Friday 17th of July GMFC Cobham took on Croydon AFC in our first game at Selhurst Sports Arena.
This was a great day for The Guy Mascolo Football Charity as there has been a lot of hard work into creating the partnership between GMFC and Cobham FC. What was fantastic was that former GMFC coach Ilbert Ankumu was able to Referee the game.
Both sides came with large squads so we split the game in to thirds in order to give players maximum time to showcase their talents.
The first third started very tense, however we managed to get our composure with GMFC and Bedhead coach Tre Bogle commanding the Midfield, Q controlling the back 4 and Ebo, running the line up front creating a strong spine of the side. Against the run of play however the ball broke down and when the ball appeared to be handled our players switched off allowing for a snapshot to crawl into the net. After Croydon’s opener nerves set in and we struggled to get back the composure we showed in the opening exchanges. Despite not having the same possession we managed to put pressure on Croydon with some slick passing moves. Eventually this paid off with the ball finding its way to Tre at the back post who found the net with ease. This took us to the end of the first period.
The Second period started with a mostly changed line up from the first third for both teams. The second third started with a greater tempo and both sides looked to impose themselves on the other. Our defensive shape looked very solid and we managed to keep Croydon’s early possession at bay. Again though, Croydon took the lead after a lapse in concentration defensively allowed the ball to be bobbled into the box and poked in by the Croydon forward. The goal for Croydon kicked us in to gear and we began working the ball into dangerous areas and asking questions of the Croydon back four. Our pressure paid off with the ball being held up well by Ebenezer in the box who was cynically taken down from behind. with the referee awarding us a penalty. The penalty was cooly dispatched by Ebonezer to level the scores.
The final third started with the boys eager to finish in style and we got off to a flyer with David breaking through, from a lovely through ball by Tre, and cooly finished into the bottom corner of the pitch. we continued to push and our fourth of the game came from Ebo, who twisted and turned away from his marker on the edge of the box and then unleashed a venomous shot which found the bottom corner of the net to put us 4-2 up with just under 10 mins to go.
As we entered the final stages of the last third it was clear to see that our legs were getting heavy and the discipline in our shape/positioning started to waiver.
This allowed for gaps and a couple of individual mistakes allowed Croydon to claw back two goals to level it with a matter of minutes to go and a hopeful ball into the box was flapped at and bobbled into the back of our net to give croydon a last minute winner!
Overall it was a fantastic game played in great spirit by both sides and there were many positives to take from the game which we can build upon for the coming season.