The second game of the season was against Elm Grove Colts. The ground is back from the road in a lovely opening in the woods; pretty as it was it brought back bad memories for the boys, this being the ground in which they lost in the semi finals in the summer football tournament on a hot day in July.
This time it was a cold and damp September morning, the temperature dropping from a Mediterranean 30 degrees two days earlier to a miserable damp 14 degrees on match morning. As ever, well prepared head coach Dan had arrived super early, [maybe even earlier than Nick had got out of bed]. The early arrival was well used; the pitch was viewed from every angle and much discussion took place about the possible advantage of the slope from right to left and whether Ryan, Sam and Jake with their speed would be able to stop before hitting the forest.
The match began nervously, the Parakeets having the perceived advantage of playing down hill. Within a few minutes Jake on the right wing and Ryan on the left were leaving their opposite numbers for dust. Ryan passed to Mani who gave it to Jake and he slotted in a tidy goal for 1-0.
The Colts were no pantomime horses and attacked back and began taking control of the game and dominating the middle, their number 7 often at the heart of some good football. Orla and Teig defended well but the Colts got a shot in, Alec pushed it onto the post, it came out and they shot again: 1-1 – game on.
The Colts were dominating and following a lovely floated corner, their number 7 rose like Pegasus and headed a beautiful cross in. 2-1 to the Colts.
The Parakeets started to take on board the coaches comments and passed more, a clever one two between Jake and James resulted in Jake’s second goal: 2-2.
Miles came back on and was marshalling the back with Orla and Teig, the defending drawing admiration from the Colts' coach.
Jake soon returned the favour to James and passed to him, James controlled beautifully and shot low: 3-2.
Sam then made one of his legendary runs, took on 2, then 3, then 4 players; he does not miss from these; it was 4-2. The Parakeets now firmly in the saddle. The Colts battled on but Teig, Orla and Charlie held the reins tightly.
The second half was an uphill attack – Mani's shot was handled and a penalty awarded; up stepped Miles who calmly slotted it away: 5-2.
The parakeets were passing and moving now. The defence was solid with Orla and Teig; the winger Ryan, with some clever footwork, was going past his marker and Charley was in the middle snuffing out any threat, turning defence to attack. A long pin point pass from Miles to Mani’s feet and it was 6-2. Seconds later Sam switched the ball across the pitch to Mani who shot again and it was 7-2.
Jake was still running and took the ball up the left and shot, he deservedly got his hat-trick: 8-2.
The Colts were struggling but kept at it and after a valiant attack and great save from Alec, the ball bobbled up and was heading to the line but was cleared by Orla, still vigilant in the final moments.
An impressive win in the higher league, well done Moor Mead, I reckon, even after this win, there is better to come.