- Type of Match: League
- Venue: Clapham Common
- Squad – Gabriel Baptiste Halliday, Ravohn Bannister, Wani Beya, James Des Voeux (Captain), Tom Gordon, Ruben Pradhan, Rhys Read-Beche, Djibril Sangare, Boris Shippey, Hugo Turpin, Dakara Wifa
- Result: 7-2
- Scorers: Dakara (4), Wani (2), Hugo
- Man of the Match – Dakara & Tom
The Colts began their season in wet and freezing conditions, running out 7-2 winners against a committed Profa side.
In contrast to their traditional slow start, Clapham were on the front foot from the first whistle, winning every 50:50 ball, keeping their shape against the many PFA goal kicks and camping in the opposition half as a result for practically the whole match. The first ten minutes set the pattern with ball being won centrally, good link up play on the wings and chances at the end of moves. Tom had two half-chances, Wani forced a good save from a strong solo run down the right and James delivered a superb cross that was begging for a touch.
The breakthrough came when a fierce shot from James was blocked and followed up by Dakara. This was quickly followed when Wani set Dakara off down the left, who then cut inside, drew the keeper and slid a perfect pass to Wani to finish the move he started from close range. With Profa struggling to get out of their own half, there was a willingness to shoot from the edge of the box with a shot from Ruban, Ravohn going close three times, Dakara having an effort tipped onto the bar and another good shot from James getting blocked when set up from Dakara’s demonstration of close control skills.
Profa then got a goal back on the break when the Clapham defence misjudged the bounce from a long clearance but this was a temporary blip before Boris took the ball out of defence, beating two players and finding Ravohn who sent Wani clear with a first-time pass to make it 3-1.
As the game progressed in worsening weather, the defensive three maintained their first half performance of keeping their shape, covering each other and distributing well, allowing the front five to dominate with good crosses from Ravohn and Wani finding no reward and Dakara shooting inches over with his left. A terrific shot from Tom on the edge of the box hit the upright with the keeper beaten and Dakara followed up for his second. Wani then sent Hugo clear with a clever through ball to make it five.
With more space appearing down Clapham’s left, two chances fell for Dakara from good crosses – the first from Wani which somehow stayed out but there was no mistake when Ruban sent over another delivery a minute later to take the goals tally to six. Profa pulled a goal back when a speculative shot bounced in, but Clapham responded with the goal of the game with Dakara finishing a passing move that started at right back, went through to left wing and involved almost the whole team. There was still time for Ruban to go close after getting on the end of a long-range pass out of defence from Dakara.
Final score 7-2 and a great start to the season.
Coach Luke’s joint Man of the Match – Dakara & Tom