Monday, August 30, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Wallingford 4 Madison 4

We came, we saw, we oh so nearly conquered! But in the end the wheels well and truly came off the chariot as Madison Celtic threw the lead away twice in a roller coaster of a game that ended in a 4-4 tie. The Wallingford Morelia team had started the season with two wins and got off to an early supremacy in the game with some smart passing and good ball control. Once again Madison started the game in a sluggish fashion finding great difficulty in stringing a set of passes together that involved teammates. The make shift defense shorn of La Bocca and Goggs was hoping for a bit of time to settle in but unfortunately that was denied as a criminally short pass back to Jodingo!! was snapped up by a Morelia forward who rounded the stranded Celt and swept the ball past The Hulk for an early one nil lead. Madison struggled to get into the game but gradually they managed to take a foothold with some great runs by Safet and Jorge pushing the Wallingford team back into defense. And just as the half was nearing the end a great pass by Jorge found Safet running clear and he did not miss his chance to slam in the equalizer. This was a great confidence booster for the Celts and they started the second half with their tails up. Great wing play by Madison at the start of the second period provided some great opportunities for goal chances with Safet frequently bursting into the opposition penalty box and laying on some great passes only to see them squandered. But the tide had truly turned in the game and Madison were taking control, a point that was confirmed when a great pass by Ilhan allowed Tano to flick the ball past the opposition goalkeeper for the go ahead goal. Madison were really motoring at this point and extended their lead when a great run by Roniildo down the Madison right wing ended with a great cross which was again met by the predatory Tano for his second and Madison’s third of the game. It looked like the Celts could run up a large score at this point but instead they chose to collectively press the self destruct button.
For some reason, best left off this report, Jorge and Telat decided to have a shouting match at each other. Unfortunately this spread to the rest of the team and at one point 7 players were involved in a scrum of an argument completely ignoring the urgent calls from the The Hulk that the game was still going on! This incident clearly filled the crestfallen Morelia team with the confidence to keep trying….and try they did. Shortly after this self sustained debacle Morelia scored a second goal to get them back into the game. Madison still had some great chances to increase their lead notably when Johnaldo was released by a great pass from Jorge only for him to ineffectually lob the ball to the opposition goalkeeper when a return pass to Jorge or a low hard shot may have met with a better outcome. From the possibility of going 4-2 up Madison found themselves back to square one when the Morelia team went straight down the field and straight through the Celtic defense to score a great equalizer. With only 5 minutes left on the clock that looked like the end of the excitement but how wrong that was! Jorge strode up the field and unleashed a powerful dipping shot that crashed off the opposition bar giving the goalkeeper no chance but amazingly the ball did not cross the line. Luckily for the Celts, Tano was on hand again to slot the loose ball into the net for his hat trick and what looked like the winning goal. Unfortunately, Celtic could not hold out for the last 2 minutes of the game and play the type of smart possession football that you need to see a game out. At one point, Madison had 7 players in the opposition half looking for another goal but also tempting the inevitable to happen. In what looked like the last attack of the game Morelia got to the edge of the Madison penalty box and even though the Celts had ample opportunity to clear their lines with a boot up the field they didn’t and the ball made its way to a Wallingford player in the box who was unceremoniously upended in the box by Ilhan for a clear penalty. And the end of a wild roller coaster ride of game was marked by the ball scorching past the despairing dive of the Hulk as Wallingford grabbed a very unlikely point. A really disappointing end to a game that Madison had almost wrapped up early in the second half. If they are to survive in this new league the team has to be smarter and more aware of what to do when they are in the lead. The team also has to learn that screaming and shouting at your team mates is not only destructive to team morale and focus, it is massively encouraging to the opposition

MAN OF THE MATCH; TANO Great hat trick by Tano and some really predatory skills in full view. Also fantastic support work by Jorge!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 29th August, Wallingford

Our next game in the SASL is another away game against Wallingford Morelia. Again, a new team to me and all I know is they have won their first two games away to the Eagles ( 3-2 ) and Hamden ( 4-0). Last year they came third in the league behind Sport Columbia and the Albanian Eagles wining 6, losing 9 and drawing 3. So this should be another tough game but lets hope we don't give this team two goals of a start like we did last week! We need to turn up ready to roll and not take 45 minutes to finally get into gear.
Looks like we will have much better weather for the game and a reasonable squad. The beer boy is >>>>>> El Gato!!
Directions to the field are here;
Now, like last week, these directions are taken directly from the SASL field directions master list..... I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACCURACY!!
In addition, if you arrange to pick someone up then decide not to please tell them! Or at least tell another one of your team mates! Do not leave it to telepathy...... this has been proven not to work!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Eagles 2 Madison 2

A hard fought game that at times looked to be running away from the Celts finally ended in a 2-2 tie but not before chances to win it came for both teams. In conditions that could be best described as very damp, Madison started the game against the Albanian Eagles in good form. Strangely, after pushing the game for the first ten minutes or so the Madison passes started to go astray, the runs were just slightly off and the defence couldn't clear it's lines cleanly. Hard to explain how it happened but after 15 minutes this malaise had spread and the Celts were struggling to get to the ball and to keep possession for any length of time. The Eagles forwards, numbers 9 and 16, were giving the defence a really hard time as they ran straight at the back line with the ball at their feet and most of the time went past them!
Attacking down both wings and whipping the ball across the penalty box meant that the Hulk was seeing significant action and often! Even with these goalmouth heroics it was maybe no surprise that the Eagles took the lead and with a very simple goal. A midfield attack and a ball accurately sent into the penalty box allowed the Eagles striker just enough time to control it and send it past the Hulk as he dove out. The ball was not hit hard but as it trickled towards the goal Johnaldo tried, and failed, to clear it before it crossed the line. One nil down and struggling Madison tried to get back into the game but could not get their foot on the ball. The shortness of the field meant that the Eagles could launch attack after attack with ease and pepper the Madison penalty area with plenty of shots. Inevitably under this type of pressure another attack allowed the Eagles to get free in the box for a sure second but The Hulk took the last choice and pulled the player down. Penalty to the Eagles and a chance to go two up. However, the Hulk had other ideas and dove to his left to make an outstanding save. Would this jolt the team into action? No, it didn't and the Eagles continued to attack with impunity and with about ten minutes left before half time they scored a great second goal with a powerful header.

It was clear at the half time break the Celts could either take a real doing in the second half or go out and fight for some pride. They chose the latter and with some tactical switches on the right side of the field they started the second half like a new team. Finally running down the wings with some real possession and pushing the Eagles onto the defensive for the first time since the opening ten minutes of the game. Telat had moved up to the right midfield and made a couple of great runs and crosses and in one great interchange with Roniildo he ended up right on the opposition bye line and took a "Maicon" type shot from the most acute angle you could imagine and scored ! What a difference this goal made to the game. It was all Madison now. Great running by Halil and Fribeka along with Roniildo in the midfield pushed the Eagles back further and further. A couple, of times Tano took shots that the goalie let slip under his legs and nearly over the line. Every so often the Eagles would get a break away and once again the Hulk would be called into action to punch, kick or stomach the ball away. Then thrillingly, a great corner over by Roniildo was met flush on the head by Tano who crashed the ball past the static goalie for a superb equalizer. At this point in the game Madison could have easily gone on to win it but time wasting tactics by the Albanians started to take the edge off the game. The Celts had a few chances to win near the end as did the Eagles when a headed clearance by Johnaldo bent over his and The Hulks head and shaved the bar by an inch!

The final whistle blew to end a really hard fought game and a share of the spoils!

Man Of The Match; The Hulk. An outstanding performance by the big man between the sticks . Kept the Celts in the game when they could have been over run in the first half!

Post Match Beers; Great beer choices by the one and only La Boca!.... and to thank him i give you this, his greatest love !

Friday, August 20, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 22nd August, Albanian Eagles

Our second game in the SASL is an away game to the Albanian Eagles. We don't know much about this team other than the fact that they came second in the league last year. They lost their opening game of the new season 3-2 at home to Wallingford Morelia. So they will be looking to get back on track with a win against us! We are also an unknown commodity to this team but they will know we beat Orange in the opening game. I would imagine all our initial games with these new teams will be a bit cagey as we work out where our strengths and weaknesses are. I liked the way we approached the Orange game.... we just went for it and we were the best team over the first twenty minutes or so. We should try and do the same against the Eagles!

Our track record stretching back to November 2009 is now remarkable..... over that time we have played 16 games, won 13, drawn twice and lost only once! We have scored 45 goals allowing only 14 past our nets on the way to accumulating 41 points out of a possible 48!!

I would be scared to play against a team with those stats! Let's keep them going!!
The game is a 10 AM kick off at the Bucks Hill Fields in Waterbury.... field directions are in the pages section on the right side of the blog page or here;

La Boca is the designated beer boy for this game! See you there!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The SPL and the EPL have Started!

It's great to see the new seasons start over in the Scottish and English Leagues! I missed seeing all the action and great goals after the World Cup! So who will be the champions? Well for the SPL I of course will be picking Celtic to be champions come May 2011. A new manager, a new team and new enthusiasm to win should be enough to see them past a dilapidated and tiresome Rangers team. They certainly don't deserve to win 3 leagues in a row..... difficult even writing that...ugh..... Celtic started their long campaign with an away win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle! As for the EPL I still can't see past Chelsea ( did you see them destroying West Brom 6-0? ) and Man U fighting it out again for the top dog position. Man City may make their money work for them but that is a rarity in the EPL isn't it? ...... ha! ha! yeah right! Apart from Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool of course....looks like Blackburn may be the latest team to be bought out by some daft billionaire who wants to spend 100,000 million dollars on a team that has the fan base of the New Britain Rock Cats! Why can't we have some eccentric billionaire/millionaire come and buy us out?? For the foreseeable future we will have to rely on our innate skills to make an impact on the soccer field!
Glasgow Celtic's European hopes this year rest on their next two games against Dutch team Utrecht. Thursday night this week is the first leg of their Europa League Qualifier......look out for the result that night!
Next Game analysis on our weekend opponents , the Albanian Eagles, will be out this Friday. They wouldn't sound so threatening if they were called the Albanian Sparrows or the Albanian Blue Tits would they!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Orange 2 Madison 3

Madison's much heralded entry into SASL Division 3 got off to the best of starts with a hard fought 3-2 away victory against fellow Division 3 newcomers Orange. It felt odd starting a new season without truly completing the last one and I would admit to a bit of nerves before kick off. Not knowing what standard the opposition would be was a bit worrying. Orange had previously played in the over 30's league and would probably have " youth" on their side. But while they had had a Summer break, Madison had been playing non stop since April. As it turned out Madison got off to such a whirlwind start those nerves and worries quickly dissipated and were replaced with the urge to win this game as well as we could. A strong Madison line up with Halil back in the team after his vacation and Arniesto back from injury meant we were well prepared for a robust looking Orange team. The Celts kept good possession of the ball in the opening quarter of the match and passed it around smoothly, taking up good positions around the players with the ball. Carlos looked to be in the mood for a great game and the defence looked solid in the early skirmishes. The biggest failing in the opening twenty minutes was that Madison did not really test the opposition goalkeeper even with the huge amount of ball possession that they were enjoying. Safet was the main goal threat at this point with his aggressive running but he was having no luck in front of goal. Just as it looked like this may start to frustrate the team a move down the left saw Fribeka play a lovely ball to Safet who moved into the box and slammed the ball past the goalie to give the Celts a well deserved lead. Orange started to attack with a lot more determination and vigour after this set back and some of their best chances came in the ten minutes leading up to the half time break. Their main tactic of lobbing the ball high over the midfield and last line of defence to fast running strikers is never one that the Madison team have dealt with well. The prolonged use of this tactic began to put the Celts defence under some pressure and they were clearly taking too long to clear their lines. And, just before the HT whistle a poor clearance fell to to an opposition player about 30 yards out and he wasted no time sending a bullet of a shot past the static defence and the outstretched arms of The Hulk. The goal had been coming but it was clearly frustrating to lose a goal so close to the end of the 45.
Madison started the second half in the same way as the first with good possession and passing but they were still unable to get decent shots on target. Great running by Carlos down the wing was allowing plenty of opportunities but the strikers were mistiming their shots or getting caught in offside positions. The Celts defence was still holding strong, with some great defending by The Hulk, La Boca and Goggs, but was increasingly getting pressured from the attacks of the Orange forward line. The game was on a knife edge at this point and could have gone either way. It was then that Carlos decided to take matters into his own hands with a mazy run down the right wing down to the opposition bye line where he shaped to cut the ball back into the box but instead shot from an acute angle past the goalie and in for the Celt's second on the day. The goal took some nervousness off the Madison team and they really started to pile on the pressure. A disallowed goal from Safet seemed to spur them on even more and once again it was Carlos that made the decisive move. Receiving the ball in the box he wasted no time controlling it then blasting it past the goalie for his second and Madison's third. The Celts had two more clear cut chances to score after this but gradually the game started to wind down but not before a sting in the tail. Another poor defensive clearance allowed the opposition to score a consolation second goal just before the final whistle sounded. A great first win in the SASL for the Celts but some more work to be done learning how to finish off a game!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Carlos, for his great running and two superbly taken goals. La Boca was close behind and Halil and Safet deserve some mention for their great running and all round performance

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 15th August, Orange!

It's time for our first game in the SASL this weekend. We start our campaign of the 2010/2011 season in the SASL 3rd Division with an away match against Orange. This game will be played at Fred Wolfe Park and it is a 9 AM kick off..... I repeat.... a 9 AM kick off! So, please try and be at the field between 8.30 and 8.45 to warm up. The SASL rules are strict around bad behaviour and abuse of the ref.... please to do not argue, shout or even talk to the ref during the game or you may receive a yellow or red card!

What do we know about our new opponents? Well they have just joined the over 40 leagues after playing in the over 30's divisions. Last season they finished second bottom of the Third Division. Having said that, I'm sure they will think that they are a young enough team to take on us old timers! Our big advantage? We have been playing all Summer without a break! Let's have a great start to the new league

In other news, we had a team meeting Monday night at Augers bar and the shock news from the meeting was the sacking of Jodingo!! and BOR from their roles as recruiting and entertainment officers! As they cried into their beers Tom A and Tano were appointed the new CRO (Chief Recruiting Officer and CBO ( Chief Beer Organizer ) respectively.

We spent most of the meeting talking about the new rules and regs of the SASL....... if you are not already aware please make sure your shirt has a number on it!! You may not get on the field without a number on your shirt!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Madison 5 Woodbridge 2

Sadly, all good things come to an end. But what a sweet end to Madison Celtic's campaign in the CARSL. A superb 5-2 win against close rivals Woodbridge cemented the Celts claim to be the best team in the league.

Madison started the game in a strangely subdued fashion allowing the visitors to make most of the early play. The opposition no 19 showed that he was in good form with some strong early running and shots. Madison could not get into top gear and their passing was woefully short of the standards of recent games. The Madison defence, which as a unit, has been incredibly strong this season was getting caught out on a regular basis with high balls being lobbed over the final defender and allowing opposition players to run onto the ball. Having suffered and survived such a maneuver several times in the opening twenty minutes the Celts finally succumbed to the tactic when the speedy no 19 latched onto a lofted ball and raced into the Madison box trailing two defenders in his wake and cracked a superb tightly angled shot past The Hulk from about 10 yards out. Although, this was their first shot on target it was a richly deserved goal for the effort Woodbridge had been putting into the game. Madison were stung into action after this set back although they still could not get their passing into the groove. Some decent attacks from the home team always seemed to break down and dissipate around the penalty box and clearly this was beginning to frustrate the Celtic forwards. Madison were also still prone to the lobbed ball over the defence tactic. In fact the home team were lucky to not go two down with only minutes left in the first half when another breakaway ball saw a Woodbridge striker racing at the goal with only the goalie to beat. But what a goalie! The Hulk spurted out of his area like a rampaging bull, taking out two players in the move ( including Gogglito!) as he chested the ball down and tried to kick the ball up field. Unluckily, it went to an opposition player on the wing but undaunted The Hulk raced after him tackling him out on the line. Unfortunately, the ball broke to yet another attacker who swept the ball towards the now empty net but because of The Hulks heroics the defence had got back in numbers and Johnaldo swept the ball up field. The ball eventually landed at the feet of Carlos out on the Madison right wing who then lofted an outrageous shot from fully 35 yards out over the opposition goalie and into the net for the equalizer! A dramatic last five minutes to the half that could have saw Madison two down but instead they were right back in the game.

Some smart tactical switches at the halftime break saw Gogglito fall back to being the sweeper and the two backs close in on the center. Johnaldo was tasked with man marking the no 19 and Tano asked to keep in the opposition box as much as he could. These changes would prove to be most effective in the second half as the Woodbridge No 19 dropped out of the game and Tano pounced twice in the box to score. His first goal was a work of art. BOR started the move way back in defence by running up the left wing, he passed to Carlito who returned the ball with a sweet back heel, BOR then passed to Safet on the edge of the box who also back heeled it to the still rushing BOR. At this point BOR had run the entire length of the field and was almost at the opposition bye line but he still had enough energy and composure to send over a beautiful cross that was met by the hip, thigh and feet of Tano as he slammed the ball into the net for the go ahead goal for Madison. The quality of the move and the goal seemed to suck the fight out of the Woodbridge team and they were under constant pressure from that point on. Another move on the right saw Carlos once again in space well outside the opposition box and unbelievably he again lofted the ball over the goalie from distance to score his second and Madison's third of the game. It was now only a question of how many Madison would score as they had their tails up and were playing some great football. So it was no great surprise when another swift move down the Madison left saw a killer ball sent in from Safet that was neatly nipped into the net by the predatory Tano. Maybe not surprisingly, after this fourth goal the Celts took their foot of the gas and allowed Woodbridge a bit more of the ball. And they certainly took advantage of that when a short corner was swept over menacingly into the Madison box. Bruce stretched to tip the ball onto the bar but the opposition striker manged to bundle the ball into the net with his gut. Ugly, but still a goal. Madison had a bit of their pride dented by this goal and they swept back into attack and with only a minute left on the clock, man of the match Carlos, showed that not only can lightening strike twice in the same place sometimes it does it three times! The ball came to him on the left side of the field and with not many options available to him he chose the spectacular by crafting a high arcing ball from a good 35 yards out which sailed over the despairing grasp of the opposition goalie to nestle in the net and round off a truly superb 5-2 win for Madison.

MAN OF THE MATCH; CARLOS. What a fantastic three goal , hat trick performance from Carlos and every one of them a goal of the season! Having said that, i think the actual goal of the season was also scored in this game by Tano after an unbelievable assist by BOR! Great play by Gogglito, The Hulk and Telat during the game and the midfield really hustled in the second half.

So, that's all folks! With only two games left on their CARSL schedule Madison will be joining the SASL Div 3 starting on Aug 15th for the start of the 2010/2011 season. This means that even though Madison Celtic are several points ahead of teams like Woodbridge and, at the time of writing Bridgeport, it will be unlikely that they will remain there when these teams play their extra games and we forfeit our last two. Having said that, it has been a truly fantastic 13 game campaign, winning 10 games drawing twice and losing only once. The stand out feature of the campaign has been a defense that is clearly the best in the league losing only 8 goals through the whole season and completing 8 shut out games of the 13! Of course, as with any winning team it has been the team spirit that has moved the team forward and made them so competitive, so difficult to beat and long may it continue into the new league! Another champions performance from a truly champion team!

You can see all the season stats on the stats page or if you are lazy you can see them here;

Team meeting at Augers in Guilford this Monday night 6.30 pm!

Friday, August 6, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 8th August, Woodbridge!

After nearly 9 years in the CARSL divisions the time has come to say goodbye and play our last game in that league. Unless we end playing make up games, which i doubt, this will be the end of our campaign and our association with the league. I have played for every Madison team in the Division since Tom, Behrooz and I ( sole survivors) left Clinton to form the Madison team. We have had some great years ( this being one of them ) and some bad ones but it has almost always been fun.

The challenge of joining SASL will be significant one because we think it will be a better run league with better competition but I'm sure we will rise to the challenge!

But, first some business has to be done and that is to win our last CARSL league game against one of the top teams, Woodbridge. They have kept close to our tail even after we beat them at their home ground 3-0. Match Report here;

If we win on Sunday we will put 8 points between them and us in the league although they will have 3 more games to play to catch up. Let's make it as tough as possible for them to do that.

Our current league standings look like this;


Madison Celtic 12 9 1 2 32 6 26 29
Bridgeport 12 9 2 1 38 33 5 28
Woodbridge 12 8 3 1 34 20 14 25

Bridgeport will have 2 more games left in the season after this Sunday so it would take a small miracle for us to win the league after forfeiting our two last game. But what a great run!

Let's go out in style by winning.....we need a strong squad for Sunday with hopefully more than just ne sub. And of course, the really important question is..... who is the beer boy for Sunday??

See you at Town Campus field!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

7 Up Party at the Beach!

Apart from the great result last Sunday we also had a fantastic picnic at the beach after the game. Thanks to everyone who brought food, drink and cooked! It was awesome!

Our next game is this Sunday....another home game and our last in CARSL!! It's against the other Woodbridge team, the tougher one! Hope we can all make it.....who has still not been beer boy?

Monday, August 2, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Madison 7 Woodbridge YJ 0

Madison Celtic responded to last weeks first defeat of the season in the best way possible with a resounding victory. A seven goal mauling of Woodbridge was the punishment deemed necessary to banish the depressed feelings from last week. Surprisingly, for a score like this, the first forty five minutes of the game were relatively competitive and even. With returning stars such as La Boca and El Flaco back in the line up, Madison had got off to a great start with an early goal from Roniildo when he headed in a great corner from Fribeka. But rather than signalling an onslaught on the opposition goal Madison sat back and allowed Woodbridge to play some decent passing football. Their pacy forward was having some luck getting into good positions and in one passage of play he broke through hitting a superb shot on target that was superbly tipped over the bar by the legendary El Gato. As the first half wore on the teams exchanged midfield possession and some clear chances to extend the Celts lead came and went. However, just as the half was coming to an end a ball was swung into the opposition box eluding the YJ goalie and glancing of La Boca's "side". He quickly controlled the ball went past the stranded goalkeeper and slammed the ball into the net for a 2 0 lead at half time. Again some superb defending by Gogglito, a great save by El Gato and some strong midfield play by Fribeka, Jodingo!! and Roniildo were the highlight performances of the first half

If the first half was a reasonably contested match the second turned into a bit of a procession for Madison as they turned up a few gears. More assertive midfield play and an impenetrable defence were making life tough for Woodbridge as they tried to get a foothold in the game. Strong running by the midfield made it nearly impossible for the opposition to hold onto the ball for any significant period of time. Any chance of a Woodbridge fight back was effectively ended when Ilhan scored a great header off a superb cross in by Tom for the teams third. After this it looked like the Celts could score at will...and mostly they did. Another great cross over from the Madison right by Telat was headed down by Ilhan and slammed into the net by Tano, quickly followed by number five when Roniildo trundled a loose ball in from outside the box. But Madison were not finished yet as Roniildo rounded off a great personal display by tapping in for his hat trick and Madison's 6th goal of the day. It took the current leading goalscorer nearly to the end of the match before making his mark when, as he often does, Jorge rounded off the days proceedings with the 7th goal of the game, a simple tap in past the hapless Woodbridge goalkeeper. A truly superb performance by Madison as they restated why they are the league leaders!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Roniildo for his hat trick performance and assist in a compelling midfield performance. Some close runners up with Gogglito again in impressive form and Carlito showing why he has been missed. The picnic was great fun too! More pics coming from that in the next posting! Thanks to Amy for the photos!