Yes, you’ve read that right. Not a great day at the office for a decidedly out of sorts Convocation XI, and that really is saying something! A poor performance all around, perhaps for everyone bar Mr Round himself, with our man between the sticks helpless to do anything about all 7 goals that our hosts scored. Indeed, a fine save in the 20th minute after Sacre Coeur had waltzed through our team again (and it wouldn’t be for the last time either!) was al for nothing in the end, with the home striker being the first on hand to the parried shot to tuck his side into a 20th minute lead. In truth, it was nothing less than either team deserved at that point, as Sacre Coeur had dominated possession, and Convo had squandered it, throughout the opening exchanges.
That goal opened the floodgates however. Lewis was swapped with Kent to move into CM, with the latter taking his place up top and forced into an afternoon of ploughing the loneliest furrow on Merseyside on this particular gloomy Saturday. When Convo first arrived at the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields, Farrell was told by the staff that “you’s aren’t meant to be playing here today”. A quick check of the bookings saw this error addressed, but if we’d known then what was yet to unfold, we probably should have made our way back home. Oh if only …
4 further home goals were added by the home side in a ruthless 10 minutes, with Convo mistakes punished mercilessly. The one good move that was put together by the men in black and white, the kit change enforced by the home teams blue attire, was dispatched with aplomb. Great work by Long, who barged past a couple of Sacre Coeur players was completed by Kent, dinking the ball over the home keeper with an audacity that was completely at odds with everything (and I mean everything) that we had serve up until that point. A sixth strike by the hosts took any wind out of the sails just on the stroke of half time, Sacre Coeur 6-1 Convo.
With the game now comfortably out of our reach, and some frank home truths addressed at the interval, Convo took to the pitch to address some of the issues of the first half. And to be fair, the second half performance was better. Far from being any of the best football that this side has ever played, there was at least an intensity and desire that had been missing in the opening 45 minutes, reflected in only 1 goal being shipped, and a few chances being created. Convo could have had a penalty too in the closing stages, but even that would have glossed over what was a truly bad day for Wyncote’s finest.
Anyway, onwards and upwards and all that jazz. MOTM award? Probably the only player who came away with any credit, for the second week in a row this goes to Round. Purely for keeping his head up whilst all around him went to …. Well, you get what I mean. Some good saves too to keep the goals against column down.
Anyway, lets just forget this one and move onto the next one …
Starting XI: Round, Greene, Prendergast, C Barlow, J Barlow, Irakiza, J Welsh, Kent, Galy, J Long, Lewis. Subs: Farrell, Cromie, McNally, Salgado
So, after the shortened experience of the 2019-20 season, and the vastly elongated summer, Convo are back! Unbeaten, but also winless after two games … how very apt for UoL’s finest alumni team.
After the hard fought 2-2 draw with MHS on the first day of the season, we returned to the rolling astro of Mather Ave, for our first home game of the season against KCC, at team who were 4th in Divison 2 when the leagues were cancelled earlier this year. A stern test then for Convo, who had been busy in the transfer window, signing a plethora of new signings who surely hadn’t been warned about what they’ve let themselves in for …
Round would start in goal, following his now obligatory hop over the wall from his home overlooking the pitches, ‘protected’ by a back four of Farrell, Prendergast, and two new signings, Chris and Jon Barlow. You know, Gary’s lads. I’m sure they’ll be in the “Back (4) for Good” …
Familiar faces took the wing in the form of Parsons and Kent, with Lewis and Salgado playing in a midfield 3 with new signing Halliday. Huws would start up front, ploughing the loneliest of furrows on what was an unseasonable warm September day in South Liverpool. Vice Captain Welsh (skipper for the day in place of McNally who was deputising for the Vets, along with our resident Frenchman Galy), Divin, Crombie, and further new signings Russell and Greene would make up the bench. Another new signing (I know, like Chelsea aren’t we, splashing the cash on sign on slips) Callum would miss out, still sporting bruises from the previous weeks Battle of Thomas Lane.
The tropical temperatures that adorned Allerton meant that neither team was going to press too hard early on, with both sides happy to let the other have the ball in the opening stages. In truth, it was a cagey first half, with neither side creating too much. Huws was sent through by Farrell early on, but fluffed his lines and fell in a heap when through on goal, the advancing keepers presence seemingly flooring the Welshman as he soared through on goal. KCC had the best chance of the half, when J Barlow gave away a penalty, the referee adamant that the left back had caught the man before the ball. The men in (light) blue and white asked the ref to show some “Patience”, but instead had to “Pray” for some heroics from the keeper. And, cometh the hour, cometh the man, with Round beating away the spot kick and ball hacked away to safety afterwards. HT – 0-0.
After the team talk was done, the second half was underway, the opening 10 minutes or so being notable for a couple of subs, with Farrell and the injured Huws being withdrawn for Russell and Divin, back from his sojourns around Europe. It had been an industrious showing from the Welshman, who will unfortunately miss the next couple of games after a heavy challenge from the visiting CB. The changes seemed to fit in seamlessly, but shortly after the visitors took the lead, a scrappy goal from a cross that perhaps should have been dealt with, but how many times have we said that over the years hey!
But this seemed to stir Convo into action. The injured Halliday was withdrawn, and Welsh and Crombie entered the fray, with Kent coming off as well. A free kick won well into the opponents half was laid down by Crombie. The telepathic Farrell remarked to Kent “I have a bad feeling about this one”, expecting the set piece to go the way of many down the years at Wyncote, and end up beyond the walls of the astro. Oh how wrong you were, Mr Chairman. Crombie leathered the ball sweetly, and though it was straight at the keeper, the dip deceived the visiting cat, and Convo were level.
But it soon got better, with Convo performing one of those quick fire double-salvos that they have in their locker. A poor clearance by the KCC keeper, who up until this point had rocketed every kick he had down the field into Rounds area, ended up bouncing out 25 yards out to …. Well, who’s this running onto it …. A man of talent and eloquence to strike from midfield … no!!! It’s Welsh, the former GK turned centre back who had deployed himself in centre midfield owing to Halliday’s injury. Yet here he was, stiull with it all to do to haul his team in front. And give the man his due, it was a great connection, sending the ball back towards the opposition goal and nestling in the back of the net. Convo 2-1 up and good value for it too.
However, after this, the heat and early season nature of the game seemed to take its toll on Convo. The last 20 minutes or so saw KCC have a handful of good chances to equalise, with Round pulling off two brilliant saves. Yet Prendergast and C Barlow were leading the line well, and resisting the greater pressure that the visitors were now exerting. Credit too to J Barlow, who did a fine job in marshalling ‘that quick lad’ on the visitors right wing, and Lewis and Salgado were working hard too to give the back 4 some respite. The pace of Parsons, Russell and Crombie kept KCC honest at the back, but it was they who would score the final goal of the match, a shot through the palsm of Round nestling in the corner. FT 2-2.
Overall, not a bad start to our home campaign. Certainly not the “Greatest Day” we’ve ever had (I promise, I’ll stop now) but a point apiece was probably a fair result. Still unbeaten and still winless … would we have it any other way?
MOTM – Round. Could have gone to any number of players this, Jon at LB acquitted himself well against a tricky opponent, the CBs of Prendergast and Chris marshalled the back 4 with authority, and Halliday was superb in the middle at breaking up attacks. But for 2 or 3 fine saves, and a penalty stop to boot, it can only be Round this week. Superb, young man!
Mabon and Mike Kent (penalty) scored.
Convocation (4-5-1): Round; Galy, Prendergast, Greene, Parsons; Salgado, Long J, Bloor, Kent, Lewis; Huws; Subs: Barlow J, Russell, McNally, Farrell (unused)
[JF] Poor game.
[JW] Convo 2 goals to the good inside 15mins from Matty Shore and Andy Parsons. Callum was then sent off on 20mins.
We conceded and OG after about 35mins - free kick es crossed in, lack of communication meant Chris B flicked his header over matt round and Prendy couldnt clear of the line.
60mins Mabon scored a good team goal to make it 3-1 after a Breno assist.
85mins they made it 3-2 from a long range effort that Matt Round couldn't keep out.
Convocation (4-5-1): Round; Barlow J, Barlow C, Prendergast, Farrell; Long J, Bloor, Welsh J, Shore, Parsons; Kaye; Kent, Lewis, Salgado, Crockett, McNally, Huws
Convocation (4-5-1): McNally; Byatt, Barlow C, Prendergast, Barlow J; Long J, Bloor, Halliday, Shore, Parsons; Kaye; Subs: Crockett, Farrell, Welsh J
Convocation (4-5-1): McNally; Byatt, Barlow C, Prendergast, Farrell; Long J, Welsh J, Halliday, Lewis, Kent; Round; Subs: Kaye, Abussnena, Barlow J
[JW] Scorers: none. We got battered.
Convocation (4-5-1): Round M; Ross, Byatt, Welsh J, Barlow J; Cromie, Nawrocki, Long M, Kent, Parsons; Abussnena; Subs: Round Jnr, McNally, Barlow C