Monday, May 30, 2011

NEXT GAME;Sunday June 5th, Albanian Eagles!

It's time for us to get back on the horse! When you fall from a big height it can be painful but climbing back up and trying again is a real sign of true competitors. We were well beaten by Orange but we will get another chance to play them later in the year and show them what an an anomaly that result was. Now it's time to focus on the next game. And that next game is against the Albanian Eagles at home this Sunday. This has been a bit of an awkward team for us with two games resulting in high scoring draws. Match reports are here;

If we can tighten up our defence against the Eagles we will have a big chance to win. They do have very tricky forwards and we will have to get back to our best if we want to re-engage in the race for the top spots in the league. The Eagles have very variable form in the league so far but sit in 6th position after 12 games having won 4 games, drawn 2 and lost 6.

This will be our last home game for a while so it was suggested we should try for an after match BBQ! Tell me in the comments section below if you are up for that.

The beers boys are???

Friday, May 27, 2011

Messi or Rooney to lift the Cup?

Saturday will see the culmination of the European football season with the Champions League final at Wembley stadium in London. Since I was a kid I have looked forward to this final with the hope of seeing the best that football can offer. My first recollection of a final was in 1967. Celtic were taking on the champions of Italy, Inter Milan, in the biggest game on the planet! I spent the hours before the game playing outside on the street with all the other kids planning out who would score for Celtic and what it would be like to lift the "big cup". Of course, we didnt fully realise how much of an underdog Celtic were in this final. Inter were the best team in Europe at the time and Celtic were just a small Scottish team packed with players who had all been born less than 30 miles from Celtic stadium! We didn't know what a big ask this was going to be, all we knew was that we were all going crazy with excitement because Glasgow Celtic, our Celtic, were playing against the great Inter Milan in the final that day! I remember watching the game on a TV with grainy black and white pictures being beamed from Lisbon. There was no mistaking which of the black and white striped teams on show was mine.... the glorious hoops! They strode out into the Lisbon sunshine and into history.

The bare statistics of the game show that the mighty Inter, who opened the scoring via a Sandro Mazzola penalty after eight minutes before erecting an 11-man defence, did not win a single corner and forced the Celtic goalkeeper Simpson to make but one save; Celtic had two shots off the crossbar, and 49 other attempts on goal, 13 of which were saved by Italian goalkeeper Sarti, 17 were blocked or deflected, and a mere 19 delivered off-target. Celtic won the game 2-1 to become the first British team, in fact the first Northern European team to win the European cup.

I remember the excitement, I remember the joy, but most of all I remember how fantastic and awe inspiring the football was that day.

Let's hope Barca and Man Utd can deliver even a fraction of the fearless, open football that Celtic showed on their big day.

Barca vs Man United, Saturday May 28th, Wembley Stadium 2.45pm Kick Off (EST)

Monday, May 23, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Orange 6 Madison 2

It was a game of two halves and we lost both of them. Out thought, out played and out gunned would be the brief summary of the game on Sunday. Orange were out to destroy the Madison unbeaten record and to show them who was boss in the championship race and that is exactly what they did..... with a lot of help from a misfiring Madison defence, shapeless midfield and toothless forward line! I know, excuses, excuses but after the pre-match warnings about giving them a chance at set pieces the first gift Madison gave was exactly that. A trivial foul on the edge of the box that allowed the Orange number 4 to slam in a shot that was a replica of the goal he had scored against Madison in a previous game. After that avoidable set back Madison clawed their way into the game and managed to equalize after Jorge was upended in the box for a clear penalty. Jorge coolly slotted in the goal and for a brief moment Madison were in the game. It didn't last long as the inability of the Madison defence to stop Orange shooting at will from any distance came home to roost when a fabulous shot was palmed onto the bar by the Hulk only for a comedy of errors from Talat and Hulk allowed the attacker to sprint in and score from short range. Half time arrived and if we only knew what was coming next we would have gladly taken the 2-1 defeat. But, on rolled the second half and the most awful series of defensive mistakes and midfield blunders the Madison team has perpetrated in a very long time. A series of bad choices, mistimed tackles and very poor clearances allowed Orange to score 3 goals in relatively quick succession to make it 5-1. Staring at the abyss, the Madison team took the collective decision to jump in and give Orange a 6th goal as their star forward waltzed through the defence as though they were traffic cones on a practice field. Strangely, after this debacle, and with a good twenty minutes left in the game, Madison started to play better....they really couldn't have played any worse!.... A lot of ball was played down the wings and shots and chances came their way. But a lot of the choices in the final third were poor ones as the balls were crossed too high and way too near to the tall goal keeper who was having a very easy day. Madison's efforts in the final stages of the game were rewarded however with a consolation penalty that Roniildo scored but the whistle couldn't come fast enough for the well beaten Madison team.

Orange had a game plan that they stuck to right from the kick off. Aggressive tackles and surly behaviour at the start of the game set the tone from the get go. Some fairly meaty challenges by Orange on the Celts were dealt with very leniently by the ref, but to be fair they snuffed out the attacking threat of Flaco by double teaming him and bypassed our midfield by simply punting the ball over their heads. Unfortunately the swearing and screw you attitude by the Orange team did not set a good example of how to play the game. Nonetheless, they deserved their win and sit proudly at the top of the table. The Celts have a week off to lick their wounds and to get back into action. There are a lot of games left in the league race and we are still in the hunt!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Tough one..... no one really shone in this one. The Hulk let in 6 goals but saved so many more to stop this game from being a total massacre... but he threatened to kill me if i gave him for all his persistent running and attempts on goal the MOM goes to Jorge!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 22nd May, Orange!

This weekends game is a top of the league clash between current leaders Orange and challengers Madison Celtic. The game will be played at Wolfe Park starting at 10 am. Directions to the field are here;

We have played Orange twice already in the league and have come out with a record of won 1 drew 1. Match reports for both games are here;

This will be a really tough game. Orange have played 12 games so far winning 8, drawing 3 and losing only 1 ( yes to us! ). They have some good players up front and some that can shoot accurately and hard from a distance. They have to be closed down before they can get their shots off and we have to defend really well at set pieces. This team is good at attacking at corners and free kicks so we have to be aware. I know this is a big game but we should also keep our heads. Even if we go a goal down we need to keep composed and not shout at our team mates. We all know a team is beat when we see them do that.

Bambi and Halil are the beer boys. It should be a great game.....bring your best!

Monday, May 16, 2011

MATCH REPORT; N Branford 2 Madison 4

The game was played under tough monsoon conditions straight out of a biblical flood scene. Just as the match began the skies ripped asunder to deliver ninety minutes of torrential rain, massive puddles, gallons of muck and a ball as slippery as a bar of soap in a prison shower! Amazingly none of these distractions were enough to derail an irrepressible Madison Celtic team as they romped to their fourth consecutive win of a thirteen game unbeaten season.

The blog roster call during the week had indicated a 22 man squad would be available for the game but as the game kicked off we had eleven players and a sub. Yes, Eleven! Although it was great to see the return of El Flaco from his suspension and La Boca back from, whatever he does when he doesn’t show up. Right from the first minute of the game it was clear that the team that adjusted to the appalling conditions first would get the upper hand. Madison would have to fight hard for the ball as the wet, heavy field made their normal smooth passing game a non starter. The first fifteen minutes of the game were fairly even as both teams tried to adjust to the difficult field and the uncontrollable ball. Some aggressive running by the Madison midfield especially Roniildo and Halil set up a few chances for Tano and El Flaco early on but with no success. North Branford were also fighting hard for the ball in a dour midfield battle with few chances coming for either team. As the promised Madison squad started to appear at the side of the field Goggs, Talat , David and Goggs were introduced to the game allowing the Celts to start taking some measure of control in the match. So it was somewhat against the run of play when the initial break through came. A scramble just outside the Madison box resulted in a shot being fired into the area and as La Boca jumped to clear it, the ball hit his hand. The referee had no hesitation pointing to the spot immediately triggering the perennial hand to ball; ball to hand debate on the side line. The Hulk had no chance as the ball was blasted into the net to give the home team the lead. This set back only seemed to encourage the Madison team to fight even harder with some great tackling and hustling play from David, Halil and Roniildo in the midfield. Carlos was also making some great runs up front but the shots on the Branford goal were just missing or being saved. A great Tano shot hit the post and Jorge went narrowly wide as Madison ramped up the pressure on the North Branford goal. And just as it looked like the home team might survive to the half time whistle a corner kick was floated in from Roniildo and cleared to the edge of the box only to be met by the maestro El Flaco who twisted his body in the air to meet the ball with a scorching shot that sailed into the net for the deserved Madison equalizer. One one at halftime and a strong sense the game was there for the taking.
Madison started the second half strongly forcing the Branford team on to the defensive and resort to fouling on a regular basis. David and Roniildo were the two main targets for Branford’s more aggressive approach but they stood up well to the robust tackles. In fact Roniildo thrived on the attention and went on a run into the opposition box before being rashly bundled to the ground by the goal keeper. A clear penalty for Madison, allowing Roniildo to get up from the muck to slam the ball into the net for the go ahead goal. The ability to sub players in and out was now starting to play a big factor in the game. Kris, Goggs and La Boca at the center back slots were immense and Jodingo!!, Talat, El Gato and Pink were doing a sterling job in the back positions. But the midfield was where all the action was happening and Ilhan, FrIbeka, Ruggerho and Bambi were playing their part in making sure Branford would not get back into the game as they supplemented the great play of Halil, David, Roniildo and Flaco. Another great move from midfield then gave Madison a two goal advantage. David found himself on the left side of the field but tightly marked and with only a few options available to him. He expertly slipped his marker took a couple of strides and unleashed a shot that clearly took the Branford goalkeeper by surprise as it rolled into the net to make it 3-1 to the Celts. Game over? Not so fast! Just as the celebrations had died down, another scramble inside the Madison box resulted in Talat being judged to have fouled a Branford player. Another penalty and another goal for the opposition to bring them back into the game. But this is when a strong squad comes to the rescue. La Boca had been asked to go up front and score a goal and that’s exactly what he did. A fantastic, skillful run by El Flaco down the Madison left side, found him deep in the Branford penalty box. A brief moment to look up and he then rolled a delicious ball right to the feet of the unmarked La Boca, one yard from the goal line, who could only do one thing and slam the ball into the net to restore the two goal lead for the Celts.
The last ten minutes saw some pretty tired tackling from the Branford team as they tried to rescue the game but to no avail. The Celts ran out deserved victors in a tough game played under even tougher conditions. Another great three points in a tight championship race that is really hotting up! Big top of the league clash next week as the top two teams face off for bragging rights!

MAN OF THE MATCH; A tough one this weekend as so many players had great games with three in particular standing out. The skill of the returning El Flaco , the hard running of David and the tough tackling of Ronnildo. But in the end, the great goal, the assist and the ever present threat by El Flaco wins him the MOM

Thursday, May 12, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday May 15th, N Branford!

Our next game is a big match against North Branford. This is an away game that starts at 9am!

The last time we played them the game ended in a 2 -2 tie after the Celts went 2 goals down and only grabbing a point in the last minute of the game! Report here;

We have to be on our top form to win this game. We can't afford to lose early goals!

Our form since the restart of the season has been exceptional and we should be able to keep this going....!

The beer boys are Jodingo!! and El Gato
Watch the weather but it's North Branfords call if rain stops the game

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Madison 5 East Haven 0

It was a Mothers day massacre as Madison piled on the pressure to the teams above them in the league with an impressive five nil win against a struggling East Haven team. An outstanding hat trick performance by Tano was the icing on the cake of a truly controlled game by the Celts.

Glorious sunshine greeted both teams at the kick off but no one was taking the time to notice as Madison got into their stride early. Great possession was the hallmark of the opening fifteen minutes although Madison were struggling a bit to deal with the truly awful bounces coming from the recently ploughed potato field that passes for a soccer pitch in Madison. When they did manage to predict the direction of the erratic flight of the ball Madison had by far the clearer chances. Shots by Tano, Ruggerho and David all managed to test the opposition goal keeper but not enough to score. But it was clear that the dam was going to burst and the first sign of that was after a great move down the right wing and a beautiful inch perfect pass into the penalty box by Talat. This time the penalty box predator, Tano, was ready and waiting as he slammed the ball past the goalie for Madison's first goal of the game. If any nerves were present in the Madison team they were expelled immediately as they started to take even more control of the game. Some great passing moves from David and Roniildo nearly produced another chance for Tano but the goalkeeper held easily. Halil was also making a great contribution in midfield on his return from injury and at the back Jodingo!! and Goggs were an impressive defensive wall. The second goal for Madison came after an extended period of possession as the Celts moved the ball neatly towards the opposition box down the left side and when a cross came in there was Tano to thump another shot into the net for his and Madison's second. Two nil up at halftime and in total control of the game. Of course, Madison have been in that position before and blown it so it was gratifying to see the Hulk pulling off a great save at the start of the second half to ensure East Haven did not even get a glimmer of hope. In fact all hope was lost when Madison scored their third after a beautifully flighted free kick by Roniildo was met by the flying grandfather, Jorge, as he headed the ball into the net for his first of the game. A suitable celebration for his new grandson! In fact, he loved that so much shortly after he broke away with the ball from the halfway line rounded the goalkeeper to slam in the Celts fourth of the day as the game ran away from East Haven. The final flourish was provided by man of the match Tano as he got the ball deep in the opposition half and worked his way along the bye line before screeching the ball past the hapless goalkeeper from the acutest of angles for his hat trick and the Celts fifth of the day. A truly superb, comprehensive win for the Madison team and if they keep this form up they will surely be challenging for honors by the end of the season.

MAN OF THE MATCH; The three magnificent goals by Tano win him the man of the match and the sponsors "spotted dick" award!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 8th May, East Haven!

Congratulations to Jorge for becoming a Grandfather to his new Grandson Sebastian !

Don't forget we have a home game against East Haven this Sunday at 9am! I know it's Mothers Day but I'm sure you will all make it up to the collection of mothers who will miss you for a few hours!

Here is what i wrote before the game got cancelled last time!

I will take beer duty again because i have a huge amount of beer from last weekend left over

Monday, May 2, 2011

MATCH REPORT; Madison 3 Hamden 2

Big Bruce Bruises Behrooz!

It was deja vu all over again as a pesky Hamden team belied their lowly position in the league to give Madison Celtic a run for their money. The final score of 3-2 to Madison was well deserved but not before Hamden had asked some tough questions of the misfiring Celtic team.

A very large squad of players ( 19! ) turned up for duty on a gloriously sunny Spring morning. And when the starting eleven took to the field the Celts looked like they would be far too strong for the league strugglers. And, after the first fifteen minutes of the game, any neutral watching would have said the same. Some powerful surging runs by David ripped holes in the Hamden defence with shocking ease. Unfortunately the Celts were profligate with the chances he created with poor finishing and bad choices in the final 20 yards. Of course, the 7 2 1 formation that Hamden had deployed made their penalty area look like Grand Central during rush hour. Finding space to move was a big issue and as the first half wore on frustration started to build in the Celtic team. Uncharacteristic shouting and finger pointing were only the prelude to Hamden springing a surprise attack which ended in a free kick just outside the Madison penalty box on the right hand side. A few seconds later a superbly struck shot found the ball nestling in the back of the Madison net for a surprise 1 0 lead to the visitors. Celtic bounced back on the offence after this setback with David once again the spear point of the attack. Shots hit the post, then the bar before another formidable run by David, straight into the heart of the Hamden defence, was ended abruptly as he was unceremoniously tripped for a clear penalty to the Celts. Captain Roniildo stepped up and coolly blasted the ball high into the net for the equalizer. Half time gave the Celts time to re-group and reflect on some good debuts by Kris and Ruggerho and even a come back performance from Bambi!

The second half started with the Celts back in control of the game. Great passing between David and Fribeka and then Roniildo allowed the ball to be moved up the field with some urgency. Safet, Tano and Jorge were prowling the crowded Hamden defensive line hoping for a ball that would break for them. But, out of the blue a break away from Hamden set up a fantastic scoring opportunity for the visitors when a superb shot was turned round the post by the Hulk at full stretch. An amazing save that clearly demoralised the Hamden attack. The Hulk was called into action shortly after this when he palmed away another great header that was heading for goal. After these near misses the Celts moved into top gear with some slick passing and accurate shooting. Once again David was at the heart of the action with some great dribbling and passing. But, having watched many of his assists being spurned by his team mates, he decided to take matters into his own hands by striding into the Hamden box and blasting the ball into the net for the go ahead goal for the Celts. Madison were cruising after this and the great defensive plays by Goggs , Telat and Kris meant that The Hulk only had to be called into action once more when he rushed out to clear the ball in his penalty area only to hit El Gato like an unstoppable freight train. End of the game for El Gato as he went off to count his remaining ribs. But it was not the end of the scoring and with ten minutes left on the clock, man of the match contender, Kris rounded off a great days work on his debut by lobbing in the Celts third goal of the day. Of course, nothing is easy in soccer and rather than coasting to the end of the game for a comfortable win the Celts contrived to supply Hamden with a last minute penalty which they duly dispatched to the sound of the referees whistle signaling the end of the game. So three points for the Celts and some ring rustiness eased out of their play as they still sit third in the league behind Guilford and Orange who both won at the weekend. It now looks like the league has turned into a three way race as the rest of the contenders drop away.

MAN OF THE MATCH; Some fabulous performances by Kris, Hulk, Goggs and Telat but the man of the match goes to David, the clear winner for his best game in the green and white hoops!

Great food and drink after the game too!