Wednesday 4th November saw a gargantuan struggle at the foot of Newcastle University Intramural football. Chamakh my Pitch Up took on Rodallega Bombs; for teams yet to register a single point this was a chance for both to kick start their season. Unfortunately for Chamakh they still remain rooted to the foot of the table after an entertaining but heavy loss.
The end-to-end tone of the game was set from kick-off when Chamakh fed the ball to their left wing through the tricky Robbie Horton and ran at the Bombs’ defence. The first chance of the game fell to the impressive Bombs striker Mike Brown whose tame effort rolled wide. Brown was in the middle of the action once again when his height drew the Chamakh’s defender’s attention leaving his shorter strike partner to force a good save from Rob Winstanley, who recovered to claim the following cross. Winstanley had to be sharp again to keep his team level minutes later when a delightful chipped ball from Bombs’ midfielder Tom Bradwell was smothered bravely at the feet of the striker.
“The goal seemed to breathe new life into he team and they strove to assert their dominance”
A lack of combativeness from both teams in midfield was leading to a very open game and it was no surprise when, in the 16th minute, the deadlock was broken. A chipped ball over the top found Chamakh striker James Bannister in behind the Bombs’ defence. Cutting inside he curled a delightful finish over the keeper into the top right corner.
Bombs had a great chance to equalise through Mike Brown minutes later when a driven ball found him unmarked 12 yards out but he failed to make a proper connection and the chance went begging. Bombs did not have to wait too long to equalise, after the first spell of pressure in the game they eventually found a way to draw level. After a spell of corners the ref spotted a player climbing and, despite the howls of protest, pointed to the spot. Brown made no mistake and Bombs had restored parity.
The goal seemed to breathe new life into the team and they strove to assert their dominance. This concerted pressure was most obvious in the contrasting styles of the two teams: whereas Chamakh were content to attempt to try to break Bombs’ defence down by balls over the top, their opponents started to move the ball at pace and use the width of the pitch. This told in the 38th minute when a poor clearance from the Chamakh keeper fed the Bombs striker who passed it under the dive of Winstanley, who will not have been pleased to have conceded in such a manner. Minutes later Bombs’ made it 3-1 when Captain Jay Kirkham went on a mazy run before cutting in on the left side of the box and hit his shot near post, through the keeper.
With the half fading to a close amid utter Bombs domination Chamakh gave themselves a lifeline. In stoppage time they hit a long ball forward where Bahrami stayed cool to round the keeper and slot in.
A goal on the stroke of half time could have buoyed hopes in the Chamakh camp and despite their half time claims that “there was no reason why we can’t go on and win this” the second half proved to be a very one-sided affair.
It got off to a disastrous start five minutes after half-time when an unmarked header was smartly saved by Winstanley only for one of his centre backs to decide to volley it into his teammate and into their own net.
Robbie Horton and Bahrami provided an outlet for Chamakh but it was their defenders who were guilty of dallying on the ball too often. This forced a succession of corners and in the 57th minute the score line started to edge towards the embarrassing, when Brown scored yet again to make it 5-2 with a beautifully struck shot from the edge of the box. Another horror show from the defenders three minutes later allowed a simple ball to run all the way through and Elliot Brown was allowed to slot a tidy finish past the stranded goalkeeper. Chamakh made it 7-2 when Jay Kirkham hit a shot from range that looped over the keeper.
“Robbie Horton and Bahrami provided an outlet for Chamakh but it was their defenders who were guilty of dallying on the ball too often.”
By this point Bombs’ were breaking at will and Tom Bradwell picked the ball up just outside the box, darting to the byline before cutting in and passing it in at the near post. With the score at 8-2 and only 70 minutes gone the game started to open up with both midfields tiring. Behrami seemed to feed off this and several times broke through, but was unable to find the final ball to unlock the Bombs defence. However, it was in fact Bombs who scored next when a simple chipped ball over the top came to the onrushing Jack Millington who volleyed home through the disheartened keeper. It was Bahrami and Chamakh who did end up having the last, albeit pointless, word when Bahrami robbed a Bombs centre-back and slotted past the keeper.
In an end to end game Chamakh will be disappointed with periods of it where they let it go and conceded goals in clusters. Ultimately however, it was Rodallega Bombs’ ability to move the ball better and defend more decisively that won them their first points of the season.