PHILIPPINE UTD CONTINUE WINNING STREAK WITH 0-4 AWAY WIN AT HARPENDEN
With two games left to play, Philippine United have already gained promotion to Division 1, and this weeks game was against the gritty Harpenden Rovers, who incidentally are the oldest team in all of the West Hertfordshire league, as they were formed almost one hundred years ago, and a fine bunch of guys they are too. We beat them early on in the season 5-0 at home, so the fixture should have more or less been a formality, but the opposition turned out to be quite a handful, even though the score line of 0-4 suggests otherwise.
We started well, and almost went one up after only a minute was played, following a good low cross from the right, which Aniello Mone just missed. It was a half of table-tennis, with both teams missing chances, especially when Harpenden’s striker was one-on-one with our keeper, Keith Townsend, who saved brilliantly, to stop Harpenden from taking the lead.
We kept pressuring their defence, but mainly on counter attacks, as they were winning the battle in midfield, and the opening goal came from a great run down the left flank from Jeffrey Burgin (enjoying his new role in midfield) who put in a great low cross, and there was our goal machine, Aniello Mone to stick the ball in the net, making the score 0-1.
A lot of the good work came from the right side, with Jesse Arroyo, coming in at right-back, and acting as Captain for the day, and I have to say he played like one also. He was in the thick of most of our attacks, and really stood out with his enthusiasm and tenacity. Marco Ordona put a fine header in the net, but was ruled offside, so the score remained 0-1 at the interval.
As usual, I had a few words, about how complacent we were, probably because we had already gained promotion, and we did not look as hungry for the victory as we usually have been in the past. I told the players to release the ball quicker, because Harpenden were not letting us settle on the ball, just like other teams who we have played against. I have noticed that when we play teams for the second time, they do not allow us the same time on the ball, and we have to change our tactics, and change we did, as for the first twenty minutes of the second half I do not remember the opposition getting inside our half once.
Hard man, Marco Ordona, got back into his usual dominating self, after a few words in his ear from me at the break, and as I have always said, when our midfield is firing on all cylinders, we are unstoppable.
The second goal came when a ball went running loose, in their penalty box, and there was Garey Reyes to thunder home a great shot into the roof of the net to make it 0-2.
Harpenden who had given their all, started to tire, and it was inevitable that more goals were to come, and sure enough they came, with a third goal, from Raymond Tordecilla, putting the ball home with a cheeky touch from close range to make it 0-3. Then, shortly afterwards Aniello Mone scored the fourth, making it 0-4, and taking his tally to 43 goals, meaning he will need to score 7 in our last game next week to make his total 50 goals for the season, which would be a brilliant achievement. He may not get 7, but I know he will get some. LOL.
The final score remained at 0-4, and would have been a lot more, if not for their excellent keeper, who made some fine saves all throughout the game.
Good performances came from Keith Townsend, who did well when put under pressure, with a couple of good saves. Jeffrey Burgin, Ryan Suyat, Michael Ceppilo, Garey Reyes, Marco Ordona also all put in solid performances. Jesse Arroyo, who had an excellent game in defence, just missed out on Man of the Match, which goes to Renee Banao, who was brilliant once again at the back.
A couple of weeks ago, Renee said to me that he had started a new job working nights, and that he might need to come off after one half, because he would be tired. Well he has been tired for the last two games, and has been brilliant both games, so keep working nights Renee. haha LOL.
Also for all you PUFC fans in England, our End of Season Party will take place next week, after our last game away to Hemel Hempstead. So let us see you all at the game to give us a good send off for the end of a great first season. Check the website for details on the party, which will be held in London, from 7pm onwards, Saturday night, on the 22nd of May.
Keep the faith, and you will hear from me for the last time next week. Take care.
Yours in Football,