Clinical Alleynians dish out another heavy defeat to the OHAFC 1s
- October 10th 2020, Harrow School 4G Astro, 11:15am
- Premier Division
- Referee: CeeMac Phillips
- Weather: Cloudy
- Pitch: Astroturf
|No.||Starting XI||Goals||Yellow & Red Cards||Subs On/Off|
|1||Fraser McGuinness (c)|
|6||Cyprian Owen Edmunds||70'|
The OHAFC 1st XI suffered another dispiriting defeat on Saturday, losing 7-0 at home to a clinical Old Alleynians side on the Harrow School astroturf. Yet again, despite fielding a strong side and adopting a more defensive strategy, the Blues were unable to prevent their opponents from carving through them at times, the visitors finishing practically every chance they created. The one glimmer of hope on the horizon for the OHAFC, who unsurprisingly remain bottom of the Premier Division, is that they have now played four of the top five sides in the table – the only team faced not in the top half is the Old Etonians, whom they managed to secure a draw with.
Despite rising frustration at the poor run of results suffered, a situation undoubtedly exacerbated by the long-term absence of both Breeden brothers to knee injuries, another strong squad of fourteen was named by skipper Fraser McGuinness. Given the frightening rate at which goals have been conceded, a more defensive 5-4-1 formation was adopted with the three centre-backs Kyle Barrett, Connor Barrett and Ed Beecham flanked by Jamie Jordache on the right and Cyprian Owen Edmunds on the left. Firoozan, Robinson, Chadwick and Bamford occupied midfield, with Harry Bick the lone striker charged with holding the ball up and bringing others into play.
For the opening quarter of an hour the new shape appeared to be proving successful, with the Blues enjoying their fair share of possession and competing on equal terms with a side they have now lost 7-0 to in two of their three previous League meetings.
But once the visitors had opened the scoring on eighteen minutes, things rapidly went downhill, Alleynians finding the net three times in just over ten minutes. A throw-in on the right was not defended properly allowing a cross to be delivered to the near post. The Alleynian striker’s effort was well blocked by McGuinnes with his boot but the ball rebounded out towards the penalty spot and it was thumped back into the roof of the net. Barely three or four minutes later, the lead was doubled. A superb raking diagonal ball cut out left back Owen Edmunds allowing the winger to cut in on goal. Annoyingly, a heavy initial first touch drew McGuinness off his line to intercept, but the forward just arrived first, drew the foul from the keeper and the referee pointed to the spot. The Harrow skipper dived the right way but the shot was too well placed. And on half an hour it was 3-0 courtesy of an underhit chest back to the keeper from Jamie Jordache, the Alleynian striker nipping in to steal possession, cross to the far post and watch as it was comfortably headed in by an unmarked teammate.
Despite this disastrous spell, the hosts regrouped and tried their best to fight back before the break. Ed Beecham headed over from a set-piece and Harry Bick should have been sent clean through on goal, but the pass was just behind him and he couldn’t gather on the run. These little moments in both the final thirds seem to be going against the Blues at the moment, the 3-0 half-time scoreline a harsh reflection of the balance of play.
At the interval the skipper stressed the need to keep going and, at the very least, to try to win the second half – not an unreasonable target given the rather exaggerated look to the scoreline. Ed Beecham was moved into midfield, Chadwick patrolled in front of the back four and the new shape appeared to give the side better balance as they again started the half on the front foot. Jamie Jordache came closest to pulling a goal back when he drove down the right, played a one-two and cut inside before firing at goal. The Dulwich keeper was up to the task, a defender helping complete the clearance.
But just as in the first half, the visitors proved rather more clinical whenever they found themselves in front of goal, adding another four goals to the three scored prior to the break with some exquisite finishing.
A through-ball sent the Alleynians striker clean through on goal, his effort was well saved by McGuinness but the rebound was struck perfectly into the top corner to make it four. The fifth came via a cross from the Harrow right driven low to the near post that was deftly turned in first-time, the striker just beating Connor Barrett to the ball. The sixth actually deflected in off the same defender from an Alleynian header, the ball agonisingly ricocheting in off the far post and dribbling over the line, whilst the seventh saw the ball fly in off the other post courtesy of a low strike from the penalty spot.
There was little the OHAFC could do about any of the goals and, not for the first time this season, they finished the game well beaten. The combined records of the four sides they have lost to this season reads: played 17, won 14, lost 3 – there is no disgrace in finding themselves struggling against such teams. Perhaps with a little more luck in either penalty area the side could earn themselves that elusive first win – next weekend’s fixture away to the newly-promoted Old Wykehamists provides an excellent opportunity to do just that.