Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Xmas Everyone!

Here's wishing everyone affiliated with Spartans a very Merry XMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

2006 has certainly been a good year for the club. We're stable, we're organised and we top the Corinthian league at xmas. We have made some good progress and are still hungry to improve in every aspect.

Lets make 2007 even better.

What's been your best moment of 2006? Comments please.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Spartans back in their rightful place!

The Spartan Forest team regained top spot in Division 2 of the Essex Corinthian League on Sunday with a solid performance against May & Bakers Reserves.

Spartans got stuck in straight away after arriving at the ground late due to a couple of wrong turns along the way (it would seem that the streets of Dagenham would prove a trickier obstacle than the gaffer imagined. Not mentioning any names, but some people have no sense of direction. Tom and Longy are funny).

The boys in blue started the game by playing two touch football, resulting in some excellent attacking moves, and it didn't take long to inflict some damage on the Essex boys. An excellent, fluid passing move by Phil, Longy and man-of-the-match Rob Morrissey resulted in a bottom corner finish for the little man to put Spartans 1-0 up. Our boys continued to pile on the pressure against a woeful defence for the rest of the half, but failed to put the ball in the net, despite some great chances.

May & Bakers, started to take a firmer hold on the game early in the second half. Unlike previous games, Spartans awoke to the danger straight away and continued with their onslaught. A great through ball from Ellis "Mad Dog" Zenios to Matty Tallon made it easy for the Irishman to round the keeper and tap in his 7th of the season. 2-0.

It was at this point that the Forest boys had one of their "let's give them a chance moment". Captain of the moment Olly "Asbo/Curry Goat/Barry George" Drew played a "mysterious" cross field ball, which right-back Rob Stanger failed to clear. The May & Bakers left winger played a ball to the far post, which was duly dispatched by their striker. 2-1.

The Spartans rallied again, however. A number of chances followed, but the scoreline remained as it was until Tallon received the ball just outside the box, where he lauched a delightful chip over the keeper with his typical accuracy to effectively finish the game. The Irishman's fourth goal in two games brings him level in the scoring charts with Ellis. The pair are now only two goals shy of catching Sam "The Pharoah" Haidar, who was absent for this game.

Despite a couple of scares, including a world class save by goal keeper Dan Bracken, the East-Londoners saw the game out to the final whistle. 3-1 without their top striker, and without really hitting top speed, isn't a bad result. It was enough to send them into first place again, but they'll have to keep improving as the season pans out if they want to take home some silverware, especially with favourites Valentine United only a point behind with 2 games in hand. Next up, Spartans look to avenge rivals Ascot United, who held them to a 2-2 draw earlier in the season, thanks to some "innovative" referreeing. I, as well as many others, am really looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Romhill 0-7 Spartans

A crisp morning fell upon the sleepy spartan boys, as i awoke and trudged out from my abode the match already appered a daunting prospect........ not only did we know that we were going to be playing in the cursed orange strip (that had previously brought 3 losses on the spin for the club) but frost adorned the wind-screens and I could quite clearly make out my breath in-front of my face noticeably to a greater extent than the halitosis generally creates!

It looked bloody cold!

After some clever mental jiggery by the Gaffer, cleverly sending us to the wrong car park at such an early hour and forcing a barage of u-turns/tight parking decisions we finally arrived some what sparadically at a huge building that we foolishly took to be a changing facility. Dean consulted Romhills bean-pole forward who quite elequently said 'no changing room ear mate, theirs some bogs if u wanna go in dare'. Being a classy outfit we opted for the upmarket choice of the edge of the car-park fishing our kits out of a skip........nice.

After a very slow and lathargic warm up, to be honest it looked like it could have been heading for a big slip up........ Changes of position rang out through the squad due to the absence of Sam, Bracken, and I nearly forgot .....Ringer. We lined up,

GK Moon
RB Stanger
CB Tommy Gun
CB Asbo
LB Mr Phil
CM Ellis
CM Talon
LW Morrisey
FW Longcroft
FW Lane



As we prepared for kick-off the pitch had just started to soften up the sun streaming in from the side, every-one not trying to get too carried away knowing we were about to play the leagues wipping boys missing some strong players. We had come a croper a few times in previous seasons in similar circumstance, how would we fare today............

we kicked off

Early chances fell to Longcroft and Talon who shot wide.

Their keeper got in a paddy about something or other and walked off the pitch, he looked a bit like a butch lesbian, however he obviously knew that they were a bunch of not so agreeable gentlemen and I can't really blame him/her. All credit to one of their players stepping up between the sticks. No simpathy from us...... we alredy had an outfield player in goal, but we had the mental advantage of knowing their man wasn't a proper keeper they didn't have a clue yeti was standing in and i bet if you ask them now thay still wouldn't.

Unfortunately this some-what worked against our game, paying dividens in the end with a hat full of goals, but at the expense of becoming a shoot from any-where team with absoloutely millions of shots comeing in and missing spectacularly from all over the shop!

Tactical change with Morrisey going up front and Matty Lane back on the left wing, the gaffer looked to have identified a wekness down their right. very much like for like but as lane's boots were falling apart it looked a good idea to keep him by the touch-line for running repairs.

Longey broke the dead-lock, a neat passing move saw him run into a tight angle down the left hand side, but a ferocious shot fired through the keepers mittens and across the goal into the far corner. Rob's workrate and persistance after some early misses had payed off and we had our necks infont.......1-0

Talon made it two, ball lose in the box between morrisey and matt they managed to work some space, he spun and hit the ball on the volley quite comfortably into the back of the net from the penalty spot.......2-0

We kept creating chances, mainly down the wings with some nice interplay noticeably down the right with Stanger, Al and Ellis. and also down the left with Phil, Matty and Ellis. That Ellis kid was working his socks off across the centre of the midfield, with Talon behind him mopping up/ feeding the attacks and relentlessly banging the ball in the direction of goal at every oppertunity...... Whilst we as a team didn't look as good as we know we can, we continually pushed forward into shooting opertunities.

Romhill's tactic appeared to be feed the wing backs, who will lump it forward for a 50/50 challenge and on the occasions the ball fell to them again kick it over the deffence so that one of there six-foot+ guys can run after it. They seemed a bit tactically bereft with such a tall attack crosses would have suited them better than the continual hoof. But they got one to work with a ball from right to their left and they were through on gaol, only an off-side decision saved us, but it looked pretty clean cut to the majority of the players. One Romhill player took exception, why he had a better view than lazzard on the line I don't know but his potty mouth only displayed his upmost class and the gulf of ability/maturity between the two teams.

Subsequently a fantastic run down the right by speedy Al and a super low cross created a chance for Lane who took the volley clean past the keeper into the net. Diss-allowed for off side, I really have to dissagree because as I shot I was dead in line with the line-o, Al and the cross which was neither backwards or forwards but as parallel as possible. Anoying, to say the least, but not the reffs fault as he can only go by what is signalled whether it be correctly or over-wise.

So we kept on and Lane pushed in to the area on the left of the pitch aggrieved he attampted to cut inside two players and the ball got knocked clear on the wing to phil who put in a quick cross...... do we all remember barkingside last year? He only went and did it again, the cross arrowed into the top right corner, even cliping the stantion with a ping for good effect. He looked as surprised as any-one but he'd fired us ahead 3-0 with the half time whistle soon aproaching it was no more than we deserved.

A few dodgey reffin decisions with yeti being bungled over on the edge of his box and nothing being given and a few late tackles from their midfield tubbs without punishment and the man in black signalled half time.

You'd have been forgiven for thinking we were loseing 3-0 for the shouting and intense discussion that began our half time collective, but we all knew that we weren't living up to what we could do and our target of 10-0 looked a long way off! The gaffer summed it up, we were only in first gear but on the positive we were winning by a clear margin. Just keep working, the only time the opposition were creating anything was when we gave the ball to them. Their keeper was just fetching the ball kicking it out for another shot to reign in and fetching the ball again, more goals would deffinately come.

Second half kicks off..., in no particular order.......

from robs perspective.........More of the same really.
Scored goals? Check. (Ellis 2, and 1 each for Morrisey and Talon)
Clean sheet? Check.
More persistent fouling? Check.
Did I stack it in the mud again? Check.

Subs came on.....

Bruno for Al
Lazzard for Tom
Dean for Morrisey (oh my god??)

They were awarded a dubious pen at 6-0, it was a laugh as well... The best part was when the geezer responisble for a large percentage of their fouls skied his shot straight over the bar. He had been employing a 'winning tactic', which basically involved saying 'number 'x' is crap, he'll balls it up' to try and put us off whilst we were in possession.

So his Pen was a supreme bit of irony.

And he stopped his tactic after the miss.I didn't really mind the bloke or the number 9, they made me chuckle a few times by ripping into some of their less able teamamates. I was just pissed off that when they did foul, it wasn't called.

There was fisticuffs, and of those Fisticuffs, all I saw was Phil sort of DDTing the littlun that was getting fresh with Lois. That more or less finished the incident.

Asbo's jaded vision witnessed his sensational shot that bruised the woodwork and according to replays on hawk-eye actually went in?

However nullified by the following......

1) The gash kick ... what were you thinking man?
2) I think we had a whole leg air kick in there too, although you said Tom called it so you left it... you gay... What were you thinking man?
3) Moaning all the time for people to name all their headers, not doing it yourself and challenging Phil after he'd called one...
4) 'Prima donna play', including:
(i) Receiving the ball as last man, trying to take on their striker and go on a run but getting tackled straight away to be fortunately bailed out by your partner + the sheepish grin after.
(ii) Abusing your position of Captain to stay largely up front for the second half, so often that the team made a tactical switch to accomodate your extreme gayness.
(iii) having the gall to actually shoot from the distance you did.
(iv) Generally punting the ball into the channels like Michael Dawson.

Man of the match, Rob Longcroft. Not only did he pull out a full 90 minutes, but opened the scoring and played a major role in the majority of attacking/scoring moves. Fully deserved and appreciated by all.

In the end........No one is kidding themselves that we played any where near as well as we have in the past and we all know we can do, but we did what was needed and it looks pretty good on the corinthians website regardless how poor we really were.

The pot shots from all over the park were a bit silly, but we have been guilty of not getting enough shots away in the past so maybe this will help us not to be afraid to try our luck and come to a happy medium between the two?

It's fantastic having this drive to win back again. I'm so up for next sunday it can't get here too soon in my opinion. Even more so with Valentine not having a fixture until Jan (I know i've said it already but) we could be top of the table for the end of the year! I didn't want to get too carried away at the start of the season when we were riding high but this will be after 10 matches with an avarage of just over 2 points a match and scoring almost 4 goals per game, it all sounds very exciting.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Spartans win appeal against KOPA

We have won our appeal against KOPA's decision to award AC Varosi with 3 points from the re-arranged fixture that we weren't able to fulfil on the 15th of October.

The situation arose because the original fixture date was the 3rd September, however, KOPA agreed to AC Varosi's request to re-arrange it. The request was made because AC Varosi had too many players on holiday at that time.

Upon being informed of this decision, we requested that KOPA do not put the fixture on the 15th of October because some players had a pre-arranged holiday at that time and so it would not have been practical for us.

KOPA agreed to this verbally and the request was put in writing. For some reason KOPA ignored that request and put the fixture on for the 15th of October.

We were obviously unable to fulfil it, and KOPA decided it was a breach of their rules and awarded the points to AC Varosi.

Not for the first time this season we felt we were unfairly treated since we informed them over a month in advance about that specific date, there were many other dates that could have been used and the fixture was only re-arranged in the first place because of a situation at AC Varosi's end.

Therefore, we decided to make an appeal to the London FA who indicated that we had a good case as long as we could substantiate what we were claiming. We had all the evidence in writing so we pressed ahead with the appeal, which was heard on the 13th of December.

The London FA upheld our appeal and ordered KOPA to re-arrange the fixture. The main reasons being that we were not given the same treatment as AC Varosi and we had fulfilled our obligation under KOPA's constitution to inform them at least 6 days in advance should we need to re-arrange a fixture.

KOPA's reasons for the difference in treatment were that each case is judged on it individual merits and they felt our reasons were not as good as AC Varosi's.

This claim was strongly discredited by the LFA and KOPA's constitution was widely criticised.

A good job was done by Mike on two counts. He kept all records and got everything agreed with KOPA in writing. Secondly, he followed his convictions and appealed against an unjust decision against us. Well done Mike and also Neo for supporting him.

We should take this as another sign that the committee is and remains very organised and will not accept unfair treatment against the club from anyone.

We now have to concentrate again on the football, and try and take 3 points from the fixture.

Come on Spartans!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Get well soon Peter Pav and Guy

Peter and Guy, we wish you a quick recovery and to see you again soon in a Spartans shirt.

For those who don't know, Peter sustained a serious head injury during Sundays game going up for a header. Also ended up with a broken rib I believe. He was having an outstanding game at the back and will be sorely missed.

Guy had an unfortunate accident whilst warming up. He has done his ligaments in his ankle while turning in the mud.

Get well soon guys.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A shout out to Luke & thanks to everyone who showed their support @ xmas 2006

I want to publicly thank Luke for the massive effort he put into putting the xmas do together.

I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say that it was a great night, enjoyed by all.

Cheers mate.

THANKS also to everyone who came along and made the night one to remember. Thanks for your support again this xmas.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

This Friday = Spartans XMAS PARTY

Time to put our Santa costumes on and go celebrate!

For anyone who's been living under a rock over the last month and missed all the posts, reminders at training and the very first Spartans newsletter, the XMAS do is this Friday at Hob Nobs Bar on Gants Hill roundabout.

It's all about getting together, having a drink and having a laugh. Oh and also making some money to see you through the rest of the season!

Remember tickets must be bought on tomorrow at training.

Esprit 1-5 Spartans

Just to reiterate, that pitch would have given the baseball ground a run for it's money, it really was very muddy indeed.Despite the conditions, the game wasn't very scrappy and was quite an open affair.We knocked it around more, they tended to go straight for the wings - they have a pacey geezer that looked like Makelele, he was their main outlet.Anyway, I can't remember any testers before we took the lead. Nce buildup down the left, rolled inside to Matt T, who rolled it on to Bony M, who drove it home very nicely indeed from about 20 yards, straight as an arrow into the bottom corner. Very well taken goal. I'd guess that was around 15 minutes in.They equalised, The makalele geezer got down the right, stood a cross up over my head and some dude for them did something he didn't look capable of and belted an on the run volley into the absolute top corner anglt from 12 yards. ****er.We continued to play most of the good stuff without really threatening, thay were playing it into the channels and chasing us down. This was pretty effective for them because it was a fookin joke trying to get traction in some spots of the pitch and there was the potential for anything to happen. In the end, what happened was quite a few people stacked or nearly stacked it and we dealt with what they had without getting into trouble.A decent corner was nearly turned in, Sam spun to hit it against the bar, asr the resulting goalmouth scramble was half cleared, Alex's edge of the are shot flew just over.A few minutes later, we got another corner - we pushed right on top of them and forced a few corners from their errors, good running.Anyway, Matty Lane scored directly from the corner. Nice work.Their little bang it into the channel tactic almost pad dividends, Makelele boy got half through but when Bracken looked like making the ball over the top, he took a dive.Ref, being their gaffer, gave them a free kick and booked Dan as there was cover behid him. Dan did very well to turn the free kick over and we cleared the forward a bit, their keeper hada mare kicking out, El returned it with interest, Sam clean through, goal.Given.Then ruled out.Iffy decision if you ask me, I was pissed by this since we got cheated out of a goal the other week. Never offside, ref wasn't listening. Anyway, all was forgooten a few mins later, Sam went and made sure, firing home a ball squared from the left, about 12 yarsd out.In the second half we continued what we were doing, keeping the ball, knocking it around, stretching them. Didn't get any real trouble. El went clean through aroun 55 -60, gave the keeper the eyes, put him on his batty, clipped it home - the elements did their best to stop it on the line though!Rob M came on for Matty L, Yeti came on for Alex. Both were involved in number 5, Yeti working it down the right hand side for El to cross, Rob's first tough was sublime and took him straight around the keeper, he tapped in.Rob had had another ruled out about 5 mins earlier. Personally couldn't tell if that was right or wrong.We had a few mildly hairy moments of our own making, misjudging some aerial balls - this was really due to the weather being an absolute ****. Bracks made a decent one on one after one of these, other then that it was fairly plain sailing. Without battering the team we scored 5, had 2 ruled out and carved out several other great chances.I'd say we just kept comfotable, controlled it and let the ball do the work. The ball retention was excellent, we fully used the width. I thought our Centre mids stood out, they were fantastic and totally dominated the game. Bony had an excellent match, Matt was his usual quality self.Alex worked really well up and down the right, El was involved a lot and really nailed the support striker position.Everybody else was very good, I thought the team performance was very solid, and felt like maybe 3rd gear?I could have gone on for ages, looking at everybody else, we all were enjoying it, not tired, they just wanted off.that's how it seemed to me.Oh yeah, 'skipper' had a sitter header in the last couple of minutes and lofted it into row Z. think I should be allowed to go up for more and on that evidence Ollie's chances as a 'big man up front' should be limited at best.