The following match report is Matt Greensmith approved.

Sporting new kit and new found enthusiasm after the Albion 50 year celebrations two nights prior, the Albion showed up in style for the first round of the Marcus Lipton Cup. Click thru for Albion scoring phenom Matt Greensmith Garwood’s match report below.

Sunday’s game was full of anticipation as the new kit was ready to be donned for the very first time. As the kit bag was unzipped, the changing room was aghast with amazement as the quality garments were unmasked. A few of the ‘bigger’ lads were proud as punch as for the first time in years their shorts produced an almost baggy like fit!

A few wise words from Jade to overcome the disappointment of last week’s 4-3 loss. He then expressed how he felt we could do a lot worse than use our distinct height advantage with a team comprising of Six footers, with the only named exception being Nick M – For the first time in Matt’s life he felt like a proper big lad until Jade promptly added him to the short list!!

With the team looking sharp, Jade took the time to get a few photos of the lads ready for the season ahead, this included a ‘Blue steel shot’, and a ‘funny’ pose.

The set up for the game was an orthodox 4-4-2 formation consisting of Bill in goal. A formidable back line of Will, Stew, Aleks and Myles. A creative midfield of Simon, Jindy, Matt and Nick M, and a lethal attack in Don and Nick E. The subs bench was made up of Ralph, Jonny and Steve.

The game began at a frantic pace, with both teams attacking from the off with decent chances created at both ends. It was Putney who broke the deadlock, albeit somewhat against the run of play with Putney’s impressive left winger breaking to good effect 0-1. We got back into the game almost instantly with a move which set Don free on the left edge of the area, having rounded the keeper, his goal bound shot produced a cat like save from the Putney defender. Granted it was an instant reaction, but stupid nonetheless. Matt stepped up, gave the keeper the eyes and promptly scuffed his shot straight down the middle. 1-1

Aleks saw the player cutting thru then annihilated him. Clinically.

After more Albion possession, it looked as though they were going to press on and put the 10 men of Putney to the sword – That would have been far too predictable, so in keeping with the season so far, we conceded a quick fire double. The first a penalty in which Aleks ploughed into the skillful Putney attacker much like San Marino’s keeper smashed young Theo Walcott last week. A confident pen, 1-2. Closely followed by neat through ball which dissected the Albion defense, and a tidy finish. 1-3. The half came to a close, with Albion seemingly downbeat as to how they were two goals down after a half in which Albion had dominated for large spells.

The team talk was a familiar one, we had played well, but a few defensive errors had proved costly. The message was to stay positive, keep playing our football and most of all, be confident in our ability. The lads were fired up and ready to turn things around. Steve came on for Will, with Don switching to right back to nullify Putney’s big number 14 – Good luck mate.

The whistle blew, with Albion needing an early going to stand a chance of getting back into the game, and that is exactly what they got. A neat passing move culminating in Nick M beating his man and fizzing in a cross which was met by the on rushing Matt. 3-2, Game on!

The goal put the spring back in Albion’s step with the defense looking tight, the midfield looking lively and the strikers causing no end of problems for the Putney defense  Another Albion attack followed, a neat pass from Steve out to Matt on the left, saw the winger cut in and guide a low shot into corner, the keeper managed an outstretched hand but could only parry to the opportunist Nick E. It wasn’t a goal as flashy as the 25 yard volley he scored the week before, but it was a goal with much more meaning and drew the scores level, 3-3.

Putney continued to have the odd foray into the Albion half, but the defense was well and truly on top, with Don in particular not relenting an inch as he repeatedly stifled attacks down Putney’s left hand side . With the midfield purring, it wasn’t long until another chance was created. Nick E had done well to hold the ball up as he waited for support, and calmly picked out Matt on the edge of the box, one touch to settle followed by a low strike into the corner. 4-3 Albion, a fantastic turnaround.

The aim now was to see the game out, give credit to Putney, they had played nearly 80 minutes with 10 men, and Albion we’re tiring. Jonny came on and immediately put his mark on the game. Following on from last week it could unwillingly become his signature move as he made his presence felt with a ferocious tackle. ‘I slipped’ said Jonny, did he get the ball, I’m not sure… But he definitely got at least half a knee cap.

The game ebbed and flowed, and a break down the right saw Putney win a corner. The corner was swung in which was met with a firm header after a well-timed run from the striker. 4-4.

Myles Desenberg – Albion Sportsman of the Year

Extra time loomed, the thought of another 30 minutes of football was not once considered by the Albion boys as we piled on more pressure. Albion were awarded a free kick in a seemingly benign area of the pitch. Jindy stepped up and swept in a curling ball, he’d picked out one hell of a pass. Steve had drifted into a great position and found himself 8 yards out from goal, with a solid contact the ball was flying into the corner only for the keeper to get fingertips to the ball which sent it spinning into the air. Albion watched almost without breath as the ball seemed to be heading over the line, the only player to react was Miles who seemed intent on smashing it into the empty net for the winner, wait a minute… he’s not touched it, he’s just watching it, what’s he doing! The Putney defender manages to clear, but low and behold the Ref’s blown up for a goal. 5-4 Albion!! Get in!!

Myles must get sportsman of the year for being so unselfish as to let veteran/debutant Steve grab the winning goal on his Albion testimonial/debut, at least that’s what he can tell the Grandkids, bravo.

The whistle blew not long after, the lads were shattered yet jubilant. A tough win, but one that shows not just the class throughout the team, but also the character needed to turn such game around.

Onwards and upwards from here lads.

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