Saturday, September 2, 2017

MATCH REPORT; Newington Portuguese 1 Guilford Celtic 3


The Guilford Celts get back on track, after taking another 3 points from last year Div3 Champs, Newington Portuguese! We started the morning on the bottom of the league, and after all was said and done, we climbed out of the relegation spots..Well done lads! This was a match that almost didn’t happen, as we were struggling to field a team on Saturday afternoon because of injuries and players traveling out of town! However, the bhoys rallied at the last minute to field a team full of grit and determination. Robin, Dominic, Tim and TomA made their way to Newington, despite carrying significant injuries, and we also had Johnny-I and Dustin back from vacation. This made a huge psychological impact, as we didn’t have to start the game with 10 players and no subs, as Newington had 17 players in their squad. 

As expected, Newington started the match very aggressively, and as normal for them, sniped and complained to ref abut almost every tackle or decision, but undeterred the Celts remained patient and calm. Nevertheless, against  a run of excellent play by the Celts, the ball landed at the feet of their best midfield about 25 yards out, who took a lash at it, and unbelievably it dipped at the last second under the crossbar to deceive Dustin: 1-0 Portuguese. After the freak goal, there was no heads going down for the Celts, who buckled down and stuck to the game plan of playing the ball to feet, getting it out wide and crossing into the box. After great play up the right side from Eduardo to Alex-F (our newest player), the ball was played into the box from the right to Robin, who was taken out by a defender just before he got his shot away. Edimar stepped up to curl a beautiful free kick into the top left corner, but the keeper parried it out to the pouncing Robin, who wasted no time toe poking it in from 6 yards for the equalizer: 1-1. With our tails and chins up, we kept challenging their defense with great wing play and crosses into the box for Dominic, Rob and Johnny-I (yes Johnny-I playing up top!!!)  as targets, the Celts had lots of options and opportunities. After slick playout from the back, we won a throw-in up the left-hand side about 25 yards out from goal. Dan curved in one of his sweet left foot crosses into the six-yard box, which ricocheted off the keeper, and fell to the ever present Robin who tucked it away clinically to give the Celts a well-deserved 2-1 lead! Love those types of goals!

Anyone who has played Newington in the past, knows the script from here on in! Lots of in fighting and discontent, which played into the hands of a very calm and serene Celtic squad. And so, after another great play of short passing and possession by all of the lads on the field, Johnny-I was hatcheted to the ground just outside the 18, and who else, but  Edimar stepped up to hit one, if not, the best free kick I’ve seen period!! He hammered into top left, and hit it so hard, it stuck up in the stantion of the goal. Newington, us and the refs were speechless- what a goal Edimar, and the Celts were up 3-1, where we stayed until the final whistle. 

Great win guys, and it is really tuff to single out a single MOM because of the amazing team effort that delivered our  badly needed 3 points, which lifts us out of the relegation spots. However, having said that, Rob’s performance and his two goals playing with an excruciating shoulder injury made him the MOM for me. Finally, the best news of the day was that John-B and his son Julian are recuperating nicely, and, with any luck, we’ll see JB back in his midfield spot after Labor Day!!!


  1. Thanks John! I Think we can follow it up with another 3 points from Sunday's home game v Stamford!