Match Report | Charlton Invicta 3 - 2 Barnes Stormers
Updated: Nov 19, 2021
Barnes Stormers succumb to a 3-2 away loss to Charlton Invicta in the teams' first ever 11 a side meeting in a mid-season friendly.
Facing Charlton Invicta away at Charlton FC's training ground was always going to be a trek for the Barnes Stormers South/West London based team and so it proved for a few of the late drop outs which meant a few tactical changes to the usual line up, primarily with Jacko starting in goal. However Barnes were able to welcome back long time injury absentee Lleyton to central defence along with Kai and Nuno back to both lead the line upfront and newboy Alex starting out wide.
Unfortunately, the team didn't get out of the blocks fast enough and Charlton's experienced midfield were able to take advantage of space in the midfield and pepper volunteer goalkeeper Tom Jackson with shots and crosses. One well placed shot from just inside the area was sent curling into the far side ofJacko's goal, unable to leap the full distance to get something on it. A second went in with goalkeeper and wingback miscommunicating allowing the opposition winger to take a shot that Jacko didn't get a good enough hand to and rolled in. Charlotn's third goal came from a goal mouth scramble with Jacko, Bricey and the oppo scrambling around keeping half chances out until Charlton were able to bundle the ball in past them.
3-0 to the home team, and Jacko injured (broken knuckle) meant a change with Casey filling in as goalkeeper and Jamani coming into the central midfield. Barnes made it through to half time unscathed with a handful of forays into the opposition half.
Half-time and Barnes were told what to do to get back in the game and with all credit they came out firing. It took Barnes a few minutes to get in their stride but when they did it was attack after attack resulting in cross after cross and shot after shot. One such movement allowed Rhys to attack up the left linking up with his central midfield to take it to the final third and whip in a cross for Jamani to bundle in - opening his account for his new club. A couple of free kicks from Nuno threatened but ultimately missed the Charlton net whilst Kai was a very real threat up top coming from deep and taking slightly longer range shots which had the keeper well beaten but ultimately the goal too and unfortunately neither of the strikers were able to add to their Barnes account.
At 3-1 and 10 minutes left, most teams would have given up but some real hard work from Alfie and Alex on the right forced a corner and from the resulting loose ball, Billy was able to cooly slot home. 3-2 and Barnes were still in the hunt, very much the stronger team in this second half and chasing down that equaliser. Again more shots followed but none hit the back of the net and time was still ticking away. With just 30 seconds on the clock, it was a Barnes corner with the nearly the whole team in the box, Billy hung back on the edge of the box. The ball rolled out to him directly from the corner, both teams held their breath as he wound his leg back for the shot shooting lobbing the keeper and just skimming the crossbar. Missed. Whistle blows. Game finishes 3-2.
In total, Casey faced 3 shots in the second half whereas Barnes must have had at least 15 - a telling stat of the dominant and resurgent Barnes side in this second half. Barnes can be be happy with their second half performance but it ultimately wasn't enough to counter a poor first half performance.
Barnes Stormers will be looking back at this match thinking 'what if' on several counts. 'What If? we had a all 16 players turn up on the day, 'What If' we'd all turned up on time and warmed up properly together, 'What If' we had a recognised goalkeeper for a full 90 minutes, 'What If' that free kick or shot had been on target, 'What If' we had played the first 45 minutes as we did the last?. If Barnes can sort these early season teething issues out, they will be a force to be reckoned with against any team.
Line-up: Tom Jackson (GK) (replacement GK: 35 mins, Casey Walters), Rhys Williams, Billy Brice, Lleyton Dulake, Alfie Cooper, Joseph Zubaidy, Casey Walters, Mo Saibu, Alex Twist, Nuno Nunes, Kai Francis. Subs: Jamani Johnson (sub: 35mins for Casey)