Skipper: Jonny Swales
South Bank Cuaco 4’s Vs Polytechnic 7’s 2-4 (0-1)
15.10.2016, Goals: Ignacio, Sam, Andy, Dewayne
Steve, Phil-Lee-Harry-Callum, Rachid-Stefan- Andy-Sam, Ignacio-Dewayne
Subs: Dan, Joe, Tom
The winning streak continues
There is absolutely no better way than to calm pre match nerves than having one too many cranberry juices the night before and having to deal with the ever so slight headache in the morning.
The benefit of living 10 minutes from Dulwich means that the pajamas didn’t come off and the kit go on until around 13:30pm. So with a quick bowl of weetabix and some extremely loud music we were on our way to the Dulwich Sports Ground.
With a number of key absentees in the defense, including our Skipper, Jonny and Harry’s PiC, Aaron, this was to be a back four put together for the first time, just what you need for a top of the table clash! After battering our stand in skipper, Phil, with tracksuit requests like a broken record, we were lead out onto the pitch for our hour warm up. With a good 43 minutes of pinging the ball at each other, keep ups, and Dewayne taking a seat, Phil ran us through the pre match prep. Motivation wasn’t needed for this game, we were there to do one job, win.
The first half was an interesting one with Poly starting out a little nervously. Maintaining most of the possession, however, wayward passes and the 5 second rule becoming the 15 second rule, we were not quite on it.
Yet despite these early nerves, Poly settled into the game with Southbank yet to reach 20% on possession and double figures on passing. Some excellent flowing passing moves down both right and left flanks with Rachid and Sam showing their skill, and with Phil and Callum putting in a shift similar to that of Carlos and Cafu, Poly were on the rise.
It was like the land of the giants at the back for Dewayne and Ignacio to navigate, with two 6 ft 5 CB’s making Harry and I look like two Borrowers. But navigate it they did.
It was only a matter of time before one of these flowing moves ended with a goal, and yet again our Madrista was on hand to deliver the goods. With a jinking run from the right ending with a pass from Rachid into Ignacio’s feet on the edge of the box. Bringing the ball under his spell with his left foot and opening his body up to the goal, it was a cool finish with the right into the bottom left to give Poly the lead, 1-0.
The rest of the half played out with a smattering of other chances for both teams, with Poly coming the closer of the two. We entered into the half time break with mixed feelings on the performance. Happy with the lead, but frustrations that we should be so much further ahead against a team like this, we needed to get back to our passing game and really prove why we are top of the league.
With Tom arriving to the game after watching Chelsea Ladies play, football? Not sure thats what they play, but anyway, we had a big voice back with us to spur that classic Poly style of play for the 2nd half.
And yet, we came out slow. Whether it was complacency or lack of concentration, within 10 minutes of the 2nd half we found ourselves at 1-1. An annoying goal to concede with multiple chances to clear the ball meant that Poly were under real pressure for the first time in a number of weeks. But, that pressure was dealt with brilliantly.
I think Poly had around 342 corners during this match, and it was only a matter of time before one of them was to bare fruit. This time is was the 6 ft 3 tower Andy, to rise above the South Bank defenders, and put a solid header into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. 2-1 Poly. The pressure was easing, but we needed another goal and put the game to bed.
And what a goal it was.
With the ball bouncing around in the box, a number of air kicks, bounces off knees, and finally a clearance by the South Bank defense, the ball came out to the edge of the 18 yard box on the left hand side.
With what will absolutely be a goal of the season contender, the ball comes to Sam. With one touch to put the ball onto the half volley, the word “SWAZZ” I think is fitting here. With a left footed strike on the outside of the boot, Sam sent the ball into the top right hand corner from 25 yards, the keeper nowhere. Was it a cross or a shot? We were assured by Sam it was a shot, and who were we to argue. In the words of Andy Gray, what a hit son.
A couple of changes at the back 4 due to injury meant a different looking defense at this point, and it caused an unfortunate turn of events that bought Southbank back to 3-2. With their centre forward powering through the heart of the defense, he managed to slip the ball to the bottom right of Steve. After a faultless performance all game, he wasn’t keeping that one out.
The pressure was back on! Even more so when Southbank hit the inside of the post 5 minutes later which would have bought the game to 3-3. Let off for Poly in this instance!
15 minutes to go and the game was a tight one, but in moments of adversity a team needs to pull together and fight for the win. You’ll need someone in the team to take the game by the scruff of the neck and say, no, we are going to win this. When all 11 players do it, that’s when you’re onto a winner. Dewayne epitomized this despite his constant efforts to have a breather on the deck, constantly tackled by the wind, to step up and dispatch a near perfect penalty. With a calmness and composure at that stage of the game, to put the ball into the top left bins, is a skill. 4-2 Poly!
With a number of other half chances the game ended with Poly beating South Bank 4 goals to 2. 6 games undefeated, top of the table, force.
With hard fought wins like this, and not necessarily playing our best, and without a full team? its no wonder we are top of the league and long may it continue as the season goes on.
Polytechnic 7’s v HSBC 6’s 3-0 (2-0)
08.10.2016, Goals: Ignacio 2, Aaron
Steve, Jonny-Aaron-Harry-Julian, Rachid-Tom- Andy-Sam, Ignacio-Dewayne
Subs: Callum, Lee , Phil
Bank holiday Saturday for the Poly
The Mighty Poly 7’s continued their unbeaten start to the season with a comprehensive victory over a beleaguered HSBC side.
For your correspondent, Saturday started with an early trip to Westfield with the missus and a vain attempt to negotiate a decent deal on an iPhone 7.
After haemorrhaging enough money by lunchtime to single-handedly keep the economy afloat, thoughts turned to the afternoon game against an outfit often accused of doing the exact opposite, as HSBC became the latest opponents to make the trip to W4 in an attempt to put the brakes on the early season league leaders.
The cold snap was beginning to hit, but there were no frozen assets in the Poly side as a confident 7’s outfit, led by skipper Swales, started the game at a pace and intensity that took their visitors by surprise.
Whilst the 7’s chased and harried their counterparts into mistakes, our own quality on the ball was at times lacking and the early chances were as rare as a 0% mortgage.
However, when the first goal arrived it was a sight to behold as our summer recruit from Madrid again proved his class.
In keeping with previous Spanish imports into English shores, Ignacio has wasted no time in settling, swapping tapas for tap ins and patatas bravas for pile drivers.
Picking up the ball wide on the right hand side and with plenty to do, Ignacio eyed up the HSBC back line and decided that here was a bank that was most certainly open on a Saturday.
Cutting inside, El Diablo moved like a Flamenco dancer through the HSBC defence, sidestepping and feinting past three defenders as he moved from the byline through the penalty area.
So beguiled was Dewayne by Ignacio’s snake like hip movement that he inexplicably decided to sit down on the penalty spot in disbelief.
Dewayne had the best seat in the house as Ignacio finally tired of his matador routine and unleashed a left footed drive back across the keeper and low into the bottom corner.
1-0 Poly, and the Madridista was surrounded by his adoring team mates including Dewayne, who had by now finished his picnic and was back on his feet.
The 7’s now had their tails up and sensed the opportunity to put the game to bed by half time.
A pattern was by emerging in the game.
Whilst some banks aim to tempt customers in with low interest rates and free keyrings, HSBC proved their generosity by insisting on playing the ball out from the back at every opportunity.
Despite clear unease on the ball, time and again the HSBC keeper went short to his defence, allowing a rampaging Poly side to push up and win the ball back in dangerous areas.
This soon brought about the second goal as a skewed goal kick found its way straight to Ignacio, who once more took advantage of the bank’s offer and cashed in with an unerring finish low to the keeper’s left.
2-0 at half time and all talk was focussed on finishing the bankers off in the second half.
A mature poly performance ensured the second half passed without too much threat on keeper Steve’s goal, the back line once again held together by the sheer strength of Harry and Aaron’s bromance and Swales, the returning Weston (sporting an impressive Harry Potter scar as a reminder of a nasty clash of heads a few weeks back) and Dr Jules all putting in accomplished shifts at full back.
Further up the pitch Andy marshalled the midfield and Dewayne, Ignacio and Rachid interchanged in forward positions to great effect before Dewayne’s withdrawal.
The star of the Poly show was undoubtedly Meachin, who was a blur or movement on the wing, turning the HSBC full backs inside out at will and creating chances which should really have put the game to bed earlier.
HSBC’s biggest chance came at 2-0, a loose ball in the box was struck into the ground and bounced like a dodgy cheque on to Steve’s crossbar and away to safety.
That proved to be their final glimmer of hope as with 20 minutes remaining, Casswell floated over a free kick from wide and Aaron rose like a post-Brexit exchange rate to force the ball home as the keeper flapped helplessly.
Poly saw out the rest of the game with a display of short, sharp passing which met with little resistance from their city opponents, who by this point had lost interest.
Where last week’s thrashing of Wilsonians was spectacular, this was a straightforward display of solidity from the a well drilled Poly side who remain top of the table and ready for tougher tests which await; the juggernaut will roll in to Dulwich for a top of the table clash with South Bank next weekend ready for war.
Polytechnic 7’s v Old Wilsonians 6’s 7-2 (4-1)
1.10.2016, Goals: Dewayne 3, Slav 2, Ignacio 2
Steve, Julian Dalton-Aaron-Jonny-Slav, Julian H-Tom-Stefan-Sam, Ignacio-Dewayne
Subs: Ben, Sean
Rhapsody in red: A Poly 7’s Odyssey
As morning broke on the first Saturday of October, perhaps not all omens for the day were good.
A one night only return to London by former Poly legend Hedditch had left your correspondent feeling slightly jaded, and wondering whether that third Aperol Spritz was really necessary.
Gazing out at the dawn through fuzzy weather and a fuzzy head, the self-doubt crept in.
Could the excesses of Friday night be shaken off? Would the attendance of our sweeper keeper at skipper Swales’ headline gig the night before affect our ability to build from the back?
What was the perfect hangover breakfast?
The latter question was swiftly answered; eggs, avocado and sausages breathed new life into my temple of a body and the day had started.
Arriving at the Poly, the mood was lifted still further.
Sunshine had broken out and the hallowed turf glistened in the post rain glare.
Spirits in the squad were high as the Poly approached kick off top of the league after a high-scoring start to the season.
Pre-match instructions focussed on starting the game at pace, and the Poly 7’s wasted no time in going at a vulnerable looking Wilsonians team.
Attacks came from all angles, Dewayne released early by a textbook Casswell through ball, Meachin and Slav dovetailing to great effect on the left flank and Ignacio dropping into the hole to cause panic amongst an aging Wilsonians back line.
Shots were fired, and the breakthrough wasn’t far away.
A flurry of corners in succession culminated in a short one from Casswell to Slav, who cut inside and expertly found the opposite bottom corner.
It had been coming.
Questions will remain over the third party ownership issue, but the left back acquired on loan from the 5’s was doing all his talking on the pitch.
What followed though was a setback, as the Poly failed to close down at the edge of the box and Wilsonians responded with a floated effort into the top corner, keeper no chance.
1-1 was a harsh reflection given the 7’s dominance, and the men in red took this as a personal affront.
A few minutes later, Slav again marauded down the left and found the corner of the net, the club legend showing the rest of us the way back into the game. 2-1.
Until this point, Dewayne had been frustrated in his attempts, but that changed as another run down the left channel found him one on one with a Wilsonians defender.
Dewayne twisted his adversary this way and that, before leaving him for dead and curling a deadly finish in to the bottom corner.
3-1 Poly and our dominance was beginning to be reflected in the score line.
Memories of an identical scoreline squandered earlier in the season drove the Poly forward again and again, before the game’s defining moment arrived just short of half time.
Exhibiting the type of individual brilliance that had perhaps been lacking for the Poly last season, Ignacio again dropped in to space around 25 yards from goal, dropped his shoulder, and with minimal backlift El Diablo unleashed his fiery wrath: an absolute rocket into the top bin.
The silky Spaniard’s goal brought gasps from his team mates, as the hapless Wilsonians keeper was cordially invited to pick that one out.
4-1 at half time, and the team talk focussed on the need to maintain the momentum from a first half display that had left Wilsonians rocking.
That call was firmly heeded and what followed was a continuation of perhaps the most complete performance the 7’s have ever produced.
Total football was invented by the sadly departed Dutch Master Johan Cruyff, but on Saturday afternoon it found its home in leafy West London, and the Poly proceeded to rip their opponents to shreds in a merciless blur of passing, movement, pressing and aggression.
Tough tackling was combined with fleet-footed movement, defensive discipline with a calmness on the ball and Wilsonians had no answer as red arrows flew at them from every direction.
The 5th Poly goal was a thing of rare beauty and typified the team’s performance. The ball moved from back to front, with Steve starting a move which involved at least half the team, one-twos were exchanged down the left side with Casswell, the tireless Slav and Meachin all involved in cutting Wilsonians to ribbons before the ball found Ignacio in the box to slot from for his second.
The boys were really enjoying themselves now, the ball moved around the pitch with ease.
Poly continued to build from the back, with Steve finding his full backs and the centre back pairing of Jonny and Aaron snuffing out attacks before feeding Casswell and Stef in midfield, the 7’s had an established launchpad upon which they built attack after attack.
A freakishly good header from the edge of the box for Wilsonians briefly restored some pride, but the big red machine simply found another gear, and forced a penalty which Dewayne calmly converted, before yet more scintillating end to end football presented the veteran striker with a chance for his hatrick. Closing in on the keeper, Dewayne sat him down like an obedient cocker spaniel and released the deftest of dinks over the hapless stopper to consign Wilsonians to a sobering 7-2 defeat.
The 7’s continued to harry and press Wilsonians into mistakes right until the end, the sight of a gazelle like Aaron effortlessly gliding across the turf to snuff out attacks, Steve thwarting an effort from his own flesh and blood (cousin and Wilsonians right back Jamie Moniz) whilst Ignacio continued to tenaciously close down Wilsonians defenders with the game already put to bed should remind us all of what it takes to make it at this great club.
To a man, the thirteen involved on Saturday played their hearts out, and though not all are mentioned above, this was the ultimate team performance to embody the spirit of the Poly..
As the team evolves and fresh blood courses through our squad, a unifying message was there for all to heed on Saturday.
We are Poly, we are one, we are top of the league, and we are just getting started..
Reason for MOTM vote
Polytechnic 7th – Actonians Assosiation 7th 6-0 (4-0)
24.9.2016, Goals: Meskell Shane 3, Carrington Dewayne 2, El Baki RachidLine-up:
Steve, Mike-Jonny- H-Slav, Dewayne-Andy-John-Jad, Shane-Rachid
Subs: Ben, Jack
Oh we get by with a little help from our friends!
Off the back of a huge 3-0 win and the 7’s are dropping like flies! Caswell’s mother has put her foot down its time for the misses to meet the family (oh Tommy) granny Tarlowski released a statement claiming her boys were ‘getting on the sauce’ with granny this week. Jeremy Hunt is taking the flack for Julian’s NHS work related absence (the bastard) Phil is between the medical room and practicing lines for his first day as a Harry Potter impersonator. Whilst Ignacio, Sam (on a tan bed in Liverpool) and Harry are sunning it up in the motherlands leaving the Poly 7’s are looking slim for numbers. Scenes like this are usually only ever seen at the Emirates, but cometh the hour cometh the Poly skippers WhatsApp group and Gus from the 5’s and Mo (6’s) to the rescue with some much needed cover.
If you’ve ever played at Gunnersbury park, you’ll be aware of several things 1. if you’ve never played there before you will get LOST 2. The pitches are garbage and you are getting changed on the pitch. With that in mind a few last min arrivals to the pitches as well as Ross from the 6’s failing to show following (his words) having a big night out and ending back at ‘some bird’s house in Greenwich’ with no wallet and no memory of the night, it was safe to assume our CB had been lost in action. We started to warm up all the lads minus Ross just about making it 10 min’s before kick-off, Dewayne is warming up whilst watching the United game (in fairness it was a cracker). Gaffer Swales’ hopes of a strong start to the game seem to be fading quicker than the time it takes a Tarlowski to down a pint. Swales sensing a large number of the boys are nursing heavy hangovers adding to the overly relaxed warm up delivers a desperate plea to the boys to work hard from the off, to not be caught slacking to dig deep and turn these boys over.
With pleas from Swales seeming stir some sort of emotive response and a few heart felt cry’s of ‘come on Poly’ we are underway with Actionians kicking off. After a tense first 10 min’s it is becoming ever clear the brand of football both teams are setting out to play. Poly are building from the back passing the ball with composure giving the ball at every opportunity to Andy who is spraying passes for fun something we’ve been accustomed to over the past few games as in the 7’s. The pace of wide men Jad and Dewayne who’s cutting runs at an immobile back 4 is starting to carve open opportunities and get Rachid’s pace in-between the lines. It is clear Actionians quickly settling into long ball football with tacking more accustomed to a Harlequins game and a 6ft6 skipper attempting to control the areal battles against two vertically challenged make shift Poly CB’s it was something of a Tony Pulis wet dream. A swift pass out wide by Andy after a good win by John results in a cross field Run by Slav who slots a delightful pass into the path of Les Parson’s top scorer Maskell who drives home the opener 1-0 Poly! Despite weather some etchy moments at the back ever present Steve Moniz is providing a solid base desperate to get his second clean sheet of the campaign the 7’s never look too troubled. Some excellent play from Dewayne down the right wing seem to be opening up chances before a sweet cut ball from wide sets up Dewayne who tucks away a classy finish 2-0 Poly! Moments later Maskell comes up with an individual run of brilliance carving open a Actionian’s 3-0! After a spell of dodgy calls from the ref not quite understanding the rules around the ball going out of play to the bemusement of both teams a bursting run from Slav who cuts back to Rachid to hand the Poly goal number four 4-0!
A quick team talk from manager Swales who freshens things up on the wings bringing on Ben and Jack on either wing see’s the second half underway in a rather uneventful half capped with an incredible solo run by Jack cutting the ball across the goal for Dewayne brings his second and another excellent strike from Maskell resulting in his hatrick rounds up the scoring. With Actionians only threatening once with a clear cut 2 on 1 situation dealt with by Moniz in excellent fashion and Dewayne missing a chance to claim a well-deserved hatrick the game concludes 6-0! The Poly return 3 more points on the board undefeated in the 2016-17 season a stomach full of half cooked jacket potato a spoonful of beans and a shed load of cheese gotta love the first class facilities at Actionians eh 😉 Onwards and upwards with the Poly facing Old Wilsonians 7th..
Polytechnic 7th – Alleyn Old Boys 6th 3-0 (2-0)
17.9.2016, Goals: Tom Casswell, Stefan Tarlowski, Rachid El Baki
Steve, Julian-Harry-Aaron-Phil, Sam-Andy-Tom-Stefan, Ignacio-Dewayne
Subs: Jonny, Ollie, Rachid
Poly 7’s maintained their unbeaten start to life under the new skipper Swales
After the disappointment of seeing last weeks 3-0 half time lead to West Wickham 6th result in a 3 – 3 draw skipper Swales called for a response with the Poly 7’s delivering in a clinical fashion in what was to Swales’ maiden outing as Skipper. Adopting a high pressing, high intensity, passing game focused around what some would say a total football philosophy, comparisons to Jurgen Klopp are never too far for this young manager.
The game started at a typically high tempo with the first incident occurring just 2 mins into the game from what seemed to be a relatively monotonous challenge from Weston. Keen to impress the new skipper and win his first aerial battle, Weston rose like a proverbial salmon glancing his forehead straight into the back of the opposition wingers head with team doctor and LB Dalton patching up Weston and sending him swiftly to hospital to receive several stitches to the forehead. In a post match interview Weston was quoted as saying “you should have seen the other guy….i nutted him” clearly suffering some mild concussion and starting to believe the inevitable comparisons to Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce the 7’s will likely be with out Weston for the next few weeks. With Swales slotting in at RB the 7’s started to settle into the game. The composure and leadership from Aaron and Harry at the back making opportunities few and far between. Alleyn’s were unable to capitalise on an early injury setback. The 7’s began to press with Ignacio and Dewayne beginning to test the keeper and stretch the defence. A silky give and go between Tarlowski and Donald created space for the ball to be played into Ignacio who was cynically brought down around 30 yards from goal. Up step Casswell with what can only be described as a 30 yard confused cross/shot straight down the middle to Donald who gets clattered by the keeper as the ball bypasses both players to find the back of the net 1-0 POLY!! Caswell a rejuvenated player under the new regime gets his second goal in as many games. Poly 7’s seizing the momentum start to break at Alleyn’s with summer signing Donald linking well with Tarlowski and Meachin on either wings spraying passes for fun Donald is quickly establishing himself as a firm fans favourite and the 7’s equivalent of Pirlo. With Ignachio zipping a fine 20 yard strike against the crossbar and Dewyane breaking well in forward positions a goal seems imminent when the ball breaks to Tarlowski who slots home a 20 yard (off the post) screamer (his words) into an open goal, after the goalkeeper is again found out of position following some fine forward play to open up the opportunity for Tarlowski to slot home 2-0 Poly 7’s !
Poly 7’s go in 2-0 up at half time, following a team talk from Swales and fresh from some half time oranges Richmond and Rachid are introduced. Alleyn come out the blocks strong producing a spell of pressed which is weathered thanks to some solid defending from Harry, Aaron, Dalton and Swales along with some excellent goalkeeping from our very own ‘sweeper keeper’ Moniz making some fine stops to deny the early pressure. The boys begin to create chances down the channels, with the re-introduction of Meachin on the right seeing Tarlowski drop and bring cover to the back 4, Meachin presses forward creating several dangerous crosses twisting and turning the defenders as he passes them with ease. A goal seems on the horizon but Alleyn’s are not giving up without a fight! Cue Harry to make an inspired goal line clearance defying the laws of physics along the way. The Poly break Caswell picks up a loose ball from defence and spray’s a killer pass into Rachid who takes it past his marker and curves the ball away from the goalkeepers reach 3-0. The re-introduction of Dewayne for Ignacio spells the end for Alleyns who are pinned back for the last ten thanks to some good forward play and hard work from the midfield with Casswell running the length of the pitch to make tackles right the final whistle.
MOTM: Andy Donald