This was a game of four quarters rather than the traditional two halves!
Q1, Shinfield asleep and letting Windsor take the lead. Q2, Shinfield wake up and regain control. Q3, Lots of action but no goals. Q4, Shinfield find another wind and surge ahead.
The game started off balanced with Mudlarks looking dangerous on the break. With Mudlarks marginally on top, Max broke down the right wing, slid the ball out to Casey who drove down the right and put in a solid cross which caught a Mudlarks defender facing his own goal and lucky for Shinfield he knocked the awkward ball into the net. 1-0
The celebrations were short-lived as a sleeping Shinfield were then punished by Mudlarks. First, a lack of communication between Sammy and Luis let a Mudlarks defender steal the ball and put it into a near empty net. Then a diagonal cross from Mudlarks slipped low past Luis to roll on to a Mudlarks attacker who again had an open net in front of him. A minute later, a Mudlarks defender wasn’t marked on the Shinfield right, he ran at Luis and slipped the ball low into the opposite corner. A bad start for Shinfield. The parents in disbelief at the quick turnround for Mudlarks.
The goals were a wake-up call for Shinfield who then fought back with some searching balls, only thwarted by some solid keeping for the Mudlarks goalkeeper. Our nearest chance was an Aidan lob from just outside the six-yard box but an excellent reaction save saw the ball go out for a corner.
Finally, the comeback began as a deep Casey corner reached Aidan at the back. He collected the ball, composed himself and slammed the ball high into the net. 2-3
Then some excellent play from Max down the right as he drove to the line. A lowish cross was hit so hard across goal that Tom had little time to react, but guided it nicely into the goal to pull the scores level. 3-3
Mudlarks try to hit back but our defenders and Luis are back on top.
Luke collects the ball in midfield, slips it to Aidan. Lovely shot but Mudlarks keeper again there to collect it. Mudlarks keep trying to fight back and set their tall attacker loose with some lobbed long balls over our defence, but we seem to have got the better of them now and all our defenders on form to stifle any attacks. Another Shinfield corner skids across the face of the goal, but no Shinfield players on hand to divert it.
Half time approaching, the deadlock finally broken as a Luke corner finds Ellis who puts it home 4-3
Then to ensure we have a half-decent lead as we go into half time, Aidan shows some nifty footwork before lobbing over the defence to Ellis who has an easy touch-in to bring the scores to 5-3.
Half time arrives and Shinfield now looking the stronger team. The Second half began with a long spell of action without consequence – Lots of end to end play but no real chances on goal. Isher, Vinay, Sammy, Ajay and Manraj have all been battling well at the back. Luke and James doing well in midfield. A good drive from Luke from nearly the half-way line right into the box sees a low hard shot run agonisingly wide of the goal. Plenty of battling in the Mudlarks penalty area too with Johnny, Aidan, Tom, Charlie and Ellis in the thick of it, but opportunities running thin deep into the second half.
Casey, Aidan and Max causing the usual problems down the wings, taking on players to get the ball across. Casey break through the defence, launches a low hard shot, but again the keeper quick to drop a hand down to the ball to divert it. At the other end, a scare as Mudlarks break through and slam a shot into the side-netting. Max responds at the other end with a shot, just wide.
The long spell of largely uneventful action is finally broken as Tom surges down the right, pulls the ball back to Ellis who coolly slots it low and hard into the corner. 6-3
Then some superb ball play by Max as he drives at the defence with some really nice footwork and launches a long-range screamer wide of the keeper for the goal of the game. 7-3
Max in the action again putting a lovely cross from the right to Casey unmarked at the back. Casey didn’t bother to collect and control the ball, instead choosing to use a side-foot volley to calmly guide it into the top of the net over the keeper. 8-3
It’s a Max and Casey move again as Max picks up the ball at the half way line and slips a fabulous ball through to Casey who has broken through the defence avoiding the offside trap. Running at the keeper, Casey slips it low past the keeper to bring the score to a 9-3 finish.
So, some scares early on, but after waking up, Shinfield finally pulled themselves together to strengthen the defence and make good of the opportunities they created. A great game to watch and a good all-round team effort. Well done boys
Goals: Ellis (3), Casey (2), Max, Tom, Aidan, O/G
Trophies: Max, Aidan, Isher
Photos available https://www.
Reported by Chris Starke