Story & photo Rachael Shae
This weekend saw Suffolk Park blaze through the first round of the 2016 FFNC adult soccer competition.
In temperatures of up to 29 degrees players battled both the heat and first-game nerves.
With wins for the men’s first grade, men’s third grade and a draw for the women’s thirds, the season is off to a great start.
The men’s first grade kicked off their league campaign with a confident 4–0 win over Shores United. After the opening exchanges, with chances for both sides, it was Suffolk who took the lead with a classy finish from Cesar Fernandes. Following more heavy pressure it was that man Cesar again who doubled the Suffolk lead for a 2–0 HT lead.
The second half saw more dominant attacking from Suffolk and led to German Cerezo slamming home a third following a good break. The game was sealed when Douglas Lima got off the mark this season from the penalty spot.
Third grade played their first match at home against Casino FC. Matt Steel, with one eye firmly on retaining the golden boat award, took little time to dispatch the opening goal.
The whole team worked the full 90 minutes and stuck to the game plan. Coach Marty Stautner is excited with what this team can do, with some very good players emerging and a team that will certainly become even stronger as the weeks go on.
It was very hard to pick a best player in what was a solid team performance. Individual players showed their good qualities when positional moves were made and the structure stayed the same.
The full time score 5–1 (2–1 halftime) Matt Steel 3 goals, Tahnee Stautner 2.
The women’s third division battled low numbers and very hot weather against Casino on Sunday in a dramatic match that ended in a 0–0 draw.
The women played with determination and camaraderie, in very hot conditions with no subs. It was a competitive end-to-end game where both teams attacked and defended well and there was some quality football played.
The men’s sixth division played their brand new team against Alstonville, with a 0–2 loss. While Alstonville had an enviably large team, low numbers for SPFC meant that there were no subs, and no chance for anyone to catch their breath.
Sweeper Marcus being injured in the second half meant that the team finished with only 10 players.
Despite the loss this team has some really top-quality players and a great team spirit, and will undoubtedly become a formidable force as the season progresses.