After a decidedly unsuccessful first season, finishing dead last in the Fortune Green 5-a-side league, West Hampstead Wanderers FC disbanded, splitting into two separate teams for the start of the new season. Dan reports on their first encounter.
Despite the new teams – West Hampstead Athletic and Soldiers of Fortune (Green) – maintaining a core of the old Wanderers players, both sides recorded victories in their respective opening games. But this positive start was bound to end for one of the teams as match day 2 saw the former team-mates go head-to-head for the first time in what must now be the ultimate North London derby.
This rivalry brought out the best in both teams, and what resulted was an incredibly tight, hard-fought match. The energy levels were high, the quality of the football higher.
The Soldiers opened the scoring, but Athletic soon drew level. Goals were harder to come by than in previous matches, thanks mainly to sterling displays in goal by the two keepers, and some brilliant defending.
With about a minute left to play, and the scores level at 4 goals apiece, everyone on the pitch turned their dials up to 11. In the end, a late goal from Thom Hoffman handed the win to the Soldiers of Fortune (Green). But never have cliches such as “it could have gone either way” and “both teams deserved to get something out of the match” been more applicable.
It was a fantastic game to be involved in, and I can’t wait for the return fixture.
Final Score: Soldiers of Fortune (Green) 5 – 4 West Hampstead Athletic.