Men’s AL1 | Round 10

Reserve Grade

The Ressies kicked off against near-bottom BTH on Saturday with an eye on getting up the goal difference. From early on in the game, it was evident that the boys in green would get their wish.

For the most part, the first half was a Forest-dominated affair. The boys maintained possession well and kept it ticking against a lethargic BTH side. FKFC’s first goal came in the 2nd minute after a Ewing high-ball into the danger area resulted in miscommunication between the BTH keeper and defender, leaving Marcus Mangraviti with a simple finish into an open net

The boys wouldn’t have to wait long for the second goal of the game in the 10th minute, after some excellent play by our own David Sganga resulted in a poor BTH clearance into the path of Captain Pat Ewing, who saw the keeper off his line and struck the ball from 25 yards out, hitting the back of the net after the keeper’s fingertips weren’t enough.

The half continued much of the same from there, with FKFC showcasing their crisp passing and ability to recycle possession left and right waiting for an opening. This came in the 24th minute after an eagle-eye pass from Dave through the middle on to Marcus for his 2nd, who finished across the keeper with his weakfoot.

Forry maintained their ruthless mindset into the second half following an inspired half-time team talk. The boys displayed a consistent level of composure in their pressing, with striker Nathan Kerr’s press resulting in a stray ball which Ewing would latch on to, beat his man and produce a calm finish into the bottom left. 4-0, 40 minutes to go.

With the boys firmly switched into gear, substitutes Danilo Tomic and Danny Guerenoni began to make their imprint on the match. Relentless pressing from Danny resutled in ball after ball for our midfield to pick up and send Danilo on his bike.

Danilo would go on to have some fun in the 55th minute by getting the ball in our own half, beating two of the BTH players and putting over a peach of a through ball to Marcus who would finish for his hattrick, all props went to Danilo for that one.

In the 60th minute, in-form striker Sam Thomas decided it was time to stop warming the bench and get back on the field whilst BTH heads were down and he could snag some easy goals, which he did with his first touch off the bench, A Danny G ball put the BTH defense into disarray, who cleared the ball into Sam’s path for an easy finish. 6-0.

With FKFC still looking for goals they were sure to come, leading to Danilo getting his well-deserved goal following some brilliant dribbling and a well-placed finish into the bottom left. Props to Danny G for another interception and Dave for a great pass picking out Danilo.

Man of the Match – Marcus Mangraviti

First Grade

First grade were coming off an 8-0 win against minnows Curl Curl with confidence high and a sense of positivity that our season was finally starting to turn around for the better. In our path was a strong BTH side who we knew would give us a run for our money if we didn’t turn up and play our way of football. After seeing Reserve Grade get up 7-0, it was now down to us to provide the local crowd a 6-point Saturday and send BTH back home with empty hands. A few familiar faces returned to Melwood in the opposition side and the boys were keen on showing them who the stronger side was right from the start.

Forest started well, with one-two touch football and short sharp passes paving the way through a weak midfield of BTH. Forest just couldn’t find the back of the net with chances going begging in the final third. That was until a quick throw in from Jonny Turnbull found it’s way to Hayden Waters who turned two players and played James Silvas in behind to put Forest 1-0 up. A calm finish into the bottom right corner. A good start for the home side who were keen to push on and put more goals into the back of the net.

Chances were coming for the home side and it wasn’t until some acrobatics lifted the home side. Most notably was captain and centre-back Alex Bain, who has minimal agility at the best of times, attempt a bicycle kick with back to goal off a free kick. The crowd went wild as he leapt into the air only to come through too early and make minimal contact with the ball, however it ricocheted to Jonny Turnbull who narrowly missed from outside the box. What an action packed passage of amateur football for the Melwood faithful.

More chances came however at half-time it remained 1-0. Half-time focused on the positives we were doing and how we can go about the next half and put BTH to the sword. And that’s exactly what we did. The boys came out firing and another quick throw in, this time by Alex Bain, saw Emerson Brown released down the touch line who ran to the by-line, cut the ball back and into the path of golden-boot Hayden Waters who’s first time finish nestled into the top right corner and gave Forest a 2-0 lead. 10 minutes later Forest took a 3-0 lead after the ball was recycled to the defence and Alex Bain played a picturesque through ball to winger James Silvas who put on his pace to go 1 on 1 with the keeper and slot into the bottom corner. 3-0 to the good guys with half an hour to go.

BTH found a new gear and a long thrown in wasn’t dealt with by everyone in defence and the pressure by the BTH forward was enough for the ball to find the back of the net. 3-1 and game back on. Forest picked up a gear after this and begun to play the football we knew we could play. Malik Bloul came on for his first grade debut and some slick one touch football up the park resulted in Antoine Maurin being played through by Hayden and slotting into the bottom corner to keep Forest’s 3-goal buffer. A nice finish by the youngster who is starting to find his form of last season with consecutive goals in back-to-back games.

Forest kept the pressure up and with 10 minutes to go found themselves with a corner. Genki Kawamura stood over the ball, eagerly anticipating a back-post run from the tallest bloke on the pitch, Alex Bain. It is worth mentioning that the skipper has not scored a headed goal in a very long time, let alone a normal goal with his feet. So it was a surprise to everyone to see him leap in the air and head the ball home off a wicked corner. The keeper never stood a chance. 5-1 to Forest and BTH were staring down the barrel of a heavy defeat.

It only got worse for the visiting side as a hand-ball by their defender in the 18-yard box was judged to be an official handball under the new laws of the game. Luke Sheepway stepped up, eager to get his goal scoring tally started for the season and sent the keeper the wrong way to give Forest a 6-1 lead. Moments later the final whistle was blown and Forest came away with a 6-point Saturday.

Momentum is starting to build for the group and the positivity being built is starting to reap rewards for the group. Forest will look to win both grades again on Monday against a strong Wakehurst team in what will no doubt be an entertaining clash.

Man of the Match – Alex Bain