Wapping M9 v Crostyx M3 (h)
"keep it in the bedside drawer" by Jon 'J Lo' Lowe
This week saw the mighty M9s take on top of the league Crostyx. Due to a lack of space at JO and LV, we were back at last weeks venue, this time however we were the 'home' team at Redbridge and hoping to have a slightly better result than the week before.
There must have been some kind of New Years Resolution by the M9, as for the second week in a row we underwent a pre-match warm-up that involved actual drills, and not just smacking a ball at each other as was the favoured routine in 2017. One team member even pulled out some sort of industrial rubber band to stretch the shoulder he damaged in pre-season, only for the rest of the team to tell him to keep it in the bedside drawer...
This routine seemed to be paying off though, as we started the game extremely strong by keeping the ball for good portions of the start of the game, passing it around the back and utilising the wings.
Tim Alexander was a welcome addition back into the squad for the first time this year, disrupting their midfield with help from the authoritative commands of Ollie Morgan at the back. Unfortunately Crostyx gave us a glimpse of why they are at the top of the table, converting a goal against the run of play after a nice break into the D and a snapshot at goal that saw them take the lead.
Undeterred, Wapping came back at them again with both Ollie Kean and Alex Newman creating spaces and chances up top. Our best chance of the half came when Tim fired a ball to the back post, only for Newman to be about 2 inches short to convert.
A lapse in concentration then led to Crostyx’s second goal. A move from their midfield down our right flank saw the ball come across the baseline before being flicked goal bound. Rik Lodhia made a great stop with his arm as it was flicked goal-wards, but it happened to sit up right to their on rushing striker who calmly tucked the ball away.
2-0 to Crostyx at half time, but we always felt we were still in the game.
The second half started positively, with Wapping once again moving the ball round at the back and the coming forward as a team to great pressure. Newman was full of energy (probably because he’s given up smoking) allowing him to pin down their RB. Pick-pocketing the defender, Newman slotted the ball home past the GK, who judging by his position was off to the car park and halfway home when the ball hit the backboard.
With the game back on, things got a bit more intense. Both teams were starting to get increasingly frustrated, evidenced by cards being shown to both teams as Wapping gallantly fought back into the game. Wapping eventually found an equaliser through the ever-dependable Harry Inch, getting the decisive touch in a goal-mouth scramble.
Admittedly at this point I lost track of the game having come off injured. Plus, in trying to put my hoody on three times, I ended up looking into the hood of it. It turns out I’m an idiot who can’t dress himself, but was narrowly spared DOD thanks to the above-mentioned rubber band incident... congratulations, Alex Newman.
As well as DOD, Newman deservedly claimed MOM for a game full of running and also a goal. After being 2-0 down at half-time, a 2-2 draw against one of the top teams in the league represents a very good and hard-earned result for the M9s.