball well going forward. In midfield, Captain Max and Kyle formed an effective partnership in the middle, combining strength and guile, and created several good chances. On the flanks Harry, Josh, Wayne and Jack worked hard all afternoon and always looked dangerous going forward. Luca showed his usual tenacity and threat moving between wing and attack. And up front, Joey, Ben and Tom worked tirelessly - the goals will come if they keep up the commitment and work-rate.

Next Sunday provides a chance for the Falcons to get up and running in a home match against old rivals Broad Oak (now rebranded as Heathfield and Horam).