Barnes Stormers finally found their groove and secured their first win of the season as they beat Victoria Line Velocity away at Clapham Common by 5 goals to nil.
Barnes Stormers took to the road on Sunday, bottom of the league after a rocky start to the season, to face a VLV side who were sitting comfortably a few positions above Barnes in the table.
The first 15 minutes was an edgy affair, perhaps due to a few debutants on the Barnes side with Jack making his debut at CB whilst Johnny, Elias and Hussain all earned their first starts of the campaign. Initially neither team did much to threaten at goal but it was Barnes who were able to work their way through the gears and turn it on and dominate in the middle of the park. It gave them a good stepping stone to distribute play and begin putting threatening crosses into the box. Jacko dared to dream that he had come up with the breakthrough goal when he cross/shot swung to the top corner but the VLV keeper pulled off a top save to push it onto the crossbar and away. Minutes later another cross in had Mo rattling the woodwork, Barnes were really on top now and it was yet another break into the box from young Deschamps that won a penalty. Kai stepped up to slot it home but again the VLV keeper stepped up and pulled off a cracking save to deny Barnes the lead. With just seconds to go in the first half it was another break from a spell of passing midfield play that let Jamani breakthrough, see the keeper off his line and lob the ball over and into the back of the net for his first of the campaign.
0-1 Barnes at half time.
"I delivered a clear message to the boys at half time," said Jacko, "The job ain't done yet, we need more goals".
The second half kicked off and Barnes picked up where they'd left off with wave after wave of attack. It didn't take long for Barnes to find a second and from there on in, the team oozed confidence. The Stormers seemed far more relaxed on the ball, stringing passes together to play it out of the back in a composed manner. The dominance shown by Barnes was demonstrated by James in goal who had very few saves to make (although he did come off his line several times to clear up loose balls and beat the opposition striker 1 on 1). There were some great goals scored from Hussain who got his first for the club, Mo kept his goal tally ticking over and Dae's hard work paid off with an assist for Liam's 2nd of the campaign and even bagging a goal of his own to open his account with Barnes.
Perhaps this victory was a long time coming, given Barnes' away record this season, something that was not lost on Jacko, "Our home record has been woeful but our last two league games on the road in the league have given us real reason for hope as we've picked up a couple points from draws against teams around us in the table. Look, Victoria Line Velocity were a good opponent and gave us a good, honest competitive game and I'm delighted with our cleansheet but we now need to kick on from this victory and continue to stack up the wins to move us back up the table".
Barnes Stormers return to Barn Elms for their next league match.
Lineup: James Clack, Tom Jackson, Mo Saibu (C), Jack McGarva, Rhys Williams, Elias Elhafedi, Johnny Sutton, Deschamps Campbell, Hussain Aulaqi, Jamani Johnson, Kai Francis
Bench: Lleyton Dulake, Liam O'Neill, Casey Walters