Sunday 8th Dec
Clapham Common 1.30pm
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
From TOM WINTER at Clapham Common
With Jimmy 'The Boss' Lloyd sent on gardening leave following some indiscretions at a local night club last week, Tom 'Fergie' Winter was ask to take the reigns. Last season Tom played his part in picking the team which would eventually get relegated - was this a chance at redemption? We would find out. Suffering from the dreaded 'man flu' all week, and ignoring the future wife’s birthday, the Chosen One would not miss his chance. As the Reccy boys rocked up at what might as well be their new home pitch (Clapham Common) optimism filled the air.
Like all proper Sunday matches, only the 11 turned up – which meant my dream of only playing if needed went out of the window. The team picked itself, the Sunday league classic 4-4-2 - Radu between the sticks, a flat back four with Mario, Joao, Jamie, Miles, a midfield of Jordan, Andrew, Ben and Eddy and the deadly combo of Joe and Tom up front. Andrew would swap with Joe to keep our options open - simple.
The game kicked off and the early signs looked good.
With Reccy moving the ball better than in previous weeks, an early drive from Eddy resulted in the ball spilling to Tom - the keeper lost the race to the ball but a defender had read the situation and comfortably blocked the goal-bound shot.
More pressure followed and eventually Reccy would get their deserved lead, Jordan causing mayhem down the left flank, keeping to the by-line and beautifully cutting back to yours truly to slot into the corner. 1-0. As confidence soared the pressure on FC To Madeira mounted, a corner came a few minutes later and up rocked the big boys. Joao did his usual and smashed a wonderful header, a stunning reflex save from the keeper kept the ball out of the net but somehow the ball got played back in and Joao followed up his header with a left footed scissor kick volley. Brilliant - you might not see a better Sunday league goal - our own personal Ronaldo. 2-0.
As FC To Maderia collapsed Reccy started to enjoy volumes of possession, the third coming from some tidy work by Eddy on the left wing as he cross/shot the ball in. 3-0. Pure dominance.
But this wouldn’t be Sunday League without the dreaded collapse. FC To Maderia literally had nothing going on and then, out of nothing they crawled three horrible goals back. That old Sunday league enemy ‘the long ball’ and before we knew it - 3-3. How? What? Are you serious?
Shakespeare once wrote “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” and I’m pretty certain he was on about football….Tom ‘Fergie’ Winter made the big decision to change a team, that at times had played FC Maderia off the park. Ben swapped with Joao to sure up defence, Joao pushed up, Miles swapped with Eddy and Joe was told to play in a free role behind Tom – Andrew was to stay in the middle of the park.
The second half kicked off, with the everyone knowing the first goal would be key, and it came deservedly Reccy's way. A through ball by Jordan to Tom, who took it first time as the keeper came charging out 4-3. 10 minutes later and Joe in his free role worked some magic on the edge of the box to place a right footed shot in the corner 5-3 and Reccy were back on top. The sixth came from some lovely work from Andrew to release Tom down the wing to cross to Joe for a simple tap in. 6-3 - this had to be it.
How we didn’t score anymore I’ll never know. Joao had another header saved, Tom (pumped on drugs and goals) thought he would do a classic FIFA finesse shot by curling the ball in when through. This was then followed up by what might as well been an open goal when a long throw bounce past everyone to the penalty spot for an unchallenged header. How he didn’t walk away with his first Sunday League ever hat-trick I will never know...
FC To Maderia would claim a late consolation to make it 6-4. The first league win of the season, well deserved, some special mentions to Ben and Miles, on debut, who both played brilliantly.
Whisper it quietly, the talk on the common was that some team in red, with a charity sponsorship had finally turned up – "Barcelona" they said... no... "Reccy"... the English equivalent.
Well done lads.
For the first hour, everything went to plan.
Debut-boy Joel hit a brilliant opener, Jordan scored from the spot, Zaga Supermarket's half-time refreshments went down a treat and Recreativo started the second term looking dangerous.
So far, so good.
Faz's dodgy hamstrings flared up - impressively, he has now injured BOTH in just a handful of games - and, with no subs, we were down to 10 men.
And all hell broke loose.
Suddenly, it felt as if we had four men on the pitch, not 10.
The same Barking Mad players who looked 2ft tall in the first half felt like giants in the second.
Even Rich, at 6ft 10ins, was quaking under their might.
Reccy held firm for 20 brave minutes but things looked terminal when they Barking hit two goals in quick succession.
At 2-2 with 10 minutes to go, it felt like we could have lost 5-2, 6-2 or 7-2.
Some backs-to-the-wall defending took the clock past 90 minutes.
Job done? Er, not quite.
A shot was deflected from the edge of the box and looped towards goal - only for the ball to slip past Radu and for their striker to poke home.
Gutted. Heads fell into hands and the pointless trudge back to the half-way line began.
With Radu lying on the ground, and after minutes of will-he-won't-he-what's-going-on?-surely-notting, the ref... gave a free-kick.
Was it a foul? Well, the ref gave a free-kick. End of.
We'd been let out of jail.
But in the next attack we breached our bail terms and were sent straight back to the cells.
A handball given in the box.
Their striker steps up. Last kick of the game. Optimistic shouts of "ENCROACHMENT!" from Jamie.
And... over the bar.
Team: Radu, Ben, Jimmy, Rich, Mario, Jordan, Jamie, Joe H, Joel, Dan D, Faz.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Recreativo had been waiting for seven weeks to play again.
Yet that felt like nothing compared to this never-ending, nerve-shredding, backs-to-the-wall second-half that somehow ended in a draw.
And then to cap it all off, an inexplicable penalty shootout... that Reccy WON.
We took the lead early on when Joe H overhit a through-ball which somehow bounced over their keeper and into the back of the net.
It had shades of Begovic 2013 or, more famously, Pisano 2010.
OK, it may have been a little lucky. But sod that - I'm still impressed when I see anyone reach the box from the half-way line!
A Chippy equaliser squared things up but then Andrew R proved he wasn't lying about his Italian heritage with a real golazo from the edge of the box.
The half-time change of ends did us no favours - and not because of the usual foes of wind, rain or slopes.
No, it was the glorious early-winter SUN that did for us.
Looking across the pitch and up to the Chippy goal, every player was a vague Sunday League-shaped silhouette - making it virtually impossible to work out who was on which team.
Luckily for us, Eddy, Joe D and Jamie G simply tackled anything that moved instead in a heroic, ball-busting set of shifts.
Chippy were held at bay until the hour mark, when a thumped header levelled matters.
But some brilliant defending at the end - finishing in a Sam Allardyce-style 6-3-1 formation - stopped Chippy pinching another.
In fact, with Jordan and Tom W running themselves into the ground up front, we even had a few half-chances to snatch an improbable win ourselves.
But just as we were back-slapping and high-fiving at the final whistle rumours started spreading that, this being a cup group match, we needed a penalty shootout. A penalty shootout!
Excitingly, though, it WASN'T to decide a winner - just to separate the teams if we go on to finish level in Group B. Football's most sickeningly tense tie-breaker reduced to a function of satisfying admin.
Successful spot-kicks from Joe H, Andrew R, Faz and, just about, Jimmy L, left it 4-4 going into the final round.
Chippy's fifth brave soul then blazed over, Roberto Baggio style - leaving Jordan to tuck his away his penalty and secure an unlikely shootout win.
No more rest for now, with our next match seven days - rather than seven weeks - away.
But happily the enforced break did help us achieve one thing - Recreativo are still unbeaten since September 22!
Team: Radu, Eddy, Jimmy L, Rich, Joe D, Jordan, Joe H, Jamie G, Faz, Tom W, Andrew W. Subs: Mario, Dan D.
Monday, 23 September 2013
Clapham Common. Here we are again. It is better than Wimbledon, where FC Junction are registered. But still.
We took the lead, new-boy Faz crashing home from a classic penalty box ding-dong.
I was personally chuffed for Faz, a striker who was playing at the back after an admin blunder, although it again reminded me that I am yet to score in five years for Reccy.
He had only needed 20 minutes.
Well, maybe I should have been concentrating harder, because they scored. Then they scored again. Bollocks.
Recreativo were playing some fine football though and Tom W fizzed home a a flick-on header from Tom W's free-kick.
There were some points there for taking - unfortunately, though, it was not us who took them.
Junction - or 'Junkies', as they like to be known - snuck through and made it 3-2.
With 20 minutes to go, Reccy knocked and knocked. Faz almost got a leveller, only to see his goal-bound shot blocked on the line - by one of our players.
That summed it up really for us. Full of potential, deserving of more - but not ruthless enough.
To make matters worse, just as the cycle back to Hackney begun - with kit bag on back - the heavens started to open.
Got back to a text from ref Nev: "You boys need to start winning." He is right.
Team: Radu, Jimmy, Jamie, Faz, Mario, Dave P, Nathan, Tom P, Tom W, Jordan, Joe H.
Goals: Faz, Tom W
After two weeks of normal football scores we were due a Sunday League classic - and boy did we get it.
Ladzio, our old sparring partners from the Premier Division have, like us, fallen on slightly harder times.
A couple of years ago this was a top-flight, top-of-the-table blockbuster.
But now in the Championship - away from the prying eyes of the tabloid reporters and Sky cameras - we are free to play out crazy ten-goal thrillers at the Marshes.
Forced squad rotations saw four more Recreativo debuts - taking our total number of players this year to 22. Twenty two! And we still only had the bare 11 out there.
Some sloppy defending led to three first-half Ladzio goals, all speedy breakaway moves that were tidily tucked away.
Disaster struck when Ladzio made it 4-0 just after the break.
But you know what? We started scoring. Finally.
Was it the Mourinho-like tactical shake-up at half-time?
No. More likely the refreshments kindly provided by the Zaga Supermarket, Clapton.
Actually, no again. It was most likely the series of brilliant free-kicks from Joe Haley - and the deadly conversions that followed.
First, Tom W flashed a header into the far corner.
The ginger Pele was at it again when he sent in another for our Italian new-boy Toni to flick in. Game on.
Ladzio were on the rocks now and Toni scored a cracking solo goal, picking up a long-ball, driving through their backline and slipping past their keeper.
Fifteen minutes earlier we were on the end of a proper hammering. But now, at 4-3, and Joe H sending in his laser free-kicks were we right back in it.
We were not even put off by a Ladzio goal. 5-3, with 20 minutes to go. Twenty minutes!
Andrew R - who had hit the post at 4-3 (I think. Who really knows what on earth was happening in those zany 25 minutes?) capped an impressive second-half performance by scoring from another Joe H free-kick.
But then. Another goal from Ladzio finally killed off a ballsy Reccy fightback.
If Recreativo 2010 or Ladzio 2009 could have seen this then they probably would have all stopped playing and just starting talking about the global economic collapse for a bit of light relief.
Yet we displayed enough guts to show we might get something out of this year.
Team: Radu, Dan D, Jimmy, David B, Eddy, Jordan, Joe H, Tom W, Paul C, Andrew, Toni. Goals: Tom W, Toni (2), Andrew
Monday, 9 September 2013
Gregg M writes:
The sunshine gives in and rainclouds open just as I start cycling to the Marshes for the first game back after what has been actual summer.
I don't want that to be a omen, I think, but it sure feels like one. Summer's gone, Sunday defeat is back.
But it's just a shower, and it's a great day for football. Recreativo are down a division and it feels good to be back, it feels like a weight is lifted. There's even new kit.
And there's a lot of us. A squad of fifteen feels luxurious. Not that we get much of a chance to say hello to the new faces, barely enough time for warm-up giving a more familiar sense of what it is to turn out for Reccy.
The first half gets underway with us playing into the wind. So nature, and some true early season touches, keep us on the backfoot for a large part of the first 45 minutes.
Walthamstow, our opponents, are young, big and got to the pitch about an hour before kick-off for drills. It shows, but Radu pulls off a couple of great saves and their strikers misfire. A couple of blocks, and a good shout for a penalty by Joe H later, and the whistle for half-time goes with new centre-back Jamie struggling to find the ball in the long grass behind our goal, from where we've done a lot of fetching.
Sunday wouldn't be Sunday without the messiah and we have our own this week. Joao has snuck in during the first half, just to watch he said, but can't resist the invite to play a half at centre-back.
A couple more subs and we start the second half in positive mood. It seems a lifetime since we started a second half at 0-0.
With the wind we start to enjoy some time in Walthamstow's half, new striker Payman (?) looks spritely and passes are being picked. Half an hour to go and Reccy look most likely to register an opening day win.
Obviously, we concede at this point.
Twenty-five minutes go by, Joe H makes himself some space and fires over in this time, Jimmy Lloyd dusts off his boots to line up along side Joao in a defensive pairing circa 2010/11. We play some good football but nothing quite comes off up top. It seems like Walthamstow are going to take the three points on their short journey home.
But then, they hadn't read the script. A Second Coming isn't a Second Coming without a goal. Joao Spinola pops up with a nifty header from all of two yards to rescue a point.
In the remaining minutes we almost lose but for a heroic block by impressive new boy Mark, Tom W knocks a man three times his size off the ball, and Payman almost wins it for us but for a good save from their keeper.
Final whistle goes, 1-1, a nice, conventional scoreline to start the season. Given the amount of new faces it feels like a good result. And the atmosphere is good too, grown up, we have something to build on.
After a quick pint with the gaffer, Mario and Jamie in Homerton I text the absent Joe D the result, and ask him to guess who scored.
"Mega" he responds, "Radu?"
"Joao", I text back.
Team: Radu, Mario (Adam's mate), Dave P (Mark), Gregg (Joao), Jamie (Jimmy L), Jose, Tom P, Nathan, Tom W, Joe H, Jordan (Payman)
Monday, 25 March 2013
When will this winter ever end? Summer football at Clissold Park just can't come soon enough.
Another defeat here pushed us a little closer to Division 2 but on a day when nobody in the country wanted to play it was a top effort from everybody who made it.
Even the two Canadians making their Reccy debuts, Sandro and Robert, were cold.
It was the sort of day that, when you went to shout, your cheeks were frozen solid and could only just about manage a "KWWAAARRM UUURRN WRECCCCKI!!!" noise.
With only 10 turning up - including a dodgy emergency keeper - it was always going to be tough, especially in the howling Arctic wind on Clapham Common's frozen swamp.
But we tried playing a proper passing game until the end and Robert scored our goal after a brilliant Total Football move where the ball barely left the ground from one box to the other.
Got home to an email from Lyric's skipper Rob: "Cheers for the game!"
We seem to have been getting rather a lot of those messages in recent weeks.
Team: Jimmy Lloyd, Dan Davis, Joe Dunthorne, Rob Paddon, Mario Pisano, Robert Linhares, Sandro Damiano, Tom Winter, Jordan, Joe Haley.
Sunday, 17 March 2013
Proper Sunday football. Rain from all angles. Mud in abundance. A two minute warm up. Comedy defending (us), comedy shooting in front of goal (them). Hoofing. Squelching. And praying for the final whistle with still ten minutes left on the clock. However, amongst all this, a pretty decent game of football was played out against a team that wiped the floor with us last week.
Today it was a different matter, back on home soil, putting up more or a fight, we definitely made more of a game of it. If it wasn't for a very dubious decision to award Rio a penalty late on for 'handball', we could of easily taken a point. However, the ref, the mud, the final 15 minutes of sheer fatigue on an awfully cold and wet day, coalesced into an unmovable object that we simply could not get through despite 100% effort from all involved. Mud soaked, absolutely shattered and frozen to the bone, yet having taken part in a full blown game of football, it was a relief when referee Neville put the whistle to his lips and we could all head home.Never mind the result, top marks lads today for turning out on such a god awful day. Next up, Lyric away.
Team: Radu Atlas, Mario Pisano, Kelvin Brown, Joe Dunthorne, Gregg Morgan, Sam Ahiadevor, Tom Perret, Tom Winter, Dave Perret, Aaron Gayle, Joe Haley. Subs: Rob Paddon, Dan Davis.
Monday, 11 March 2013
Away day at Battersea Park. Empty the car of Recreativo Juniors. Fill it with Recreativo Seniors. Sorry about the mud. Boo as we pass the Emirates. Head down Farringdon Road, via Holborn because of road works and follow the river. South West London. Battersea. Fulham. Think big boned boys rowing along the Thames. Ben Fogle. James Cracknell. Nordic types off time trialling around Richmond Park on gorgeous Pinarellos. South West London. Feels like another country. Let's get this game over with and get back to Hackney asap. The oppo are struggling in the league, it's going to be a formality.
The half of team that have turned up warm up, all of us wondering how many times across the pitch we're going to stretch and sprint. Some of us dare not show we're knackered already. We're joined by the late arrivals, Dan who last pulled on a Reccy shirt 5 years ago, Tom who's travelled to Tooting wondering where we all are and Joe and Aaron who have no time to warm up because the ref is calling for the captains.A game of football ensues. We stare accusingly at Radu for the first two we let in and mumble the words 'slow', 'off' and 'his line', shake our heads, self satisfied that none of us are to blame. But the truth is we don't even get into their half. Jimmie G hops off after his calf muscle goes 'pop!' and Jimmy L's mysterious buttock injury holds out until half time. Tom P comes on and makes a fight of it in midfield, despite the mud bath. We let in another six, score two ourselves and pray the ref will blow his fucking whistle so we can all head home. He shows mercy and off we trudge. Nothing to say. Cold. Extremely cold. Shell shocked we stumble back to the car, desperate to fall into the arms of wives and girlfriends, desperate for sympathy, some hot dinner and telly. We get stuck in traffic on Holloway Road for what seems forever as the radio commentator blurts out that Suarez has put one past Spurs. Could the day get any fucking worse?!
Gregg M is on kit duty. Maybe after this defeat maybe he should just burn it? We feel for him as he has a house full of visitors. Wonder if he gives them the full account. 'Tell them we won 2-1 and you scored' is our advice.
Despite it all, we'll be back next week. Back on home soil with vengeance on our minds. Sort of.
Team: Radu Atlas, Mario Pisano, Kelvin Brown, Jimmy Lloyd, Jimmie Gregory, Daniel Hall, Joe Haley, Joe Dunthorne, Jordan, Aaron Gayle, Sam Ahiadevor. Subs: Tom Perret, Gregg Morgan.
Tuesday, 5 March 2013
JG writes: At last, a victory! And I guess a victory in sorts for all of us who made it down to the back streets of Tooting, some of us getting lost and arriving at the cemetery instead of the playing fields. Still, when we did finally make it, we discovered a fabulous little pitch surrounded by back-to-back houses and gardens. Despite a generous slope and being a little rough around the edges, this little oasis of green behind a grubby high street had a definite charm all of its own. A perfect arena for Sunday league football.
For those of us who had made such an effort to find the place, we were determined to give it a real go today. We started brightly, kicking downhill, yet despite bossing the first half, went in at half time at 1-1 (a sliced deflected own goal from a corner no less by...ahem...yours truly. Hooray! I was at least on the score sheet once more....followed by a Joe Haley strike for Reccy just on half time).
Second half, uphill, we found it a little tougher going. However, we dug our heels in and kept at it, defending set pieces, pushing forward, trying to keep hold of the ball. Our only major scare was when Radu picked the ball up from a back pass - luckily Sandmere blasted the ball wide from the resulting free kick and shortly after Joe H got his second. On came sub Sam, who arrived at half time after wandering the streets desperate to find us, and duly slotted home a third goal for Reccy.
A late near post header for Sandmere made it 3-2 in our favour and the last few minutes saw some first class Recreativo defending ensuring a trip down to the back streets of nowhere was worth it. Superb!
Back home to Tottenham beating Arsenal, a long soak in the bath before Shepherd's Pie, a bottle of gorgeous Rioja and legs turning to jelly half way through Countryfile. What a fabulous way to spend a Sunday. Well played everyone!
Team: Radu Atlas, Mario Pisano, Kelvin Brown, Joe Dunthorne, Jimmie Gregory, Gregg Stewart, Tom Winter, Rob Paddon, Dave Perret, Joe Haley, Aaron Gayle. Sub: Paul Cowie, Sam Ahiadevor.
Monday, 25 February 2013
No proper goalie. Missing shirts. Mismatched bits of kit. No one really in charge. A pitch furthest away from the dressing room. And against opposition who are standing in a circle clapping their captain's inspirational pre-warm up team talk. For fucks sake! With so many new players of late, emails flying about about management, team selection, responsibilities about paying the ref (who ever he is this week), Whats App and Teamstuff thrown into the mix, most of us take to the pitch just about remembering each other's names....
However, a half decent game of football develops, (the decent half from Clapham). Tom P and Tom W take turns in goal and both do an admiral job considering the amount of shots that pepper our goal. However, whatever obstacles Recreativo have faced with a constantly changing team, everyone out there gives their all again today. It's been a pretty disastrous season (so far) in terms of league results - but if we worried about that we'd have given this up ages ago. Yet with seven games left to go, plenty of players still wanting to play, the sunshine and good times and summer training sessions just around the corner, who knows, maybe Recreativo can celebrate ten years in this league with a new kit, a bright future and even some points on the board.
Back home with the dirty kit, to PSG vs Marseille on the box and a bottle of red wine to washes away the aches and pains. Time to look up the venue for next week's match....Earlsfield. Is that even in London? See ya there....
Team: Tom Winter, Dave Perret, Kelvin Brown, Rob, Mario Pisano, Jimmie Gregory, Tom Perret, Aaron Gayle, Joe Haley, Jordan, Rich. Subs: Kali Gregory, Stephen.
Monday, 4 February 2013
There's no 'Recreativo vs Lyric Celtic' chalked up on the Hackney Marshes Centre blackboard. The geezer from the council's saying the pitch hasn't been paid for. There's no opposition and no ref. How do we explain this to the new recruits as they traipse across the barren pitches looking for us. Text from Jimmy L to Jimmie G: "I bet you've missed the constant state of low level matchday terror!".
We decide to take our favourite pitch, miles away from the dressing rooms. Could the re-generation of East London not have stretched to building a monorail from the changing rooms to the North Marsh?
Finally Celtic show, referee Neville blows the whistle and we are away. A very good game of footy ensues but we concede two goals after 25 mins and a killer header from a corner right on half time.Tom P slots home a penalty (after the ref gave a hand-ball in our favour after the ball actually hits the Celtic defender's back!) and we're back in the game. A fourth Lyric goal late on belied the fact that we were very much in this game and the score somewhat flattered them. However, the new recruits looked half-decent, there's a renewed good vibe throughout the team and enough spirit and fight to get something out of the remaining matches coming up.
Team: Radu Atlas, Steven, Dave Perrett, Joe Dunthorne, Kelvin Brown, Jimmie Gregory, Tom Perrett, Tom Winter, Joe Haley, Aaron Gayle, Rich. Subs: Mario Pisano, Gregg Morgan, Sam.
Sunday, 13 January 2013
JG writes: Last time I visited Wormwood Scrubs, it was to visit my son, on the first day of a two and a half year sentence for gentleman's fisticuffs at Tottenham-Arsenal. He told me he'd look out of the cell and watch the Sunday football spread out across the adjoining park and wish he was out there playing for Recreativo again. So it was with slight trepidation I walked up past the Victorian prison and onto the scarred muddy pitches, thinking about the boys banged up in there and appreciating the simple and relative freedom of driving across London to play a game of football on a freezing Sunday afternoon. Today's opponents: Bacardi Sagna in the Super Cup Quarter Final.
The opposition certainly worked out a lot quicker than us that the key to this game was to play the match on the flanks. That's where there was still enough grass to grip your studs into, stay upright and make headway. Otherwise, the pitch was a mud bath.
3-0 down after half an hour, we managed to pull back two goals (Joe H and Ben C getting on the score sheet) and downhill in the second half with the wind behind us, we made more of a game of it. Five minutes to go and renewed Recreativo pressure looked like a late equaliser was on the cards. However, a last minute opposition break resulted in another goal for Sagna. Game over.
Not the end of the world after another decent Recreativo performance. Plenty of new faces in the team and good vibes throughout. And at the end of the day that's what we all want. Still, a win wouldn't go a miss next game. Hard luck boys. Well played.
Team: Radu Atlas, David Perrett, Joe Dunthorne, Kelvin Brown, Jimmie Gregory (Paul Cowie), Ben Chambers, Tom Perrett (Mo Salam), Joe Haley, Aaron Gayle, Adrien Allio (Valentin), Dan Hare.
Sunday, 6 January 2013
JL writes: It was just like the good old days.
No fights, a few laughs, a Gregory on the team-sheet — and a home defeat.
This Project Clapham side are top of the league and will thrash better teams then Reccy this season.
But we held our own and with a bit more luck might have nicked it.
Reccy fell behind but Joe H — the second smallest man on the pitch (behind our new keeper Radu) — levelled with a header.
Yet two sucker-punch second-half goals killed it off.
Adam’s worldwide network of dodgy scouts has produced an exotic-sounding roster of tiki taka stars.
Pablo (Spain), Valetin (France), Adrien (France), Radu (Romania) and Pete (er, Bristol) made us at least sound like a thrilling continental side.
In particular, Radu — a “pre-revolution” cycling champion in Romania — had a stormer in goal.
But that could just be down to the canister of “Goalkeeper Glove Glue” we clocked him using before kick-off!
We might have lacked killer touch as 2013 started with defeat.
But after the punch-ups and red cards of 2012 that could be a good thing.
JG adds:No handbags, no fisticuffs, no yellow cards, no broken bones. Just an honest game of football on Hackney Marshes on a mild January afternoon. Nice.
Having been a way a while it was great to return to this hallowed turf and see plenty of new faces, as well as some of the old heads. And despite both teams making a full on contest of the match, crashing into tackles, (keeper Radu's early 50-50 slide out of goal into a Clapham forward early on springs to mind), both teams played this game in a great spirit.
The football was good, Tom in midfield in the heart of the action and Aaron and Joe Haley linked up well to set up Recreativo chances. This was a more equal game than the 10-0 drubbing we had inflicted on us a few seasons back. But Project Clapham are a well handy side, currently sitting pretty at the top of the league.
So a final 3-1 loss after a hard fought game wasn't too bad and surely if we continue with this decent football we'll pick up a fair few points before the season's end in March. Hard luck boys, but well played everyone.
Team (roll on-roll off): Radu, Mario Pisano, Chris Chambers, Joe Dunthorne, Aaron Gayle, Joe Haley, Tom, Dan, Adrian, Valentino, Pablo, Jimmie Gregory, Pete.