It was the day everyone involved had been waiting for, the return of Saturday football and the crunch top of the table clash with the high-flying Scans (not to mention the BBQ to follow!)
After a good couple of training sessions the last 2 weeks to work off the Christmas pounds, the GAS boys arrived in good spirits with their attention focused on sending a message to the rest of the league and making a statement in the first game back, 100% focus and commitment was required.
All the early pressure came from the boys in gold who were pressing from the off and playing some cracking stuff down both flanks. The first goal eventually arrived after the ball was won back in midfield and Dominic was played down the line and drilled a lovely low ball across the box when Yan arrived at the back post to put GAS in front. It wasn’t long after the first went in that after some lovely play from Tommy, including a nutmeg on the centre back and a sliderule left footed finish, that GAS went 2-0 and Tommy celebrated National Ginger Day with his first of the game.
Saturday afternoon brought the curtain down on a fine year for GAS with a highly impressive record of 20 wins from 26 games, including 108 goals scored! Despite struggling to pull together the numbers for the game, all involved were keen to ensure the year ended on a high and to savour the evenings festivities with a win!
It was another extremely hot afternoon but GAS started on the front foot and could have been a number of goals up in the first 10 minutes but for some better finishing and surprisingly against the run of play their opponents for the day took an early lead as their prolific forward burst through the middle and sliding the ball into the bottom corner past goalkeeper for the day Gerd. The boys in gold were shell-shocked, but, knowing that they were controlling the game heads did not go down and it was a question of when, and not if, they would get the breakthrough. However, it was the dangerman from Drunken Leprechaun, who was anything but a drunken leprechaun, who got the next goal. Similar to his first, using his pace to break through and make it 2-0. It was a massive setback for GAS who had continued to create the better chances but they hit back immediately as the confused Frenchman Yan, took a throw-in in his stride and waltzed through the defence before bending one in the bottom corner, game on!
It was an unusually early start for GAS on Saturday as they prepared to take on French opposition (mostly) again in the form of Red Star with most players arriving before the morning was out, unlike our opponents.
After such a comfortable victory last week the message was clear and more of the same was expected from the boys. GAS got off to a pretty good start and creating some good early chances, most notably a lovely flowing move ending with Julian curling a peach off the top of the bar. With the opposition rarely threatening the GAS back line the forwards continued to press forward and got the lead their early dominance deserved as danger man Julian drove forward down the left hand side and cooly lifted the ball over the keeper into the bottom right hand corner of the net. However, in applying the finish the left winger immediately pulled up and signaled to the bench that he was in trouble and all hope it’s nothing serious.
GAS came into this game on a 3 match winning streak having scored 14 goals in the last 3 games. Confidence was high and you could see that in the players’ mannerisms.
It soon became evident that something was wrong though. Les Gaulois were nowhere to be seen. Not even one player had turned up so contact with the Les Gaulois coach revealed the opposition thought kickoff time was 4pm, not 2:30pm as scheduled.
After a good win the previous weekend, spirits were high when the team travelled to Pattaya to take on FC Planet.
FC Planet would surely be looking to seek revenge for the Cup Final loss last season and GAS were looking to record their first away win at FC Planet and climb up the league standings.
After the encouraging draw in midweek against the African Warriors, where the boys were unlucky not to take home all 3 points, it was crucial that the team got back to winning ways against an opponent who secured the 3 points with a last minute winner at the beginning of last season.
With a new 3-5-2 system in play, the onus was on the wide players, Phillip and John to provide support to the attacking players and keep their discipline defensively. Much like the game last weekend GAS got off to the perfect start with an early goal that they play so far had deserved. After winning the ball back in defence it was played out with to John to whip the ball in to the back post where Thomas hit it first time in off the post, a good team goal.