Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NEXT GAME: Sunday Oct 3rd, N Branford!

I wasn't there, but it sounded like last week was a shambles! A hapless first half, which needed a great recovery to win the 3 points! The excuse seems to have been because the team turned up late and was disorganized. We can't afford to let this happen again when we play North Branford at home this weekend. North Branford are a team in the bottom half of the table but doing significantly better than Hamden. They have played 6, won 2, tied 1 and lost 3 to gain their 7 points so far. They have beaten Hamden 2-0 away from home and, more worryingly, they also beat Morelia 3-2 on the road! If we want to win this we will have to play hard and fair.... no more stupid yellow cards!! We will need to be very well organized.... Being organized and sticking to position goes 90% of the way to winning games at this level. Now sticking to position does not mean standing around like statues hoping someone else will do the running for you! It means you need to know where you are on the field and why....and where your team mates are. Positional awareness is everything!

The Atlantic Rovers 4 will be back in contention for selection this weekend. Thanks for all your interest in how we played......... yup, thanks.

Not sure if you guys ended up with donuts and coffee after the game, or beer and chips, but this weekend I would imagine we will be drinking non coffee related brews. CBO....who is on base?

See you guys on Sunday for the game and of course see a bunch of you on Saturday for the Hulk fishing tour!!

Monday, September 27, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Hamden 2 Madison 3

Report by Arniesto, Pics supplied by Jorge!

The second law of thermodynamics states that natural systems tend to move from order toward chaos. This is known as entropy. Madison Celtic FC, however, flies in the face of this immutable law of nature, as was witnessed, yet again, in this week’s match against bottom-of-the table Hamden. Disorder reigned supreme at kickoff, and slowly, steadily by the end of the game, order had been restored. Hamden’s first goal came about after a remarkably chaotic string of events, a bad call by the ref that gave Hamden a throw-in, a range of Celts arguing the call and not continuing play even as Hamden took the throw, culminating in a hand ball in the box and a shot from the spot that careened chaotically off the side post and in. In another blink of an eye, a well-struck corner by Hamden found the head of a totally unmarked man making a strong run in the center of the box, and Madison found themselves two in the hole. From here on in, however, order finally started to form on the Madison side, and soon Safet found himself behind the defense on the wing with Arniesto running hard for the near post, and what would have been a perfect pass was knocked astray by the outstretched hand of the defender. After a few moments of a bit more chaos as teammates tried to decide who would take the penalty, Jorge slotted a crisp shot past the outstretched hands of the keeper, and where once there was chaos and despair, hope and order returned.
Early on in the second half, Carlito stood over the ball, preparing to take a direct kick from 40 yards out. The clouds parted and angels descended and carried his shot over the futile hands of the keeper--yet again. Next week, I'm expecting a golaso from midfield or farther.
With the Celts even, they played with renewed vigor, looking more and more threatening with each passing minute, and with not much time remaining, a beautifully struck corner by Halil came in hard and head-level, and Arniesto went up with the goalie, perhaps just enough to make him flub his catch. The ball dribbled to the ground and into the waiting feet of Jorge, who netted his second of the match, and the winner for Madison.

Man of the match? Most obvious would be Jorge, with a brace of goals, or Carlito for yet another divine strike from distance. But since this is my first (and perhaps my last) ever match report, I'm naming myself man of the match for my indirect, but essential involvement in two goals--and just because I can.... Here's hoping for our next match that we start strong and finish strong.
I'm also hoping to see Hulk and Flacito's $100 bet played out on the field next week after the game--and thanks to Hulk for some choice early-morning brewskis--it was 5PM in Scotland, at least, I believe...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 26th September, Hamden!

Our game this Sunday is away to Hamden......

It is an 8.30AM KICK OFF!!!..... I repeat.... it is an 8.30am KICK OFF!!!

On the face of it, this should be a 3 pointer for us. Hamden sit rooted to the bottom of the table after 5 losses. They have lost heavily to several teams so far and have only scored 3 goals. Last year they finished bottom of the league after 13 losses, generating only 10 points over the whole season. Having said all of that, we will need to bring our A game to the field. Several of us will be missing including a contingent over in Scotland. We need the rest of the squad to turn up!

The Hulk will be back between the sticks, we have Roberto as a new star in defence....maybe we will even see La Boca again?

This is also an early kick off did I mention that before? Yes, i did.... the kick off is at 8.30AM!!

Last week several guys turned up just as we were about to kick off and that was at 10AM!

Grab the win and the 3 points guys! And Atlantic Rovers will try and win the tournament over in Scotland!

El Gato will be the card holder and scribe for the day and Tano will try and take some pics!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

MATCH REPORT; Madison 0 Guilford BC 0

Madison's first home game of the SASL season was against a strong Guilford Bell Curve team that turned up early and ready for business! This was in stark contrast to the Madison team that seemed to casually turn up in dribs and drabs with apparently no concerns about the 10am kick off time! With several key players missing in action the Celts started the game slowly and in a somewhat disorganized fashion. In contrast, the Guilford team set off strongly with some crisp passing and incisive attacking play forcing debut boy Roberto to show his defensive skills right from the start of the game. Luckily, the few early chances for the visitors did not really trouble El Gato and after twenty minutes Madison finally got themselves into the game. Some good wing play by Fribeka on the left, and Talet on the right saw crosses into the box that allowed Jorge, Safet and Tano all to have chances that in any other week would have found the net. But not this week, and each shot went over, past or nowhere near the opposition goalposts. Both teams were evenly matched and throughout the rest of the first half chances were few and far between. Therefore it was no surprise that the half ended in a goalless tie.

The second half started with the Celts taking the game by the scruff of the neck pushing the Guilford team onto the back foot and forcing defensive errors for the first time in the match. Pressing their back four allowed some great opportunities for the home team to take control of the game and for the first twenty minutes of the half Madison had several chances to take the lead but just couldn't get the final touch to push the ball into the net. Of course, no team can keep an attack going for a whole game ( well maybe Barca! ) so gradually Guilford started to push up the field and had a few of their own chances to grab the lead. In one of their best attacks a great move down the Madison right ended with a fierce ball being swept into the box and for a second it looked like the ball was heading into the net only for El Gato to tip it onto the bar allowing Johnaldo to kick the ball out of the box. Then, in clearly their most productive stretch of the game, a Guilford forward swept into the box and unleashed a great shot that flew past El Gato into the net. Luckily for the Celts the ref blew for a foul on the last man Roberto. This narrow escape did not inspire Madison to raise their game and the game moved on in a stalemate. Several chances came and went but it looked like a draw was on the cards until the last move of the game.

With only seconds left on the clock Guilford fouled a Madison player on the edge of the box allowing a last chance for Madison. Roniildo lined up for the shot and sent in a scorcher of a shot that looked like a goal all the way. The Guilford goalkeeper stretched out to his maximum length and just at the very tip of his finger he flicked the ball over the bar and a certain winner for the Celts was gone. The whistle blew to end a great competitive match and a fair zero zero tie. The last time Madison had blanked in a game was way back in September of last year and hopefully the next time will be a year from now!

Yellow/Red Card watch; Roberto (-1)

MAN OF THE MATCH; tough to split the great match saving antics of El Gato and the fanstastic defensive debut by Roberto so...what the Hell ....they are both men of the match!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 19th Sept, Guilford Bell Curve

We are only four games into our new journey in the SASL but already a big game is on our plate! This Sunday we have our first home game of the season against one of the better teams in the league, Guilford Bell Curve. They sit second in the table after 4 games, on 9 points, winning 3 and losing only once. They have beaten the Eagles (3-2) and North Branford (3-0) away and won 5-1 against Hamden at home. Their only loss so far came at home to Orange, 3-1. Last year they finished bottom of Div 2 having lost 13 of their 18 games and shipping 52 goals! They must have tightened up a bit but maybe they are a fragile team that is used to losing? Let's get them on the back foot as soon as we can and hit them with confident attacking play!

See you Sunday at Exchange field 10am kick off. Jodingo!! is the beer boy and he has to compete with the awesome collection of beers from last week!!

No Hulk this weekend but we have the amazing, flexible and ever reliable El Gato between the sticks! Still need some players to do their check ins.... or outs.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MATCH REPORT; East Haven 0 Madison 3

Another second half revival by the Celts was enough to see off a spirited East Haven team on a field that would not have been out of place in Lilliput. Even Gulliver would have complained about the teeny dimensions of the field that allowed The Hulk's kick outs to become one of the main attack weapons for the team. A superb fifteen minute start by the Celts came somewhat unstuck by the same general first half lethargy that has hit all of Madison's games this season.

Having had total control of the ball and of the the game, passes started to go astray and increasingly the last resort was a long ball to the chronically offside front line. This really started to unhinge the shape of the team but luckily East Haven were in no position to take advantage. Their attacks were scare and feeble at best although with the game precariously balanced at nothing each they did have the best chance of the game when a shot had to be cleared off the line, hockey style, by the The Hulk to prevent the home side taking an undeserved lead. This was the first and only action The Hulk had to take in the game and he could have spent the rest of the game fishing in the Atlantic with a cardboard cut out left in his place!

As both sides edged towards a tied first half the notable features for Madison were the great performances being put in by Jorge up front and Halil in midfield closely followed by the running and blocking of Fribeka.

The second half saw Madison take more and more control of the game with more shots on goal and a lot more possession. It was maybe a slight surprise that when the breakthrough came it would be off the head of the opposition defender as he flicked a great Talet cross into his own goal to give the Celts the lead. This spurred the team on to greater heights with their passing and wing play becoming much more probing and incisive. East Haven were really beginning to toil under this type of unrelenting pressure and a second goal was clearly coming and when it did it was a work of art. The ball broke to El Flaco, probably 35 yards out, and he did not hesitate for a second to fire in a screamer of a shot that dipped at the last minute to leave the opposition goalie clawing at air as the ball sailed over his head and into the net. Yet another goal of the season contender from the maestro Carlos and a well deserved two goal lead for Madison. After this the Celts continued to push and sealed the deal with a third goal when the ball broke across the East Haven goalmouth allowing the lurking Jorge to round off a great personal performance by scoring Madison's third of the day.

Several chances came and went for the Celts to add to their lead but at full time the score stood at 3 - 0.

Man of the Match; Jorge A superb running and passing game by Jorge was the standout performance of the day. Always available for the pass, always making the intelligent run and scoring a great poachers goal at the end! Good showings by Halil and Fribeka in the second half completed their sterling performances throughout. And of course the touch of genius by El Flaco made the game memorable! Thanks to The Hulk and TomA for a truly superb array of post game beers and great chicken wings and guacamole from El Flaco!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

NEXT GAME; Sunday 12th September, East Haven!

Our next league game is this Sunday away to East Haven. The field directions to Moulthrop Street are on the Field directions page or click here;

East Haven have also played 3 games so far and have lost 7-4 at home to the Albanian Eagles, lost 2-6 at home to Orange and won away from home 3-0 to North Branford. They have 3 points to our 5. As we are new to the league it is still difficult to work out the strength of each of these teams but as we have already beaten Orange and drawn with the Eagles then we should be more than a match for East Haven. But let's not be complacent......and no arguing on the field!

See you Sunday! I think TomA and The Hulk are on beer duty this weekend?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

FRIENDLY; Madison 3 Guilford 0

Madison Celtic got the chance to take a break from the points chasing today with a friendly game against old rivals Guilford Hawks. The Celts took the opportunity to welcome back long term injury veterans like Pink, about to be old enough players like Bambi, Altigan and Sess (?) as well as blooding the new signings David and Roberto. With all the new players in the squad it was great to see how well the team gelled right from the kick off pushing the CARSL Div A team onto the defensive for a goodly chunk of the first half. Several chances came to Madison early on but the opposition goalie was in great form tipping balls over the bar or around the post, most notably after a scorching shot by Roniildo. Roberto was playing well in his first game but that came to a shuddering halt when the Hulk accidentally hit him like an express train when coming out for the ball. Roberto was clipped and spun in the air before crashing to the ground and after a few worrying moments was able to get back on his feet but that was his day done. The Hulk put the extra protection of his red "Hulk No 1" shirt on right after the incident and seemed none the worse for it. In fact, as the half was coming to a 0 -0 end he had to pull out a couple of fantastic saves to ensure parity at the interval. The second half saw the Celts take more and more control of the game and they emphasized this with a great go ahead goal by Tano. Turning on a dime in the box, the ace striker cleverly slotted the ball past the goalie at the near post. Tano was playing really well just inside the opposition box and he wasn't finished with his scoring. Within 15 minutes of his opening goal he had the ball in the back of the net again after a great move down the Madison right. A penalty goal by Roniildo rounded off a great performance by the Celts against a good Guilford team. Great performances by the new players David, Altigan and Sess rounding off a great friendly game and kept the Celts ticking over for their next SASL game this Sunday coming

MEN OF THE MATCH; Tano and The Hulk for the goals , the saves and the great cooking after the game!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

FRIENDLY; Sunday 5th September, Guilford Hawks

Guys, we have a friendly match against Guilford Hawks this Sunday. It will be great to have a game without having to worry about winning or losing points! We have been playing competitive matches non-stop since early April! This will also give us a chance to see some of our new players and returning players in action!

The game is at the Exchange field and the kick off is at 10am. I will bring some beers!

We are also waiting to see if we have actually won the Division B championship in CARSL! Bridgeport did not play their last two games so are still a point behind us... no doubt Tom will confirm when we know if Bridgeport are playing any make up games