Thursday, April 30, 2009

NEXT GAME; Sunday May 3rd, Bridgeport!

The game on Sunday will be our first away game of the season and our first real challenge in these early weeks in the new division....we are playing the champions, Bridgeport!

Last year they won the division after 18 games with the stats revealing 14 wins, 1 tied game and only 3 defeats! Encouragingly, they did lose 6-0 away to the Guilford Hawks!

There are a couple of ex Madison players in their team which will add a bit of spice to the mix. I think they are a strong running and tackling team, with excellent passing and shooting as their hallmark style. We will have to be at our best and have as big a squad as we can muster for the game. Last year we had the ignominy of losing to the Bridgeport B team even though if it had been a boxing match they would have been stopped well before the final bell. We need to take our chances when we get them and remain tough in defence! If we go behind we should not let this affect our confidence.... we need team work! So, let's enjoy the day and see if we can pull off a shock!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

MATCH REPORT; Madison Celtic 6 Guilford Hawks 1

Hawks shot down by awesome Celtic attack

The weather was hot but Madison Celtic were even hotter in this blow out of a game against experienced Division A outfit Guilford Hawks. After a balanced well fought out first half the Mad Celts turned up the heat to cook the Hawks and send them to a stunning defeat.

A full squad of players turned up for this shoreline derby match and the few spectators out for the Spring sunshine were served up a real treat of a match. The first half was a tough midfield battle with chances at each end few and far between. Madison had their new goalie Kevinho playing and the few efforts that came his way in the first thirty minutes were dealt with very effectively. He needed to make a few saves in the final 15 minutes of the first half when Guilford had more of the ball, but most of the time the Madison defence held firm. One notably strong feature that Kevinho brings to the game is his immense kick outs that more than once led to a break away attack for the Celts. New sweeper Tim also made his debut in this game and had an assured start clearing his lines effectively and putting in some tough tackles. After 30 minutes Madison were in control of the game but had nothing to show for it. Jorge was playing a solo role up front but he was being starved of the ball. It was therefore not surprising that when the break through came it was because of a defensive error by the Hawks. Tom Judge cleared the ball from midfield and one of the Hawks defenders played it back to his goalie. The ball took an outrageous bounce over the leg of the hapless goalkeeper and into the goal. One nil to the Celts and well deserved as the first half ended. During the interval team captain Roniildo read the riot act to the team about keeping our mouths shut and keeping focused on the game and not getting distracted by bad calls.

This seemed to galvanise the team and in the second half they unleashed a performance of unrelenting power to shred the Hawks team of any confidence that they might get anything out of this game. The second half started with the Celts well on top with strong running by Fribeka, Ronilldo, Jodinho and Jorge. It looked likely that a second goal was going to come and, after some great ball winning play by Carlito, and a run into the box he set up Jorge to slam the ball into the net for a 2 nil lead and his second goal of the season. Celtic's tails were up at this point and Guilford had nothing to offer in return. The Celtic third goal came soon after with another great run by Carlito which he finished off with a powerful drive into the net. He was not finished there and another great move down the right wing was again beautifully dispatched into the net for his second and the Celts fourth of the game. By this time the Guilford team were demoralized and they knew more goals were coming. When the fifth came it was after a great move down the right by Jorge to Carlito who passed to the onrushing Scotty who fired the ball past the despairing Guilford goalie. Another similar move a few minutes later allowed Tom Judge to apply the finishing touch with a sixth goal for Madison as the rout of Guilford was completed. They did manage to score a goal right at the death, but even that would be no great consolation for a truly abysmal defeat for Guilford.

Overall, a very strong performance by Celtic, out competing their rivals in almost every aspect of the game. If one was to be churlish then maybe some improvement is needed in the passing department as many of them went direct to opposition players.

Next week will be a tough away match against last years Division A champions Bridgeport. Can Madison Celts keep their run going? Tune in next weekend!

Man of the Match; Carlito, for his incredible running, tackling, dribbling, assists and goals! Awesome display!

Friday, April 24, 2009

NEXT GAME; Sunday 26th April, Guilford Hawks!

After the fireworks of our first game in the top division last week we now test our unbeaten home record against our local derby rivals Guilford Hawks. We know this team well having played them a number of times and i think if we are "on our game" we can be very competitive.

They finished fourth in Div A last year, winning 8, losing 5 and drawing 3 games overall. For comparison they played last weeks opponents Newtown 3 times last year winning 5-1 at home and 3-2 away with a final tied game of 2-2 away.

Again, we will need a full squad for Sunday and we need to watch out for red and yellow cards! Our squad is too small for suspensions! Kevinho will be available for selection for the weekend as he tries to dislodge the superb El Gutso. Hopefully, no one picked up any further injuries, although we need to check on Scotty's fitness as he limped off during the second half of last weeks match. The beer controversy has been resolved with Roniildo the volunteer bringing the cold stuff for after match the beach!

See you Sunday!

Monday, April 20, 2009

MATCH REPORT; Madison Celtic 3 Newtown 2

Season kicks off with a bang....and a few punches!

Madison Celtic announced their arrival back into the top division with a raucous,volatile season opener. Two red cards, four yellows and five goals only tells half the story of a game that Madison had in the bag until a sending off sent them into a mini tail spin.

Nothing can beat a beautiful sunny day, a full squad and the green and white hoops running out onto their home field for the first game of the season. Celtic were uncertain how their strong end of season form from last year would carry through to the top division. Those justifiable concerns were soon blown away by a very confident start as they took charge of the match early on and pushed the surprised Newtown team onto the defensive. A strong attacking start to the game was rewarded at the twenty minute mark when a foul was won on the left edge of the Newtown penalty box. Enrique sent in a wicked curling ball into the box which was met by the onrushing defensive dynamo, La Boca, to score the first goal of the season and a deserved one nil lead. Celtic pressed their advantage with strong midfield tackling by new captain, Roniildo and brave defending by Ron the Toe. Madison attacked the Newtown box with wave after wave of attack from the strong running of Jorge and Enrique. But it was the skillful and tenacious play of Carlito that set up the second goal for Celtic. A poor defensive clearance by Newton allowed Carlito to steal the ball off the feet of their last defender releasing the ball to Jorge who scrambled the ball into the net. Concerns that the attack may have lost some of its fire power because of the missing top scorer of last season, Ro Ro, were beginning to ease. Even the new goalie El Gutso had a relaxed first half. The Newtown attack was so anemic that El Gutso could have spent the first half watching the game from a deckchair whilst leafing lazily through a copy of Leo Tolstoy's 'War and peace'. All that changed, however, in a florrid start to the second half when Enrique was harshly sent off for violent conduct. This event seemed to break the spell that Madison had on Newtown as they then mounted attack after attack. Some great defending and superb saves by El Gutso kept Madison Celts two goal advantage until the 7oth minute when a high looping ball bounced over our last defender, La Boca, allowing the Newtown striker to run into the box and slam a great shot past the blameless El Gutso. The goal really put fire into the belly of the Newtown team and very shortly after, they claimed an equalizer with a strongly aimed header from a corner kick. Although it was clear the Madison goalie was unfairly impeded, the goal stood. With a man down and the game ebbing away from them Madison could have crumbled but instead they thrillingly launched into attack and with less than ten minutes left on the clock a ball swung into the Newtown penalty area, more in hope than design, was edged into the net by comeback 'kid' Tom Judge. With their lead restored the Mad Celts held on to the end when an increasingly bad tempered game had its final burst of energy as a Newtown striker launched a fully body assault on La Boca. The referee red carded the Newtown player and brought an end to the game. A fine 3-2 victory for the Mad Celts as they steamed back into the first division pressure cooker. Next up Guilford Hawks!

Man of the Match; El Gutso. A string of great saves kept Madison in the game when their confidence was at it's lowest.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Season 2009 Div 1 Fixtures!!

The new season starts this Sunday!

Here are the Division A fixtures......please check in with Tom , and the blog, to give us all an update on your fitness and availability!! First game is against Newton and it is a home game!

See you there on Sunday!

CARSLA Men- A Division

Madison Celtic vs Newtown

Madison Celtic vs Guilford Hawks

Bridgeport United A vs Madison Celtic

Falcon FC vs Madison Celtic

Prospect Grandpas vs Madison Celtic

New Fairfield vs Madison Celtic

Madison Celtic vs Southington FC

Newtown vs Madison Celtic

Madison Celtic vs Guilford Hawks

Madison Celtic vs Bridgeport United - A

Bye vs Madison Celtic

Prospect Grandpas vs Madison Celtic

Madison Celtic vs New Fairfield

Southington FC vs Madison Celtic

Madison Celtic vs Falcon FC

A tale of two halves.....

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"...... with apologies to Charles Dickens....this last game of the indoor season was a tough one. Madison sailed into a 3-0 lead before the first half was over but were pegged back in the second half by a battling Branford side. Two goals by the Branford team without reply made the last ten minutes of the game more nerve racking than you could have predicted. The Mad Celts started the game with controlled tight passing and a lot of energy which pushed Branford back into their half. The breakthrough came early when a great run by Fribeka and superb cross found Carlito in space allowing him to slam the ball past a stranded goalkeeper. The pressure on Branford was unrelenting and after a fast break by Roniildo, through the middle of the Branford defence, the resulting pass to yours truly allowed a quick shot which curved round the outstretched goalie and into the net for a well deserved 2-0 lead. The half was rounded off nicely when Carlito took a fast corner which reached an onrushing Jodinho who crashed the ball off a Branford defender and into the net.....End of the first half and clearly, it was the best of times. Unfortunately the worst of times was just about to arrive in the shape of a re-invigorated Branford team. The second half was totally dominated by them as Madison fell out of the game completely. Branford took the game to Madison, playing a pressing game, which was rewarded with two great unstoppable goals. They would have scored many more if El Gutso had not been in such great form pulling off one great save after another.

Madison Celtic managed to hold on without really threatening the Branford goal and luckily finished 3-2 winners and unbeaten in the second session of indoor soccer.

Overall the two indoor session have been great fun, good practice and at least keeping some of the core team in shape for the outdoor season.

So, let's talk about the outdoor season, it starts next week!

As you will have worked out by now, if you had read the last posting and all the comments, we are now going to be playing in Div 1 for the 2009 season. This will be a big challenge because we do not have a big squad and we are carrying a number of injuries. We need all our players from last season back and ready to play. RoRo and Jorge will be vital to provide the cutting edge up front and hopefully supported by an attacking group of offensively minded players such as Carlito, Enrique and Scotty. Our tough tackling midfield of Roniildo, Jodinho and Jacques will also be aided by players such as Tom the Coach, Jerry and Tom Judge. At the back, La Boca, El Gutso, Johnaldo and Pink will certainly need more defensive options ( players!)....Hamid?? Of course, all our crocked players have to try and make come backs at some point in the season. But, our biggest challenge is finding a goalkeeper that can play every week! We need Kevinho and others to help out. Maybe El Gutso?? If El Gutso says yes then we can allow him to use this quote....sorry Charles.

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known"

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Double Header...Double Victory!

Another tough double header night in the indoor soccer arena was rewarded with two great wins for the Madison Celts. The first game, against Madison Crisis, was a close 4-3 win supplemented by two sumptuous goals by yours truly with additional goals by Fribeka and Carlito. The second game against Branford was, in the end, an easier looking score of 5-3 but was a difficult game throughout. Good goals by La Boca, Carlito, a few others and me sealed the win. A tough shift but a nice ending. One more week of indoor left before the "real stuff" starts in earnest. Mid April marks the start of the 2009 outdoor season and let's hope we can get off to a flying start, unlike last year when we stumbled from one game to another trying to find form and fitness.
We have a number of crocked players so we will have to have a fit squad and maybe some new players to start the season. Tom the Coach is thinking about getting a scrimmage game together before our first actual game.

The fitness challenge has 2 more weeks to run. I'll provide a summary shortly but El Gutso has been way ahead of all other challengers!

See you Thursday!