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January 2018

There's still a long way to go but, for most of us, we can't wait to get through this season and start again. Off the pitch, for the most part, everything has been fine - recruitment of new players aside. On the pitch, absolutely nothing has been going right.

The first week into the year saw the Women defeated by not just a record scoreline for them but a record scoreline for the club; 0-20. Peckham Town's win was also one of the least gracious victory's experienced by the team - music and celebrations after every goal like it was a cup final, physical and verbal abuse throughout the game, and, worst of all, our lone fan, who kindly volunteered to be linesman had to put up with a torrent of offensive language from the hosts' management and substitutes. Class.

The day before and the Men's 2nds dominated A.M.Y Reserves without scoring, conceded sloppily before relying on Andy Clay to smash home from the edge of the box after a bustling run from centre-back.

You know something is wrong when they have to employ match officials who are unable to move out of the centre circle and have to wear glasses

The following weekend made for better reading; the Men's 1sts bagged their first win of the season! A superb 4-2 defeat of Battersea Ironsides 'A' with a memorable first hat-trick for Louis Sinclair and a goal from Niall Sheehy in his first appearance in a year, since he emigrated to Canada - it was also his first competitive goal since September 2016, when he scored the winner in a 1-0 win over NPL Reserves at Mayfield Stadium. The 2nds bailed out of the League Shield in a rearranged match versus Warlingham Reserves and the Women bounced back with a close fought Sue Sharples Cup defeat to Hackney Women (1-3).

Then the rain began it's annual onslaught of grassroots pitches! The 1sts game versus Crescent Rovers was abandoned 20 minutes after it should have kicked off and the 2nds battled hard but lost 2-4 to Old Boys Clapham - another goal for Harry Linehan and a rare strike for Jamie Harvey. With the Crescent game rearranged, focus was shifted to the 2nds game against Chessington KC 'A' and, yet again, a fantastic performance ended up with nothing to show for it; a tight game ended 2-3 with Niall Sheehy and Louis Sinclair the goalscorers for the second time this month. The rescheduled Crescent Rovers game ended with very kind words from the hosts - but they could afford to be gracious after winning 6-1... Ryan O'Neill was pleased to score again after a six game drought.

The kind words and well-taken goal did little to alter the fact that the referee was perhaps the worst ever referee used by the league. You know something is wrong when they have to employ match officials who are unable to move out of the centre circle and have to wear glasses (or, in this case, remove them during the rain, meaning he could not see further than his nose - missing a blatant push in the box by one goalscorer and a horrendous shirt pull that resulted in another goal!)

The Men's 1sts have just 6 games left and the 2nds have 8 games left and the Women have 3 - 1 in the cup and 2 in the league. Whilst our female players can look at the table and hope to pick up 2 more points to match last season's tally, the men are both staring into the abyss of relegation, unless the great play manifests into some better scorelines.

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