Friday, June 29, 2012

MATCH REPORT; Arsenal 1 Madison 0

The life of a goalkeeper is not a comfortable one. He is the last line, the last hope of the defender, the crazy protector who will do anything to stop that thin white line being breached. He can spend eighty nine minutes of a game blocking, diving, jumping, chasing after every ball.  Throwing his head, neck, ribs.... you name it ....all on the line for the team....every part of him trying to stop that damn ball going into his net. He can be the hero all through those eighty nine minutes and then...... and then... one moment, one mistake and the hero becomes a zero. There is no escape for a goalie when he makes a mistake. He is one inch from the war zone and a mistake there is lethal.   Well, as every good team knows, as every good fighting unit knows, we are only  the sum of our parts. We are not eleven solo players. It's a team game and we support each other as a team, we rise or fall as a team. When an outfielder makes a mistake it's over in a second and forgotten....not so for the lonely figure of the goalkeeper. But as a team we need to take responsibility for what happens on the field. Not just the last line mistake but the missed tackle, the wrong pass, the wayward shot. No need to crucify the individual....we take responsibility as a team.

We should have won this game but we lost it. We didn't  take enough shots on goal, we didn't pass well enough, we didn't clear our lines quickly enough....and our goalie made one mistake.

Overall, this has  a been a good start in a new division. We know we can beat teams and be taken seriously. If we stick to our game plan in games we will be very tough to beat. The Late Summer /Fall season will be a good one..... i can feel it!

Have  a great Summer guys...enjoy the 4th of July and chill!

MAN OF THE MATCH;  Hulk.... i wouldn't play with broken ribs, but a hero does....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

NEXT GAME; Sunday 24th June, Greenwich Arsenal

Our last game of the Spring season will be this Sunday with an away match to Greenwich Arsenal. This game has an 11am kick off and will be played at GHS stadium in Greenwich. The directions to the field are here;  This is an artificial turf field!

10 Hillside Road, Greenwich, CT 06830

(Nike® Artificial Turf field approved for SASL games):

I-95 South to Exit 4 Indian Field Road.  Turn right onto Indian Field Road.  At the first traffic lights turn left onto East Putnam Avenue/Route 1.  Take the second right onto Hillside Road.  Greenwich High School is immediately on the left.

I-95 North to Exit 4 Indian Field Road.  Turn left onto Indian Field Road.  Continue as above.

Teams should note that NO ALCOHOL is allowed on school grounds!

Whatever the result on Sunday, the Celts can congratulate themselves  for what has been a very decent start to the season.With 12 points in the bag the Celts have created a bit of a buffer with the bottom two teams and are still in the running for a top 4 finish! Arsenal are currently in 7th position with 6 points having played 7 games, winning 2 and losing 5. They have beaten Fairfield and Guilford at home but have struggled against the top 4 teams. This will be another tough game but if we play to our strengths, most notably to the fore in the last two games, we may be able to finish the first half of the season in style!

Car pooling at exit 58 9.15am?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

MATCH REPORT; Norwalk Mariners 2 Madison 3

Another fantastic win for the in form Celts against the Norwalk Mariners after last weeks equally impressive win against Orange. Testing Karma to the fullest, the new State champs celebrated their famous cup win with a trophy photo shoot prior to the start of the game.They looked happy but that was the only joy they had all day. The Celts with their newly configured defensive line up started the match confidently, subduing any initially forays by the home team and launching a few fast attacks. Tano and La Boca were the starting strike force and they were running about the Norwalk defenders like irritating fly's on a horses arse. After eleven minutes this constant probing paid off when a run by Carlos down the left ended with crossed ball into a ruck of players in the box. La Boca kept his legendary cool as others panicked and slotted the ball into the net for the go ahead goal. Norwalk were stunned but tried to get back into the match with some attacking of their own. However the Madison defence were in "fortress mode" and nothing was getting through them and when it did the Hulk was there to snuff it out. John B was again keeping up his incredibly consistent run of form with another enforcer role in midfield, ably helped by Captain Roniildo, Halil and Ruggerho. The Celts were in total control of the game and the only distraction was the somewhat fussy ref who  was handing out yellow cards like they were on sale. The half came to an end with the Celts well on top and playing confidently. But a shock was in store and after only 8 minutes of the restart the visitors were 2-1 down! The Mariners went for the Celtic defense right from the whistle and somehow rattled the previously composed back line. A simple attack down the middle allowed a player to go unimpeded right to the edge of the box and a simple pass allowed another Norwalk player to complete the move by slotting the ball past the stranded Hulk. If that was bad, then only a few minutes later the horrible start to the second half was completed when a cheap free kick was given away at the edge of the box and as the ball was slammed into the wall Ruggerho moved his arm to edge the ball away. It was just too obvious a move for the ref to ignore and so it was a penalty to Norwalk that was easily dispatched to undo all the great work done in the first half. To their credit the Celts knuckled down to winning the game all over again. Strong running by Ruggerho and Halil and some tough tackling put the Norwalk team back into the defensive formation they had been using for most of the first half. This allowed the Celtic midfield to take a strangle hold on the game again. With marauding runs by Edmilson and El Flaco on the wings it was perhaps inevitable that the Celts would strike back. And when the impressive John B got hold of the ball on the edge of the opposition box he didn't hesitate to slam the ball past the goalkeeper for the equalizing goal. The game was now very open and the Celts came close with a couple of shots that hit the post and bar. Norwalk also had their moments to get back in front but Goggs and Edimar held firm at the back. With only ten minutes left on the clock a  great ball through to Tano saw him run free from the defense and with only the goal keeper to beat he slotted the ball into the net for the go ahead goal. The Celts had to endure a couple of panicky moments near the end but they mostly keep their composure and again ran the clock down for a famous away victory against the Connecticut state cup champions!

Only one more game left of the Summer season and the Celts are now back to a 50/50 win/loss season in their first year in Division two. They can make it a winning first half to the season if they can grab all three points against Greenwich Arsenal next Sunday. In this imperious form I wouldn't put it past them!

MAN OF THE MATCH; Some fantastic performances by the defensive back four and the Hulk. La Boca and Tano were also very effective up front and Halil had a great game attacking and defending in equal measure. But, for the controlling performance in the middle of the field and a great equalizing goal when the Celts badly needed it, the MOM goes yet again to John B!

Friday, June 15, 2012

NEXT GAME; Sunday 17th June, Norwalk Mariners

Our next game is away to Norwalk Mariners. This will be a 10am Kick off at their Veterans Memorial Park field. Directions are below;


I-95 to Exit 16.  Southbound; at the end of the exit ramp turn left (south) onto East Avenue.  Northbound; at the end of the exit ramp turn right (south) onto East Avenue.  Continue south on East Avenue until the end.  At the stop sign turn right onto Seaview Avenue.  Veterans Memorial Park is on the left.

Orange will be playing Norwalk SC at 9am on the same field. If we get there early we can cheer those guys on!
The mariners are having a very good season already. They have just won the over 40 Connecticut state cup and are in second position in the league after only 7 games with 5 wins, 1 draw and only one loss, to Vasco.  This will be a tough game but if we play the way we did against Orange we will have a real chance!

Car pooling at exit 58, meeting up at 8.30

Oh, that's right.....Rangers entered liquidation yesterday....Bye bye to140 years of unsurpassed dignity......  LOL

Monday, June 11, 2012

MATCH REPORT; Madison 3 Orange 2

The Celts burst back into some superb form with a scintillating win against their old rivals Orange. A stunning 3-2 victory over the Division 3 champions was the well deserved outcome from a very competitive match. The game saw the first goal by new player Edmilson and the first of the season from last years prolific scorer Tano!
Games against Orange are always tough and this one was no different. Madison had set out their game plan early by putting out a very strong defensive back line that had a real potential for attacking flair combined with a solid, no nonsense midfield. Due to injury the Celts were short of strikers to partner the legendary Tano but Ruggero, Ilhan and Johnaldo took turns to play up front. The Celts weathered  a bit of a opening surge by Orange but gradually played their way into the game with some superb defensive play from Edimar, Goggs, Carlos and Edmilson. The central midfield pairing of John B and Ronilldo was up against a tough Orange midfield but more than held their own. As the first half wore on the opposition attack became more and more anemic as the Celts started to dominate looking the more likely to break through. And break through they did! A great attacking move down the Madison left resulted in a great shot from Carlos being parried by the Orange keeper only for him to see Edmilson rushing in to slot the ball into the net for the go ahead goal. This was a well deserved lead and even though Edmilson was carried off shortly after from twisting his knee, the team  pushed hard for a killer second goal. Even an attack minded Johnaldo got in on the act when he was unceremoniously hauled to the ground by the last defender in the Orange back line who received a yellow card for his efforts. The Celts finished the half in control and relaxed. The second half did not see the same type of first half onslaught from Orange but an  increasingly confident Celtic team playing some neat passing and the front line pushing the Orange defence more and more onto the back foot. Twenty or so minutes into the second half, a poor clear out by the Orange goal keeper was lapped up by Carlos who surged into the penalty box before whipping in a dangerous cross right to the feet of Tano who joyously smacked the ball into the net for his first of the season. Two nil up with about 20 minutes to go was a very dominant position for the Celts to be in but some of the first scrappy defending of the game saw them give up a quick goal to provide the Orange team with some of the first encouragement of the game. Although the goal was debatable ( offside?) it stood and the opposition were back in the match. Some great chances came for both teams in the next ten minutes but with only about seven minutes left on the clock the game boiled up even further. The maestro, Carlos, back to his best form, noticed the opposition goalie off his line and from fully 40 yards out fired a probing shot into the box. Whether the goalie would have saved it or not we will never know as the ball bounced off the heel of the last defender and spun into the net for the Celts third of the game. With a clearly rattled Orange becoming increasingly more aggressive it was maybe no surprise that someone would see an early bath. The defender who had grappled Johnaldo to the ground in the first half received his second yellow of the match for hacking Carlos down from behind. Now with ten men and only a few minutes left on the clock it looked hopeless for Orange. But the Celts always like to make it interesting for their supporters and sure enough a bizarre penalty was awarded to Orange when Hulk was deemed to have barged a player to the ground. He was unlucky not to get to the ball when the penalty was taken but Orange were now within a goal of getting a point and with only a couple of minutes to play. After some frantic attacking by Orange and some decidedly panicked play from the Celts the home team finally managed to bring the game to an end and take home all three points. An enthralling encounter with some fantastic play by everyone in the team. The great defensive performance at the beginning of the game allied with superb attacking by the marauding left back Carlos. In addition, both Jodingo!! and Tom A  had great games on the right side. The next match is another biggie against the newly minted over 40 State Cup winners Norwalk Mariners!

Man of the Match; A great number of choice to choose from this week but for his superb defending, attacking, assists and goal the MOM goes to Carlos!    

Friday, June 8, 2012

NEXT GAME; Sunday June 10th, Orange!

Our next game is a biggy! It's against one of our great rivals from last year, Orange.  We had four very eventful games against them last year in Div 3 winning one, drawing one and losing two. The two games we lost showed that Orange are a great team and ended up deserved champions. They are also doing well in the new division and will be another tough test for us. This is a team that understands how to rattle us. When we were unbeaten in Division 3 and top of the league we played Orange and they had a game plan to unsettle us and get our more "emotional" players to react......and they did! We need to control our emotions and try and play with a plan. Shouting and abusing your team mates is not one of the good tactics..... unless you have a very nice British accent.....!
John B has some great ideas that I hope he will let me share with the team. We do need  a set of game tactics to help us negotiate the ins and outs of  a tough game.  We cannot hope for random luck to get us a win. We have really good players and when we get them linked up as a team I think we will be very competitive in this league!
Let's do our best this Sunday.....if we get a good result against Orange we will be back on track in the league.

This is a home game with a 9am kick off!

Beer boys are Carlos and Jorge.....!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

MATCH REPORT; Easton 3 Madison1

Madison Celtic officially entered the relegation battle by losing to Easton Rhinos 3-1. A bizarre result from a game that saw the Celts dominate large segments of the play. The big issue? The Celts can't score.  So many chances came the way of the visitors in the first half but nothing would go in. The Celts huffed and puffed but could not blow the Rhinos down. Great chances from Carlos, Edjmar and Tano came and went as Easton survived the superior Celtic play. When the home team did attack the solid Madison defence soaked things up with ease. As the first half finished it seemed that it would be only a matter of time for the Celts to wrap up the three points. How wrong could that assessment be?  Very, very wrong! The second half was an unmitigated disaster for the Celts. A break down the Madison right side, aided by a neat lob over Jodingo!!, allowed one of  the Easton strikers to run free into the box. The Hulk then ran off his line mis-judging his ability to get to the ball before the forward and it was an easy task for him to scoop the ball past the stranded goalie for the go ahead goal. That was bad, but worse was to come very shortly after when another attack by Easton resulted in a feeble shot heading towards the Hulk who decided to make like a sieve and let the ball trundle under him into the net. This second goal really hit the team hard and Easton were now in total control of the game attacking at will with the Celts in a  bit of disarray. It was therefore no surprise when they scored a third  by cutting in from the Madison left and sending a shot past the Hulk at his near post. Not his best day at the office but he still managed to pull of a couple of great saves to stop the game from being a total route. John B was also trying his hardest to get the team back into the game and it was his tenacious play that allowed the Celts some comfort by scoring a consolation goal near the end. A poor result for the Celts by any stretch of the imagination and a real wake up call that we have to improve significantly if we want to remain in the league. That task does not get any easier next week when our old rivals Orange come visiting next Sunday. Pride is on the line.....let's see what we are made of!

MAN OF THE MATCH;  Great play from Carlos and Edjmar during the game but MOM goes to John B for another strong performance.