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  • Writer's pictureNorth Camp

The perfect start to North Camps campaign

After a perfect pre season, Dan Knight was hoping his troops could carry on their winning run in their first league outing against Southwood Royals. Four players were handed their debuts in a new look North Camp defense, GK Craig Hughes, RB and twitter sensation Ed Simpkin, CB man mountain Josef Schoenwerth and LB Connor Garnett.


Along side the new players and management, North Camp were sporting a smart new kit, with the only hiccup being Dan Knights anger at not being handed the no.17 shirt… despite only 16 being ordered.

One quick disclaimer before we get into the match report proper, as you read through you will notice quite a few missed chances. It could be suggested that our strikers need to work on their finishing, something that Dan might very well wish to address in training, however it could be attributed to the fact that the pitch wasn’t particularly level, especially in the penalty areas, leading to several unfortunate “bobbles” around the time that shots were taken… Schofield, Davis, there you go, its in the report as request. I take cheques and bank transfers.


The game got under way with North Camp playing their tried and tested 451 formation. They almost went 1-0 up in the first play of the game, with right midfielder Peter Jarmin pouncing on a loose pass and playing in Nathan Davis who blasted over from just inside the box. It set the tone for the rest of the first half, with the ample calved Luke Gurney and captain fantastic Tom Dallison winning the ball back regularly in midfield with a high press and quickly turning defense into attack.

Steve Schofield, who was on fire in preseason with 3 goals and 3 assists in as many games, got the next chance after a delightful chipped pass from Jarmyn put him through one vs. one, unfortunately his effort just went wide. There was still time for Nathan Davis to miss one more chance after being put through by Luke Gurney, before the first goal of the game.


Barnett took the ball on the half turn and played in Schofield one vs one, his goal bound effort was well saved but the ball rebounded towards the edge of the area, with the keeper out of position Nathan Davis took on a tricky shot first time, steering the ball into the empty net. Its worth mentioning at this point that Rob Rumbold has been continuing his great work photographing the team during games for the social media content. Davis spun away to celebrate his goal, with an empathic jump and fist pump, where he believed Rob was waiting to take a snap… unfortunately he ran in the opposite direction and instead of an epic celebration photo earned himself a d1ck of the day nomination.

As the half drew on the game became a little scrappy, and Southwood Royals took full advantage, scoring with their first and only shot of the game, the no9 ghosting in between Simpson and Schoenwerth to header past Hughes. 1-1.


The goal seemed to wake Southwood Royals up a little and they began to play more aggressively. They received the first and only booking of the game when their no.10 pushed an off balance Simpkin into his keeper Hughes as he was trying to collect a through ball. The free kick was given, but Schoenwerth didn’t hear the whistle. He chased back the loose ball that was goal bound and managed to clear it off the line, before a heavy collision with the post. It turned out the post had in fact come off worse and needed to be knocked back into the ground. After a little magic sponge treatment all three players were able to continue and North Camp tried to see the remainder of the half.


In the latter stages of the first half North Camp began to re-assert their dominance creating multiple chances, Schofield missed a good chance at close range before Davis missed a brace of chances. It was beginning to feel like “one of those days”, when finally North Camp did manage reclaim their lead. The impressive Simpkin played a long ball over the defense, and Schofield was in one vs one yet again. However he decided that instead of shooting, which wasn’t working for him, he would instead dribble the ball around the keeper and walk it into the net. 2-1 North Camp.

Shortly after the half time whistle arrived with North Camp leading 2-1 but going in a little dejected at only having a one goal lead.


Knight rang the changes for the second half, introducing Mo Ceesay into central midfield, Cody Harrison onto the right wing for Jarmin and Gurney slotting into left back for Garnett.


The changes breathed new life into North Camp, with Ceesay immediately dominating the midfield alongside Barnett and Dallison. It wasn’t long before the first chance of the half, Cessay’s short pass between the Southwood holding midfielders found Barnett in some space, he in turn played through Schofield. He was at an awkward angle and shot narrowly wide. There were a couple more half chances before the sucker punch arrived. With their first attack of the half Southwood crossed deep from the right side, and their no9 glanced his header goal ward. It hit the left post and went in, two chances, two goals and somehow the game was tied at Desmond 2-2.

In years gone by North Camp could have collapsed and lost or drawn the game, but nobody’s head went down and chances continued to be created. Knight introduced himself on the left wing, brought on team sponsor Dom Webber for an “injured” Gurney, before Davis came back on up top for Schofield who on another day could have had a hattrick but had to settle with just the one. In the final quarter of the game, Barnett put Davis through, he was well tackled just before he could get his shot away and North Camp won a corner.

Nothing came from the corner itself, but North Camp had men forward and continued to apply pressure. Barnett was fouled on the edge of the area, towards the left touchline. Up stepped Ceesay, the resident free kick specialist. He lined up to shoot, and fooled everybody by cutting it back to Knight on the edge of the area. Knights shot was wayward but was deflected into the bottom corner putting North Camp back into a well deserved lead 3-2.


In the final 10mins Gurney realised his injury wasn’t necessarily as bad as the ground pounding had suggested and came on for Barnett to help sure up the midfield and close out the game. Simpkin had other ideas and instead of trying to defend the lead he linked up well with Harrison on the right hand side, before nutmegging the Southwood LB and then nutmegging the keeper from a tight angle to make it 4-2. Lieberman then came on up top for his debut, and North Camp saw out the rest of the game without any drama to continue their perfect start to the season with a 4-2 win.



Dallison earned the Webber's MoTM award for his usual dominating performance as midfield general. Rectory Road Wanders next week as North Camp look to continue their winning start to the season.


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