Sunday, October 30, 2011

Atlantic Rovers Tour 2011 (Part 1!)

Well as long as we are having a bit of a snow break to our season I thought I might give you the first of the Atlantic Rovers Tour reports!;

Another year another tour! The Atlantic Rovers were back in action this September in the Elgin Marbles Invitation 7 a side Tournament in Lossiemouth, Scotland. Last year a brave contingent of four Madison Celtic players headed out to represent the US of A and this year the same four plus the great addition of El Gato made their way across the Atlantic for beer, pies and pals!

BOR headed up from Texas and met Roniildo, Jodingo!! and myself at Newark where we had the first of many beers that would be sunk during the trip. We met up with El Gato in Glasgow after his trip up from London and we set off on our road trip to Hopeman. Of course we had to stop at McKays bar in Pitlochry for a steak pie and beer lunch ( it's a tradition now! ). On the way we picked up Tam, our new player for the Atlantic Rovers before arriving in Hopeman later that afternoon in glorious sunshine. After a short break we headed to the Braemou for the evening reception and a fantastic night of chatting, bag piping and of course eating and drinking! A great prep for the next days event which was the 7 a side tournament! But before that we had the traditional massive breakfast of eggs ( two for Tam) , sausages, bacon, beans, toast and a heathy orange juice. After that we headed for our pre-season tour of the Hopeman harbor and talked about our tactics for the tournament to come! That worked......

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tomorrow's Game Is Cancelled!

Sorry guys, the weather has given us another beating.... no game tomorrow

Thursday, October 27, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 30th Oct Hamden!

Three more games to go before the end of the season! Yes, and it's still very important for us to gather 9 points. Three reasons for that; 1) Pride 2) we could still catch Guilford if they stumble and 3 ) the Albanian Eagles are only 4 points behind us!!
Hamden are bottom of the table but they have always proved to be very awkward customers for us. Let's finish the tail end of the season with some flourish and win this game with some ease. This is our last home game of a long, long season.

Exchange Field 9 am Kick off... let's win it for Tano's new kid, Ian Maximo!!

Add your name to the fairly short roll call for the game.... beer boys are?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Double Header? Double Headache, Double Pain!

I suppose it was too much to expect? Two games, two wins, six points and a promotion spot secured? Alas, it was way too much to ask.... two games, one draw, one loss and a wave good bye to second position as we let the future be taken out of our hands. The difference between winning and losing can be measured on the thinnest of blades but those thin blades can still cut, and as a blood spattered, beat up team trudged off the field at Guilford today that blade had stuck deep.

MATCH REPORT; Guilford 2 Madison 0

The squad survived the previous days travails against Morelia and started the game against Guilford in good spirits and with no little confidence. The Celts took the game to the home team and dominated the early play. In the first minute of the game Paulo broke free and was clear on goal only to be caught before he got his shot away. Madison kept up the flow of great attacking football with Carlos leading a rock solid defence that really blunted the Guilford attack. The first half came and went in the blink of an eye with Madison clearly the top team at the break but ominously still not able to get clear cut chances.

Controversy sparked the second half into life when the ref awarded a dubious penalty to Guilford. Their striker lined up and screwed the ball wide of the post to trigger wild celebrations from the Madison team, which quickly turned to shock as they saw the ref pointing to the spot again for encroachment. This time another Guilford player strode up to slam the ball past the Hulk again to a huge outcry from Madison as they pointed out that Guilford had switched penalty takers!

The ref chopped the goal off and the whole debacle was written off. Madison continued to press but the tackling from Guilford was getting uglier and uglier. Fribeka was taken out of the game with a terrible tackle from behind and then Carlos was raked in the face by a players studs as he lay on the ground. No action from the ref told you everything about how this game was going down. Then team "emotions" started to break down with shouting and finger pointing. Jorge stormed off the field because no one would pass to him and with Halil's hamstring pull we were down to the walking wounded. Carlos got himself patched up even though blood was everywhere and he was able to slot back into the defence. But Madison were clearly rattled by the rough house treatment and with only five minutes left on the clock a break down the Celts right was not cleared and a simple ball into the box was met by two (!) Guilford players in splendid isolation, one of whom gleefully slammed the ball into the net. Disappointed was not the word to describe the feeling of watching yet another totally preventable goal hitting the back of the Madison net. Of course, if you can do one thing badly why not do another? And within a couple of minutes a very tame lofted ball into the Madison box was met flush on the head by the smallest player on the Guilford team as the Hulk contrived to miss the ball completely. Two down and definitely out. The whistle went to end the game and most likely the dreams of promotion for the Madison team. Now is not the time for a post mortem, but this was a big weekend for the team and i did say let's try and leave the weekend with no regrets because we played to our best, no matter the score. So, if you feel that you played to your best and you did what was right for the team...give yourself a pat on the back. You may have lost but you tried your best. As for the rest...... The team played strong and well for 75 minutes but lost shape and self control in the last fifteen minutes of the game, and the last five were a bit of a joke. Madison are now three points behind Guilford with both teams having three games left in the season. We have to keep going, we have to keep believing but ......we have to start winning!!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Carlos was head and shoulders the best player on the field in both teams. He played through the awful tackles, bruises and cuts to fight for the team
Safet and Halil, until his injury, supported the team very well

MATCH REPORT; Madison 2 Morelia 2

The first game of the weekend double header ended in a frustrating draw for the Madison Celts. After a game that Madison controlled for over 90% of the time, with multiple shots on target, a missed penalty and a disallowed goal it was galling to see Morelia come within a minute of winning the match. Wallingford had two, possibly three, attempts at goal throughout the whole 90 minutes and contrived to score twice from those three attempts. If Madison do lose promotion it will be down to the many many defensive blunders that have led to goals and today was no exception. An expected 18 man squad had dwindled to 12 before the start of the game but it was still a strong squad that took to the field. Madison were obviously the better team right from the kick off and the majority of the first half was played in the Morelia half. Great play by the Madison midfield, especially Ilhan set up a number of clear chances for the Celts and the Morelai penalty box soon took on the characteristics of a besieged castle. Countless shots rained in on the Morelian goalie but he kept diving and punching those balls clear but it was certain a goal was going to come....and so it did, but shockingly it came to Morelia. A simple break down the Madison left allowed a player to pass the ball unchallenged into the box where it was met by a Moralia player equally unbothered by Madison tackles who slotted the ball into the net. A shockingly lax goal to let in.... but one of at least 40 or so of a similar nature that the Celts have let in throughout the season. Halftime came with the Celts down but not panicking. The second half was more of the same from the Celts as they increased the number of shots on goal even further. Carlos, Tano, Ruggero were shooting , heading, volleying as many shots as they could muster but to no avail. But then a break through. A great pass by Ilhan to Fribeka who crossed into the box and a fantastic header by Tano nearly bust the net. Now the tails were up and it looked likely that the winners would be Madison. But with only 5 minutes left a very strange field incursion by a mad, Madison mother halted the game as she demanded we stop playing so her son's team could get on the field! When she was finally encouraged off the field the Celts seemed to be more distracted than Morelia and sure enough they took full advantage of it as yet again another Morelia player found himself free and easy on the edge of the Madison box. He neatly stepped inside and fired a shot across the the ground over the outstretched Hulk. The goal was scored in the 90th minute and was so undeserving it made you choke. But straight from the kickoff the Celts went up the field Tano crossed the ball and Ruggero thrillingly headed the ball into the net for the latest of late equalizers. How Madison ended up desperately chasing for a point God only knows.... but we make defensive blunders that always result in goals for the opposition. Morelia had three shots on target the whole game and scored twice!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Great play by Safet and Halil, as well as Carlos. But Ilhan had a great day and was MOM

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's a Six Point Weekend!

This weekend could turn out to be the make or break time for Madison Celtic's season. A game against Morelia on Saturday followed by a big game against our closest rivals Guilford on the Sunday. If both games are won the Celts will be sitting pretty in the promotion spot 5 points ahead of Guilford with only 3 games left in the season. Of course all those games have to be won but as it stands today we are in the driving seat and all we have to do to get promoted is win all of our next 5 games!

NEXT GAME; Saturday 22nd October, Morelia!

The first game of the weekend double header will be against Morelia this Saturday at Town Campus field with a kick off at 9am!! It's important we have a strong squad for the game and ideally that we end up with 3 points and no injuries! This will be our fourth game against Morelia and so far we have enjoyed two draws and a win. They are a tough team to break down and certainly, in our first two games against them, a team that is difficult to kill off. It will be important for us to take our chances and to be tight at the back. Remember that this team has a habit of falling down when even a gentle breeze touches their aware and be smart!

Not sure if we can drink after the game as we have to get off the field quickly for a kids game. I'm sure we can make up for that after the Sunday game!

Try and get there early so we can warm up. We still have a habit of several players straggling in just minutes before kick off or even after! Not good....we need to be warmed up and ready to hit them hard from the first whistle..... ok? See you Saturday!!

NEXT GAME; Sunday 23rd October, Guilford!

The second half of the double header weekend will be against our big rivals Guilford Bell Curve. This is an away game that kicks off at 10 am and hopefully we will have secured 3 points from the previous days match up with Morelia! I don't have to tell you how important it is for us to win this game. Our promotion chance could all rest on this game. If we lose it will be very difficult to catch up unless Guilford have a crazy end to the season. So, let's not rely on that...let's take matters into our own hands an win the game! We do not want to be standing at the end of 90 minutes talking about regrets. This is not the game where you say "OK, I'll try better next time" this is the game that you bring it! No excuses, no drinking the night before, no playing with an injury, no moaning...just focus on what's right for the team and what will bring out your best performance.
Our record over the 3 games we have played Guilford has been mixed; one tie, one loss and a victory. The 3 0 win was a comprehensive win but Guilford competed all through the match and we will have to be at our best to replicate that.

Now is the time to stand up and be counted!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

MATCH REPORT; East Haven 0 Madison 2

Madison kept in the hunt for promotion with a big away win against East Haven as their closest rivals, Guilford, fell to defeat at home to the Albanian Eagles. With Madison entering a double header weekend next Saturday with a game against Morelia followed with a potentially promotion deciding game against Guilford on the Sunday, the final stages of the league race are really coming to the boil! But first, what happened at this weekend's game against East Haven, reportage is from... Tano, and Pics from..... TomA!

Under East Haven is an Infernal Field!

As I woke on the Sunday morning I was mesmerized by the thought of having a game on a Nike turf field, but sadly the dream was shattered...... we ended up in the pigpen field. Anyway, we are used to that and we had a strong team so maybe Nike field some other day...

As for the game, Madison controlled the whole match and East Haven managed only one chance when the greasy ball almost ended up in the net. Our first goal was one of those open mouth, wow! goals for many watching because Carlos went on a run all the way from his defensive position and passed to Halil like Iniesta, Roniildo opened up the field like Xavi to Alvez, and Fribeka finished it like ??? well you can imagine! The goal was like a long, cool glass of water during a long speech! Madison continued to control the game but that didn't mean they were playing well. Sure, we had less mistakes than our opponent, lots of offsides calls, balls being lost at the throw ins, poor passing and I can go on and on. Now, if this is boring to read imagine how it felt watching or playing in it! Finally the first half was over and we deserved our lead. In the second half we had to attack on the worst side of the field and at one point I felt like i was making wine as i trampled through the messy field or I was back in the Air force training camp where cows and horses get to do a lot of #2. So nothing exciting was happening until Roniildo tried to be smart by standing still in the infernal pigpen and kicking at the same time. He ended up hitting a slow motion shot straight at a defender but that one innocent, deaf defender didn't hear his goalkeeper shout and he headed it right to the side of his own net. That mistake made East Haven fall to East Haven Hell. More chances came but no more goals we also had bit of our own mistakes to try to cover as we chased another goal and left the defensive line weak. Thank Maradona that we didn't have the Albanians in front of us otherwise we probably end the game in a tie again.


Man of the Match; Good performances by Fribeka, Carlos, Chris, Roniildo. This reporter thought the MOM for excellent finishing should be Fribeka and others Carlos so this week they share!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

URGENT! East Haven Field Change!

Guys East Haven have made a last minute field change. We will NOT be playing at the turf field but will be playing at their old field at Moulthrop Street, exit 52 off of I95
Make your way there!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

NEXT GAME; Sunday 16th Oct, East Haven

Finally we are back in league action! Our next game is this Sunday away to East Haven. The game will be played at East Haven High School and the kick off is at 10am.

We have played East Haven three times already this season and we have won all three with scores of 3-0, 5-0 and 4-1 but although the scores look good the games have been tough. East Haven may sit second from bottom but they just had an outrageous victory away from home beating runaway league toppers Orange 2-0! Now either Orange were squashed by superior play from East Haven or they just gave up but either way it's a warning to us complacency!!

It's been so long since the last game I don't know who has beer duty!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Quick Question....

I don't know what you guys normally do on a Saturday but Morelia are willing to play our make up game with them on a Saturday! The day they can make is the 22nd. This is the day before our away game to Guilford...... So.....the big question is...... Are we willing and able to play Morelia on Saturday 22nd and then Guilford on the 23 rd? Please give me your views in the comments section below.

I'm in !

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NO Game This Weekend!

Guys, Hamden are unable to get 11 players to turn up and play our make up game against them this weekend. Having tried to fix on other dates they got in touch with the league and instead of forfeiting the game they are being allowed to reschedule to Nov 13th, which is a one week extension to the league season. Of course, we also have to fit in a make up game against Morelia with no available Sundays left! We may have to be creative and play on a Saturday and a Sunday one weekend. We have a big enough squad to manage this. Unless we have a revolt from the squad I will talk to Morelia about finding a suitable Saturday.

Of course, this leaves the Columbus day weekend free. Would have been nice to play but if you get bored you can just stare at the optical illusion above for the next week!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rain Cancels Game!


Madison ( and Guilford ) just had a downpour of rain which unfortunately means we will have to cancel the game. Looks like it moves through over the next couple of hours but too late for us