Next game: Nascot Wood v Chorleywood, Queens, 10am kick-off
Sunday 13th February - Nascot Wood 1 v Chipperfield 0 (Youthplayers.com Cup Gr D)
Man of the match: Chris Keates
Friday nights training saw the team finish off with well-needed chat, and analysis of where the squad was going both on and off the pitch. The outcome was very positive with the team going out with renewed vigour, determination and attitude today. Everyone was "up for it" and it showed. With Scott on the bench injured and Benjamin absent for today's game, we only had one sub and players had to take on alternative positions. Chris started at centre back instead of his usual mid-field position and his performance in the role earned him "Man of the Match".
The play was end to end for much of the game and it was a 0-0 score line at the half-time break, despite Chipperfield coming close to scoring 3 or 4 times during the half but missing the open goal each time. Although under pressure in the first half, we saw the resolute Nascot that we had got used to in the early stages of the season reappear in abundance, showing great attitude although the opposition were creating chances. After a productive feedback session at half time, we came out for the second half refreshed and determined. The second half saw Nascot on the front foot, taking the game to Chipperfield, and after a goal-mouth scramble, the ball fell at Jamie's feet. His left-footed strike saw the ball bulge the back of the net to give us the lead. Both sides battled for the rest of the half and a superb save from Matt at point blank range denied Chipperfield the equalizer. Despite another few chances the net eluded them once again.
A superb effort by the boys and altogether attitude change meant that the game was exciting and, most of all, enjoyable for the players and the supporters. Everyone put in 110% and it showed in the result. The team have had a difficult few weeks, but this game showed what we are all about. The attitude was fantastic, the football was excellent, and most of all, when I looked round the players at the end of the game, we all had smiles on our faces.
Well done lads, and lets look forward to the league game next week! Matt
Sunday 6th February - Nascot Wood 1 v St. Albans South 8 (Youthplayers.com Cup Gr D)
Sunday 30th January - Nascot Wood 1 v Echoes Orange 5 (Youthplayers.com Cup Gr D)
Sunday 23rd January - Nascot Wood 4 v Harpenden Hurricanes 0
Back to winning ways and our passing game with a comfortable victory over the team bottom of the table.
In an attempt to increase our attacking options we opted to start with a 4-3-3 formation. Although on paper it looked promising the change proved too much to take in for the boys and we switched back to our usual 4-4-2. Within 2 minutes of the re-shuffle we had the lead, a quick break down the right and a simple tap in from point blank range. It was what we needed and the confidence was back. We played some excellent football and totally dominated the match. Despite a pedantic referee doing his very best to disrupt the flow of the match we kept our heads and strolled to a 4-0 win. The score line fails to reflect our total dominance as Harpenden failed to register a serious shot at our goal.
Our 'fox in the box' Connor got a hat-trick and Jamie added a fine solo effort. All played well especially Scotty at centre back and Jack up front who took the Man Of The Match award. The midfield ran the show and played with great composure, Jake and Michael in particular battled non-stop.
Good to register another win and go into the cup matches with our confidence back. Although we're up against higher league teams in the cup group, we will more than hold our own if we play like we did today. Well done guys, three more points in the bag.
Sunday 16th January - Chorleywood 4 v 2 Nascot Wood
I think it's safe to say we've been brought back down to earth with a bump today. We can't expect to just turn up and win week in, week out. Chorleywood set out their stall, and hit us with some impressive counters while we bungled about in the middle of the park and achieved nothing. We can all complain about the pitch but at the end of the day we simply didn't want it and it showed.
One of the more disappointing displays of the season has resulted in our third league defeat of the campaign. It just wasn't quite right today and we're not sure why. We played the football in patches but lacked an end product, the defence was full of holes and we looked as vulnerable as we have all season. The midfield failed to take their usual hold on the game and we struggled. With the good results we've had lately there was certainly a complacency to our game and it's cost us.
Now comes the biggest test of the season - how do we bounce back from this? We either bungle through the rest of the season beat the weaker opposition and finish top four or we focus. We get our heads into our football and make sure we're up there come the end of the season.
It's certainly not the end of the world, every team has it's bad days and credit to Chorleywood who played well today. But lets lift ourselves and get back to the football we know we're capable of.
Sunday 9th January 2005 - Nascot Wood 5 v 2 Enfield Rangers
Slow to start we were caught cold by Enfield. As has been the case too many times, we failed to clear our lines and found ourselves 0-1 down. Undeterred we began to find our feet and some width down the right through Danny. Connor too started to influence the game and our equaliser was deserved. But yet again, we bungled a clearance in our own box and it was 1-2. From there we stepped up a gear and put Enfield on the back foot for the rest of the half. Michael and Chris controlled the centre of the park and put some lovely balls through the channels. We peppered their goal but only managed to add another before the break going in 2-2 at half time, Jamie with the second equaliser. The team talk was more of the same, up the tempo, hold the ball upfront and stretch Enfield wide, no bounce from the long ball and their forwards would have no supply.
The boys came out and gave a classic performance. Despite the disadvantage of defending down the slope we dug in well and caused havoc on the counter. We
took the lead for the first time from a Danny free-kick. Lofted towards the back post, Connor rose like a salmon to thump the ball past the keeper with his head. But Enfield are no mugs and they came back at us in numbers. It was all hands to the pump in the back with crucial defensive blocks and some outstanding saves by Matt. The odd bit of luck and kind deflection and we were beginning to think this would be our day and we were right. With time ticking down and Enfield
committing men forward we hit them with two rapid break aways and the game was over at 5-2.
Truly a team performance with some individual brilliance has accomplished arguably our finest result to date. Matt in goal was at his acrobatic best, Ben battled and got forward well from right back, Ollie made some timely interceptions with Benjamin at his tenacious best once again. Joe made some crucial tackles and goal mouth clearances, Scott too came off the bench to put in a masterful fifteen minutes that almost earned him the Man of the Match award. Chris had a blinder in the middle of the park with great support from Michael and Jamie. Danny made some telling passes and a magic free-kick, Jake ran himself into the ground covering every inch of grass. Kieran, Jack and Alex gave us fresh legs to hold Enfield towards the end and Connor as always was a menace from start to finish with four great goals to his name.
A great performance guys, well done all of you.
Sunday 2nd January 2005 - Nascot Wood 9 v 1 Gadeside
A Happy New Year it proved to be as Nascot won comfortably at home against the nine men of Gadeside.
Concerned with the absence of our own players we managed to have eleven available but no subs. Our opposition were less fortunate and the numbers told towards the end as players tired.
The football was impressive in patches, the pitch had held up well to the weather and enabled us to play our passing game. Up the hill in the first half, we made good use of the right flank and scored three great goals from some slick build up play.
The second half was a scrappy affair, Gadeside worked hard despite the numerical disadvantage and managed to break up our play well. We stuck to our guns, got the ball wide and Gadeside tired. Jack got his hat-trick, Jamie and Danny got two each, Ben popped up in the box for his goal and Chris hit a peach from the edge of the box.
Not the greatest performance but a strong result given our weakened team and the lack of a training session prior to the game. Well done guys, lets take the passing game into next week's match and push for the title.
Sunday 19th December - Croxley 2 v 6 Nascot Wood
On a pitch the size of a postage stamp we put the cup performance out of our system and got back to winning ways as we completed our first double of the season.
One way traffic but a lack of composure in front of goal kept the game close up until half time. The second half saw us convert the chances and walk away with another three points. Some of the football was again first class in particular out on the flanks.
A comfortable fixture in a good mannered match saw us add another six to the goal tally. In the centre of the park Chris showed some good skill and collected the Man of the Match award for his performance.
Well done boys, enjoy Xmas and we'll see you next year!
Sunday 12th December - Cup Action - St. Albans 4 v 2 Nascot Wood
One to forget for Nascot on a bitterly cold morning. From the division above, St Albans were a strong side who like ourselves got the ball down and played. Not up for the scrap we were pulled apart throughout the first half. Not overly concerned with the result more the performance Matt gave the team something to think about at half time. It worked and we came out more creative and composed. The work rate was there but we'd left ourselves too much to do and never closed the gap. Connor and Michael grabbed both our goals in the second half.
Though the cup was never a priority for ourselves, the performance was and it left a lot to be desired. Although better in the second half, the game was ruined by the pathetic attitude and behaviour of both opposition players and supporters. Less said the better. One to forget, let's get back to the league and our title challenge.
Sunday 5th December - Nascot Wood 11 v 1 St Albans
With the recent run of tough matches this was a fixture we were always going to enjoy. Honest endeavour but a lack of flair from the opposition meant they were always second best and the score line proved to be a fair reflection of the play.
Uphill in the first half we were slow to start and faced the odd scare from a long ball counter down the hill. Half time arrived and we were already up but not yet out of second gear. Second half saw the opposition tire and we put our passing game into full effect. A five minute lesson in finishing from Connor put the game in the bag and we cruised to another double figure score line. Connor netted four as did Jamie, Kieron grabbed a brace and Alex coolly slotted home to finish the scoring. We looked deadly on the break and made good use of the width scoring with some nice flowing moves.
Kieron had a fantastic game out on the left and was rewarded with the Man of the Match award.
A comfortable morning's work and another three points in the bag. It's cup action next week with what should be a tougher test from another St Albans outfit. Well done guys, job done. Let's get back in training and work on those damn set pieces!!
Sunday 28 November - Nascot Wood 3 v 1 Oxhey United
Truly a game of two halves as Nascot came back from one nil down at half time to score three goals and earn another three points. After the battle of last week this was always going to be a crucial fixture. Riding high in the table themselves, Oxhey have already proven a match for the other top sides in the division.
In what was possibly the worst half of football the boys have played all season, we made an average team look good as they went in one up at the break. No composure, fight or fluency to our play, Matt had plenty to say at half time. (Fortunately for the boys there were no cups of tea on hand for him to throw) Fired up we were quick out of the blocks and pinned Oxhey back for most of the second half. Jamie got the equaliser with a great shot from the edge of the box. It curled over the keeper much to the delight of Matt who'd been screaming for more shots all match! Our second was a slick move down the right flank, Jake played the ball into Alex who slipped the ball down the channel. Jamie ran on beating the defender to the ball and putting the cross to the near post. Connor was quickest to react and we were 2-1 up. We eased off after taking the lead and Oxhey's direct play almost caught us out soon after taking the lead but a great save from Matt kept them at bay. As time was running out Jake popped up in the opposition box beat the man on the touchline, cut back and thumped in our third. Game over.
A solid second half performance ensured another three points and possibly the end of Oxhey's title challenge. The defence played very well, Benjamin again was solid, Chris had a great game at right back as did Joe on the left. Ben filled in for the injured Ollie and made some crucial tackles towards the end. The midfield again proved their individual and collective strength putting in a dominant second half performance. Connor as always run himself into the ground and gave their centre back a torrid time. Jack worked hard as did Alex who did well on his return. A second half performance of real drive and determination all over the park was pleasing to watch with credit going to Jamie who was the driving force behind the comeback with a superb individual goal. Jamie walked away with the Man of the Match award for his efforts.
Well done guys, the second half performance was a fantastic effort. It shows what we can do when we get the ball down and play.
Sunday 21 November - Nascot Wood 2 v 3 Hadley Wood
Different conditions, same result as we lost to Hadley for the second time this season.
Far from the sunshine and small pitches of our last encounter, the pitch was heavy, the temperature freezing and the opposition half an hour late. Maybe that wait proved too much of a drain as we warmed up for the best part of an hour before kick off.
When Hadley finally arrived, they were slow to start and we took advantage. Connor harrassed the defender into a mistake beat the keeper and slotted home, 1-0. The goal woke the opposition and their monster of a forward soon levelled the score then added a second after brushing off three of our players en route to goal. Heads started to drop but we got ourselves back in the game. Michael latching onto a loose ball chipped it over their stranded keeper into the top corner from 20 yards out. 2 a piece at half time would have suited us but it wasn't to be. Two great reaction saves from Matt weren't enough as their forward tapped in the rebound to make it 3-2 just before the break.
The second half became scrappy as the team tired, there were few chances at either end as both teams worked hard to stop the other playing. A strong penalty appeal was missed by the ref and the game drifted away. Final score 3-2.
It's the hardest result to take as there appeared to be little else we could do. That bit of luck that wins you games had deserted us today, every loose ball, every deflection fell in their favour. What must be stressed was the work rate of the whole team. We battled like never before and were unlucky not to come away with something. Had we turned up and not played the alarm bells would be ringing, but that wasn't the case. We came out guns blazing and gave it our best shot. Ten out of ten for effort, lets get back on the training pitch Friday, work at a few things and turn our attention to next Sunday.
Sunday 14 November - Riverside Hibs 0 v 15 Nascot Wood
Dropped down from our division after one heavy defeat, Riverside were never going to offer any serious competition and it always looked like a rugby score was on the cards.
Slow to start, it took good skill from Danny to win us a penalty which he duly tucked away. It was the spark the team needed and the goals flowed freely. Half time saw us 7-0 up. Wanting to share the goals around, Matt put Jack in goal and allowed Matt to play upfront for the second half. It turned out to be an inspired move as Matt netted a second half brace!
Although the opposition were poor Nascot played some great stuff and re-discovered the form from earlier in the season. Strangely, Riverside held a flat back five on the edge of their box for the whole match giving us freedom in the middle of the park to get the ball down and play. Chris took full advantage of the space and played some great linking football earning himself the man of the match award to add to his two goals.
It's easy for these matches to fizzle out but the boys kept playing to notch up our biggest ever winning margin. The goalscorers were Connor 3, Jack 3, Kieron 2, Chris 2, Matt 2, Danny, Joe and Scott.
It was an enjoyable morning's work which should give us the confidence to play our football when Hadley come to us next week. Let's get up for that one and take revenge for our last meeting.
Sunday 31st October - Nascot Wood 2 v 1 Riverside
For the second week running we faced a first v second place league clash and once again we've emerged on top. The team's sixth consecutive victory has seen them open up a three point gap at the top of the table.
The start was nervy with both teams struggling to get any time or space on the ball. It was Nascot who took the lead, Riverside failed to clear a corner and Kieran latched onto the loose ball sending it into the bottom corner. Maybe we scored too early and got complacent as the boys fell asleep and let Riverside straight back into the game. Given the time and space, they put together a quick counter and the score was level. Shortly before the break Nascot regained the lead. Kieran again found himself in the box and his over-head kick looped over the flailing keeper who could only punch it into the net.
At half time there were words of caution from Matt, we had allowed them too much time and given their forward too much respect. The message was get tight, don't let him turn. Benjamin went out and carried out Matt's instructions to the letter. Their forward summed it up well to his own manager 'how can I shoot with my back to goal?!' Benjamin had the guy in his pocket for the second 35 and duly walked away with the Man of the Match award. Credit once again goes to everyone who put in a real battling performance, Connor once again showed incredible determination and stamina, Jamie too did the ugly things well breaking up their play, but Benjamin deserves the praise for a masterful performance.
It's a satisfying result given the history between the teams and helps make amends for our previous meeting with them. Although the boys are the ones who put in the effort and win us the matches, the Matt's can take some of the glory for taking the decision to put Kieran upfront!
We're top of the league on merit alone. All in the squad are showing the determination and abililty that we hoped for pre-season. Three more points in the bag, well done lads.
Sunday 24 October - Enfield Rangers 0 v 2 Nascot Wood
To be a great team it helps if you can play attractive, skillful football.
Get the ball down, nice one-twos, little flicks the lot. But there's another side to the game which if you don't possess, you're easy to beat. It's an aspect that I have to admit I didn't think we had, but today I was proven wrong. Nascot DO possess a physical side to their game and one that won them three points and put us top of the league!
The pitch was small, the ground was heavy and the wind was up. If ever you needed physical and mental strength it was today. We got to them quick, players were touch tight and enfield couldn't settle. We broke well with Connor and Alex giving their back four a torrid time. The opener came ten minutes before the break, Michael put the ball down the channel and Connor ran on to lob the keeper from just outside the box. One up at the break the half time message from Matt was simple, 'more of the same' and the boys duly responded. Managing to peg Enfield back a good spell of our own pressure led to a defensive error. Handball, penalty! Nobody wanted it, Jamie stepped up and the keeper pulled off a wonder save. Corner. The ball was swung in and the right back who conceeded the penalty, sliced his clearance past his own keeper. 2-0.
Resolute defending from front to back kept Enfield out and ensured a fantastic result. Matt, Ben, Ollie, Benjamin and Joe grew in confidence as the game progressed, Michael, Jamie, Chris and Danny got amongst them not letting Enfield settle whilst helping to find Alex and Connor who battled from start to finish. It was Connor who took the man of the match award for his stamina and the relentless pressure he put on their defence.
This is without doubt the most satisfying result this season and goes to show that this division is there for the taking. Riverside next week will again be tough but with the physical strength of today and the fluid football from previous weeks Nascot will come out on top.
Well done lads.
Sunday 17th October - Gadeside 0 v 7 Nascot Wood
There's no denying that winter is on the way and the temptation to stay in bed on a sunday morning seemed to be a serious distraction to the boys as they were slow to start against a poor opposition.
Coming in 4-0 at half time was flattering as the flowing football we've come to expect did not materialize. The second half we showed more composure on the ball, keeping it on the deck and looking for passes rather than the long ball.
Connor continued his scoring form with another hat-trick, Jack netted a brace with Jamie and Michael grabbing one each.
Maybe great expectations have put more pressure than necessary on the boys, who did the job beating the team in front of them and keeping a clean sheet in the process. Credit goes to Matt in goal who had his busiest game to date. Man of the Match went to Joe who once again put in a strong performance.
With next week heavy on the mind of the coaching staff, it was crucial to get the performance and the attitude right. Three points next week will require a better display than this, but it's another win, an impressive clean sheet and three more points on the board.
Well done lads.
Sunday 10 October - Nascot Wood 6 v 1 Harpenden
Three home matches and three comfortable victories have put Nascot towards the top end of the table. Another decisive performance from all involved saw the boys ease past Harpenden 6-1.
Without Jamie, Matt took the captains armband and after winning the toss became little more than a spectator in 70 mins of one way traffic.
Jake opened the scoring within the first five minutes and with some slick moves and good use of the wide pitch, Nascot went in 4 up at the break. With such a commanding first half there was a lack of drive in the second half, players tried to do more than they should only adding a further two and conceding a sloppy consolation for the visitors.
The result was never in doubt and the football again was top rate. Michael put in a fantastic performance in the centre of the park and walked away with the Man of the Match award and two goals to his name. Danny scored a first half screamer, Connor notched a brace which together with Jake's opener completed the scoring.
Once again the boys have shown the composure and ability to put the ball on the deck and play attractive football. All performed well, in particular Alex gave Connor superb support upfront, the back four looked solid throughout and the midfield truly ran the show. The results have show that the boys have reaped the reward for their positive play. It's onwards and upwards!!
Sunday 3rd October - Nascot Wood 11 v 3 Croxley Guild
The beautiful game rarely lives up to such a billing but a truely masterful performance from Nascot gave hope to the football purists.
Against a large and physical side the team got the ball down and played sweeping passing football. Tearing Croxley apart with neat one touch passing Nascot raced into a three goal lead. The third a delightful header by Jake from a slick cross by Michael. As can often happen with such an easy start, complacency crept in and so did Croxley. A corner and dubious penalty pulled it back to 3-2 at half time.
The half time warning that this game wasn't over was duly heeded and Nascot played what the Dutch have labelled 'total football'. It was quick passing, making use of the wide men and putting in teasing crosses. Croxley had no answer as all eleven purple shirts played the type of football you expect to see at Highbury. Connor scored 4, Jake and Michael notched 2 each with Jamie, Alex and Ollie from the spot bringing up the grand total of 11 and the first time Nascot have hit double figures.
With great performances from all involved the Man of the Match award went to the Team as a whole.
What else can you say but Well Done to all the lads. A season of such displays will put us right up there.
Sunday 26th September - Nascot Wood 7 v 0 Sarratt
Expectations were high for the first home game of the campaign. A fully fit squad gave selection problems and ensured those on the pitch put in the effort.
Somewhat disappointingly a poorly organised opposition could only field ten players and Nascot made good use of the extra man getting the ball on the deck and wide early. Jamie kicked off the scoring with a peach, skipping round two challenges he hit an 18yd curler into the top corner with his left foot.
By half time the game was won, the football deteriorated as the opposition failed to offer any serious threat. Jamie grabbed a hat-trick as did Connor and Jack rounded off with a typical forwards goal.
There was good football in parts, and Nascot did what was required to beat what was in front of them. The back 4 can take confidence from a clean sheet, as can Matt who again commanded the defence well. Jamie walked away with the Man of the Match award after a dominant 90 mins and the type of performance we have come to expect from him.
3 points in the bag and we're on the move up the table!
Sunday 12 September 2004 - London Road 1 v 1 Nascot Wood Black
In what must have been the remnants of hurricane Francis, on a pitch that resembled the rough at St Andrews, Nascot played some top rate football in a friendly against a strong opposition. London Road from the division up with home advantage were all at sea and lucky not to lose to a Nascot performance that promises much for the rest of the season.
Slow to start, Nascot were off the pace and could not argue with the opener from London Road. A swift counter and a simple finish at the far post put us on the back foot. Undeterred we battled on and started to find our feet. Making good use of the rolling subs, we managed to mix it up and keep the opposition guessing. It was a tactical reshuffle that lead to the equaliser. Having started on the bench Chris came on as a makeshift striker and won us a penalty. Having scrapped the ball from the opposition, a swift turn brought a rash challenge and a somewhat indecisive ref made the correct decision. Jamie calmly stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way to level the score.
Half time and some words of encouragement from Matt worked wonders as the lads came out fired up for the second half. Although unlucky not to score and put the game beyond London Road, Nascot played some superb football finding good width and space on a difficult pitch. A winning goal would have topped off a truly dominant second half performance.
Possibly the toughest part of the match was the man of the match decision but for causing the opposition all-sorts of problems and for his endless work rate Jake walked away with the trophy. Matt was back to his dominant self in goal and Alex impressed with his much improved second half, but it is important to recognise the standard of football played by all in the team.
A solid result and a blistering second half should give us all a confidence boost for the following matches.
Well done lads.
Sunday 5th September 2004 Hadley Wood 4 v 0 Nascot Wood Blacks
On a very hot morning, on a tiny pitch, we came up against the only team that we lost to in the league last season.
A great first half saw us control it for 30 minutes, playing some great football, but we could not score. They went one nil up right on half time, when they put a corner in from the right. There was a hint of hand ball but at the same time our defence stood still and watched as there player controlled it and fired it into the net.
The second half was a totally different story. They scored three goals, which they certainly shouldn't have, either by sloppy defending, or by bad refereeing decisions.
All in all though, they were a very physical team, who did the basics well.
Nascot can take some great football out of the game, and keep their heads up and move on.