Match Report – Proud Effort on Memorable Evening

On the 19th January 2022, Southwark Stars travelled to Sutton United to play their first ever 11-aside match at Gander Green Lane.

Manager, Louis Wickett-Padgham, brought a big squad hoping to make sure fitness wouldn’t be an issue as the team progressed from 7-aside pitches. The squad included 18 players, 15 of which had never played an 11-aside match and also gave Chris Forster, Harry Grimes and Josh Desire their debuts.

After a sharp warm up and team talk, the players were ready for the match. Excited fans were in the stadium but also watching from home via the live YouTube stream.

The stage was set. Sutton United kicked off and came straight out the blocks.

Early pressure from the home side saw them take the lead in under 10 minutes and it was clear they were used to playing on a full size pitch. Sutton United doubled their lead after 15 minutes with clinical finishing from their strikers. 2-0.

Southwark Stars then began to enjoy possession and their confidence grew too. The likes of Davey, Bittar and Forster combined through the middle and started to create space. On the 20th minute, Bittar beat his opponent and played a lovely weighted through ball to Forster. Forster took the ball in his stride, broke away from Sutton’s defence and powered a shot low and hard across the goal into the far left corner. Southwark Stars were back in it. 2-1. 

A man wearing an orange and black football kit stands in a football stadium tunnel.
They kept the momentum and chances started to fall their way. Bittar went close with a shot from just inside the area, captain, Brown, was narrowly caught offside when through on goal with just the keeper to beat and Forster forced the keeper into a great save from a 30 yard free kick. The equaliser seemed to be coming.
 

Against the run of play, Sutton hit back with an outstanding edge of the box curling shot, that Star’s keeper Daniel Seriki could do nothing about. 3-1.

Half time. Although Sutton looked strong, Southwark Stars felt they could still get back in it.

A man wearing a black coat talks to a man wearing an orange shirt and pointing to a whiteboard.
With both teams looking refreshed, there was little difference at the start of the second half. Sutton had chances but the defence of Hourigan, Gilligan, Dulake and Jacobs, with Vaughan holding in midfield, were well organised and held strong.

Going forward, the Stars created excellent opportunities to get the equaliser with Yusuff putting the ball wide from the 6 yard box and Taylor just not being able to put the ball over the line after a goalmouth scramble.
 
Sutton always looked dangerous too, though and after surviving our attacks they put the game beyond reach. 3 goals in 10 minutes, saw the hosts lead 5-1. With 20 minutes to go, there seemed no way back.
 
On the 75th minute, Davey won the ball back in the middle and played an excellent 30 yard pass between Sutton’s full back and centre back. On the end of it was Bittar. He burst through into the box and cooly slotted home. 5-2.
A man wearing an orange and black football kit controls a white football around a man wearing a yellow kit.
A man wearing a yellow kit steps up to take a penalty against a man wearing a blue kit.
Sutton continued to press and with skilful play around the box, won a penalty after a last-ditch attempt at stopping a shot from Dulake and Jacobs. Up stepped Sutton’s number 10… but saved! Seriki got down well to his left and got a strong left hand to the ball. Seriki has now only conceded 2 from the last 10 penalties faced.
 
In the dying minutes, Sutton United did make it 6-2 with a tidy finish from inside the box but the result didn’t tarnish the occasion.
 
An excellent all round display from Southwark Stars who left the pitch with their heads held high. A night that will live long in the memory. Massive thanks to Sutton United for hosting us.
 
Final score: Sutton United FC 6 – 2 Southwark Stars Disability FC

Starting 11

1. Daniel Seriki
2. Johnny Hourigan
3. Patrick Gilligan
4. Alex Blayden
6. Peter Davey
7. Azeez Yusuff
9. Mohammed Bittar
10. Irah Vaughan
14. Lloyd Brown (c)
16. Benjamin Taylor
20. Andrew Dulake

Subs

8. Chris Forster
12. Raymond Langllonl
13. Alistair Jacobs15. Harry Grimes18. Josh Desire19. Jonathan Richel Fernàndez

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