Football fixtures are back!

Wednesday 06 October 2021

Fixtures are well and truly back. Following fast in the footsteps of the Year 7 trailblazers, a refined Year 10 line up graced the hallow Ark pitch for their preseason friendly with Preston Manor.

A glorious first half performance led by Nicolae, Maurius and Melek saw Ark totally dominate the first 20. The interplay between the twin centrebacks and Midfield was superb, with Melek the metronome at the heart of all our best play.

Adding grit to the fine technical abilities of the team were Rhys, Angelo and Jaheem who played with control and aggression in equal measure. Keen to assert themselves, Year 10 took the lead when Melek recovered a poor clearance to clip a dainty cross over to Rhys to drill home. One soon became two, when a Lucut slid a perfectly weighted ball to that man Melek, who's precision shot clipped the keeper.

Ark were in the ascendency until a mistimed throw from debutant Galili was pounced up and punished. Not to be disheartened, we bounced back by driving up the pitch and when a free kick was won, another Lucut's strike took a helpful deflection to lob the goalie and make it 3-1 before half time.

In the second period our subs took to the field and Ridwaan made some standout contributions at right back. The quality of football in first 5 minutes of the second half was some of the best I've witnessed in eight years at Ark. Unfortunately, despite Jamil and Alex making an impact off the bench we didn't build on our lead.

Perhaps our lack of match fitness caused a loss in concentration as a 10-minute period saw us ship 3 goals in an unlikely 4-3 turn around. However, Melek rejuvenated the team with an inch perfect through ball to Adnan who charged twenty yards into the box and drilled home an equaliser.

In the dying minutes, a corner from the left hit the crossbar as Ark flooded the box, and we had to settle for a disappointing draw. Man of the Match was Melek and a shout out to Dawuud for an encouraging debut in goal.