Brook Field’s football season got back under way, following the mid-season winter break, last Thursday 9th February with their Third Round Cup match against Ferndale. It was a cold, windy and overcast afternoon with the pitch being a bit boggy in places!
Ferndale kicked off just after 3:50pm and Brook Field lined up with a change in personnel and positioning. Louis started in goal, with Peter and Rhys in defence, a midfield three of Finn, Sam (captain) and Josh and Harvey leading the attack. Olly, Jake S (first appearance for the A team this season) and Jake F (debut) made up a strong looking “bench.”
Brook Field looked to press from the off and had the bulk of possession in the opening exchanges. The first prolonged attack saw the ball eventually worked through to Josh who fired in the opening shot. Moments later, Sam threaded a good pass again to Josh, but this time his effort bobbled off for a goal kick. Brook Field then won three corners in a row before Harvey progressed down the right and crossed it to Josh in the middle, who passed his shot into the net and made the early good start count after five minutes of play. 1 – 0.
Brook Field continued to dominate the game. Sam went on a run from midfield and hit a fierce shot that cannoned off the top of the bar and over.Then a corner from Sam was met in the box by Rhys who headed straight at the ‘keeper who parried it wide for another corner. On 10 minutes, and due to the bitterly cold weather, Brook Field made a raft of substitutions. Jake S came on for Harvey, Jake F on for his first “A” team game in place of Finn and Olly replaced Josh. Jake S almost had an immediate impact after Sam had broken up a rare Ferndale attack and hit a long ball forward along the ground to him but his shot fired into the side-netting. Peter won an important challenge one-on-one at the back and Olly had a good shot on the turn. All the pressure was from Brook Field but at only 1 – 0, they needed to make this domination tell!
With five minutes remaining of the half, Brook Field finally managed to turn their impressive possession stats (like Liverpool FC!) into goals to make it more difficult for Ferndale to get back into the cup-tie. Olly won the ball off a defender from a short goal-kick by closing him down quickly (like Firmino) and squeezed his shot under the goalie, who was unable to recover and go down quickly enough to smother the ball. 2 – 0.
In the very next attack, Jake F made a great turn and as the ball went into the area, it bobbled up to Jake S who headed it comfortably over the ‘keeper and into the net. 3 – 0. There was still time before the whistle sounded for the end of the half for Sam to have a shot that produced a good save from the Ferndale goalie.
Brook Field kicked off the second half, with an unchanged line-up, at 4:15pm, playing towards the “willow whale” end of the pitch. Immediately, Sam fed Jake S, whose shot hit the post. Olly the scored perhaps the best goal of the match. Rhys won the ball and played it forward to Olly on the left. He ran forwards towards the left hand edge of the penalty area before unleashing a fierce, curling right-footed shot that bent past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net, just inside the far upright.
On five minutes, Brook Field made some more substitutions – Finn came back on for Sam and Josh replaced Rhys. This left only Peter in defence as we pushed on in pursuit of more goals. Jake F made it 5 – 0 with an assured finish. He beat his man and then fired in his shot at mid-height into the net, with the goalkeeper standing just off-centre of the goal, leaving enough of a space for Jake F to comfortably shoot home. If the goalie had been in the middle of the goal, he would have caught it easily at shoulder height, but Jake F showed enough awareness to catch him out of position and shoot into the space that was beyond his reach!
Peter won the ball in defence, moved a few yards forward and then played the pass-of-the-match down the right hand touchline to Josh who cut infield and ran in on goal to make it 6 – 0. Harvey then came on for Peter so all the outfield players had been substituted with Olly moving back to cover the defence! Josh completed his hat-trick, when he ran through the Ferndale defence and dispatched his shot calmly past the goalkeeper. 7 – 0. With three minutes remaining, the final Brook Field substitutions were made: Sam came on for Jake S; Rhys returned for Jake F and Olly made way for Peter. In the final action of the match, Josh fed Sam, whose shot bounced awkwardly up off the turf and into the net. A defender on the line tried valiantly to head the ball clear but the shot, already over the line, was just headed even more emphatically into the roof of the net! 8 – 0.
Thanks to Mr Parsons for refereeing and all the parents for their support on the last day of term. We have been drawn away against Ruskin in the quarter finals. Our league season also resumes after the half-term break.