St Stephen's Twickenham FC
Sunday, 16 September 2012: Pearce scores 7 as St Stephen's hit 12 past Molesey
St Stephen's Twickenham FC signalled their intent for the coming season with an opening day 12-0 demolition of Molesey C FC.
The season kicked off an a gloriously sunny afternoon in Marble Hill park, and top scorer from last season, Joe Pearce, obviously hadn't lost his shooting boots over the summer scoring 7, as the team managed to put 12 unanswered goals past a Molesey.
The first game of the season is always a chance to blow away the cobwebs of summer, and get back to playing a sport that we all love so much. Some say it may even bring a purpose back to Saturday afternoons!! So, with a selection of familiar and new faces, and off the back of a successful couple of pre-season matches St Stephen's Twickenham were rampant from the off. A new look, in a new, unmissable bright orange kit, was accompanied with the promise of "dynamic attacking football" by new club captain Dan Johnson. A seemingly defensive 4-5-1 formation was adopted, but players were given freedom to roam when we had the ball, attacking in a 4-2-3-1 formation. This dynamic presence from midfield was something Molesey never got to grips with, with several chances going begging before Dan Johnson scored the opener after 14 minutes. From there St Stephen's never looked back. With fantastic work coming off the ball to win it back quickly every time Molesey picked up some possession, especially from Alex Clark in the centre of the field, and great wide options coming from Aadam Sadiq on the left and Pete Gregorowski on the right, St Stephens were able to carve Molesey open at will, and the goals started to quickly rack up. Two goals from Joe Pearce, and one for Pete swiftly made the scoreline 2-0, then 3-0, before a fourth gave St Stephen's a comfortable, and fully deserved 4-0 half-time lead.
It was the second half however where the excitement really started. Any hope of tracking who had claimed all the assists quickly disappeared as St Stephens bagged 8 second half goals, 5 coming from the left foot of Joe P, one for Joe Brooker, one for Paul Thomas, and a second for Dan Johnson - a possible early contender for goal of the season? A 25 yard screamer into the top corner after robbing a flat footed defender of the ball. Manager Dave Lab began to ring the changes, making full use of the new league rules allowing 5 changes per side. The players who came in brought some fresh legs into a game that was already well won, but St Stephen's showed great concentration to see out a clean sheet in a game where it would have been easy to switch off and allow the opposition to at least spoil the clean sheet party.
All in all, it was a confident, composed performance, albeit against an opposition who really didn't offer any form of resistance. Pete I was his usual vocal presence in goal, but was obsolete for the majority of the match. The defence were organised and composed, and dealt expertly with the few attacks Molesey tried to mount. The midfield three worked really well, making the most of the space, laying off lots of simple passes, and closing down and shielding the defence when necessary. The wide men were always a great out ball, and the source of many assists, and with Joe's pace up front we look set for a successful season. Let's hope the table looks something like this come the end of the season.
Hugh Stanley (Dave Lab)
Josh Askwith (Cameron Shaw)
Aadam Sadiq (Ben Khan)
Dan Johnson - 2
Alex Clark (Paul Thomas - 1)
Joe Brooker - 1
Pete Gregorowski - 1 (Jack Hulme)
Joe Pearce - 7
Referee's MOTM: Joe Pearce
Player's MOTM: Dan Johnson