In every season, there is a character building game for every team. Such a game helps to bond players together and teaches them lessons that hours and hours of training would not be able to do, NYF vs NYL was such a game.

Faced with frustrating decisions, little luck and team infighting, NYL showed their mettle by struggling all the way to the end. This game, which must surely be considered among the games of the season, would teach NYL the importance of keeping cool heads when faced with adversity.

It started very badly. NYL took centre, and Shurayh, NYLs attacking midfielder, made a routine pass back to centre back Abdullah. Due to a momentary lapse of concentration, a NYF player stole the ball and ran into the area completely unchallenged. The NYL goal keeper dived at the feet of the oncoming player. The NYF striker calmly went around him and placed the ball into the goal. 1-0. 15 seconds, such a fast goal will probably not be seen again this season. The NYF team celebrated as they could not believe how easily they had just breached NYLs defence.

The NYL players were in shock as they hadn’t expected to concede so early. Alim, the man of the match from last weeks game, rallied his team, “come on boys, we’ve got plenty of time, lets go”. NYL took the center again, this time Abdullah managed to keep the ball and sent a pass out to the right.

NYL were playing their favoured 4-5-1 formation. With the arrival of an old team mate, Musa, Nahidur was moved to the left of midfield. That would prove to be a stroke of genius. NYL began to get into the game but were finding stiff opposition from NYF’s midfielders. “Show some hunger, the’re winning everything!” Abdullah shouted as he sought to lead his team into taking control of the game.

NYL managed to get a ball into NYF’s 18 yard box, one of the NYL players shot and the ball hit a defender, and not for the first time in this game, Nahidur struck a loose ball which found its way into the net. NYL felt relief as they went level. 1-1.

The game restarted and NYF again bossed the midfield. At the halfway line, Nahidur tackled one of the players and started a drive towards the goal, with 2 NYF players flanking him. He found himself in the NYF area and shot, it went into the bottom right of the goal. An exhilarating run from midfield and doggedness to keep on going had resulted in another goal. 2-1 to NYL.

The NYL players jumped on Nahidur, they were estatic. NYF had been dominating the midfield but against the run of play, the had conceded another goal. It was time for them to go back to the drawing board.

After some good build up play, NYF found themselves with a throw in. They took it, one of their players got the ball and was fouled by Shurayh. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, Shurayh protested his innocence. Ziyad, NYLs right back, said “dont worry”. NYLs manager shouted “Make up for it” from the side lines. The NYF player stepped up and took an excellent shot to the right, the NYL goalkeeper remained rooted to his feet. 2-2.

NYF celebrated deliriously, game on! The NYL players began to show frustration. NYF chased every ball and hankered after all of the NYL players. In another attacking move, an NYF player received a ball in the goal area and was fouled by an NYL player. Another penalty, the NYL players were furious and began to argue with one another.

Up stepped the NYF player and scored in the same manner that he had done before. It was now 3-2 to NYF. Their supporters leaped joyously, blissfully unaware that there were more twists and turns yet to come. NYL retook the centre and tried to build something out of the game. They had had high hopes of winning this game but now they would be made to work for it.

Lacking rhythm, NYL couldn’t string a set of passes together and the players started to shout and swear at each other. Frustration can cause some irrevocable damage especially if you are already losing by a goal down. NYF entered, it seemed, at will into NYLs area. Another beautiful pass into the box was finished with aplomb and caused even more despair for a team that seemed to be coming off the rails. 4-2 to NYF.

Zaeem, NYLs talented right midfielder was getting very frustrated with his team. He began shouting at his players and got into an argument with Ziyad. He hated losing and just couldnt understand why his team were not able to play football today. The referee warned him about his conduct, his manager warned him about his conduct but it just did not quench the anger he felt.

Half time came and the NYF players walked off feeling very happy with themselves. They were leading by two goals against one of the better teams in the league. They had chased every ball, disrupted the flowing game that NYL enjoyed playing and seemingly scored at will.

NYL came off with some of the players still continuing their arguments, “Calm down!” the manager shouted, “Calm down and keep your heads!” The team gathered around for the team talk, Zaeem found his own space and tried to calm down. “Dont get frustrated otherwise you will lose the game, keep your heads and the results will come.” The Manager sought to prevent his team from completely self destructing.

After a few minutes the players returned to the pitch for the second half, Zaeem was left out of the start because the manager felt that in his frustrated state He would be cause more problems for his team then the opposition. Abdul Rahman started in his place, Zaeem went for a walk.

The game continued with NYL becoming more assertive, “The’re winning everything!” shouted one of the NYF players as they struggled in the first few moments of the second half. Shurayh received the ball and managed to evade his marker and sent in an excellent cross that evaded everyone and was headed by NYL striker, Alim who hit the cross bar. It bounced out and Nahidur poached the third goal for his hatrick.

NYL’s renewed vigour for the game had led to their third goal, it was now 4-3 to NYF. NYL hoped that his would be the start of a great comeback. Their hopes were dashed as again NYF scored again to make it 5-3. This time NYL’s response was to remain calm and play their way back into the game. Zaeem returned from his extended break and went into midfield.

NYF played the ball around and found their way into the NYL box. Their striker was shepherded by an NYL player who made an ill timed tackle for a third penalty. NYL were not quite sure what to do, up stepped the NYF player amidst screams of “Get your hatrick!” from the side line. He shot as he had done twice before… this time he placed the ball on the wrong side of the upright.

You could feel the collective sigh of relief from NYL, at last something was going their way. About 15 minutes into second half, Shariful, NYLs other attacking midfielder, was sin-binned for a late tackle on an NYF player. They had been warned by their manager to no avail. 2 goals down and the last thing that they needed was to go a player down.

The 10 minutes passed and Shariful came back on again. However, it was not long before Zaeem was sin-binned for a push on a player. Time was in short supply and NYL seemed unable to keep their focus. With 7 minutes to go Zaeem came back and proceeded to play a major part in a remarkable end to the game.

With NYL having nothing to lose, they kept pushing forward. One such move resulted in a goal mouth skirmish that saw Zaeem get his first goal of the game. 5-4. A few moments later, a hopeful shot from NYLs midfield came into the NYF box, Zaeem hit the ball with his heel. Incredulously it ended up in the NYF goal. All of a sudden from being 2 goals down, NYL were level with a few minutes to go. 5-5 seemed cruel to NYF who had dominated for the whole match, unfortunately for them they could do very little against the last goal, which surely must be a contender for goal of the season.

Abdullah cleared the ball out from his half, Shariful backheeled it to Shurayh who backheeled it to Zaeem. Zaeem, who had not used his skills for much of the game, made an audacious chip that would not have been out of place in a Brazil game. The ball floated through the air and landed in front of Nahidur who somehow was still running at full speed at this stage of the game. The team held its breath as Nahidur ran towards goal, He then unleashed a powerful shot which was slightly deflected and ended up in the back of the NYF goal. 6-5 to NYL with little more then 90 seconds remaining.

Nahidur scored the winning goal, His fourth of the game. His team mates jumped on him with adulation. No one could mind losing to such a goal, 4 exquisite touches and a deft finish by the man of the match. If anyone else had been awarded that, the NYL players probably would have rioted! The celebration following the goal saw Abdullah get sin binned and NYL played out the last few moments before exploding in celebration when the referee blew his whistle.

NYF walked off dejected and perhaps felt a little hard done by, they had worked their socks off but it had not been enough. They had led for most of the game but had lost to a magical moment of play from NYL. They could try to seek their revenge in the cup game the following week.

The first goal was scored after 15 seconds, 11 goals were scored in total. The lead changed 4 times, 3 penalties were awarded and 3 players were sin-binned. To cap it all, the game was won with a magnificent goal in the last few moments of the game. Its a pity that there were no cameras present as NYF and NYL participated in a game that will surely be become part of the leagues folklore.

Leyton Athlectic 1 NYL Prostars 3

NYL Juniors started the match to disrupt their opponents rhythm and for the first 30 minutes of the match LA could not get the ball out of their own half. Ashikur (Ricky) controlled the midfield battle and Zaeem, Shariful, Shurayh and Suhel caused all kinds of panic for the LA defence. All that eluded NYL was a goal even though you felt they would rack up a rugby score, much was NYL’s possession and flair on show. But much credit must go to LA and in particular their goalkeeper who continued to frustrate every NYL assault on their goal.

But disaster struck for NYL in the 32nd minute when LA’s first real attack resulted in a goal. As NYL’s frustration waned on, their full-backs were told to push forward more and a LA long ball caught the NYL defence on the counter-attack with only Abdullah and Farhan in defence. The big centre forward for LA got a clear run on goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot as little Hamza was left with no chance in the NYL goal.

If NYL could not be more frustrated than they already were, this goal certainly did it, and for the next five minutes NYL seemed disorganised and flustered, and little Hamza had to pull off a good save to deny LA another goal.

The game then took another turn just before half-time as Abdullah and Farhan steadied the NYL team and a quick NYL attack by Shurayh where he dribbled past three LA players before seeing his shot blocked by LA best player, their goalkeeper, only for the rebound to fall to the feet of Zaeem just inside the box, who let rip a fantastic left foot shot to equalise 1-1 for NYL.

The celebrations that followed the goal were a precedent for the rest of the game and the game went into half-time with the score at 1-1. The second half saw a rejuvenated and more determined NYL who again pegged the LA team into their own half, winning every ball in the air and on the ground. However, NYL’s attacks kept being pounded by the very impressive LA goalkeeper who was quick off his line every time and was by far their best defender on their pitch.

NYL’s breakthrough came in the 65th minute when some fantastic play by man of the match for NYL, right back Ziyad, and Zaeem played some fantastic one-two football to find Shurayh who let fly a thunderbolt that left the keeper with no chance, and to score the all important goal that led NYL to a 2-1 lead. The celebrations for this goal eclipsed the relief of the first and even manager Kamal Siraj got in on the act only to be warned by the referee not to jump onto the field of play.

The 70th minute saw a string of changes for NYL, with the impressive Ashikur and Suhel being replaced by Abdul Rahman and Aziz respectively, and striker Alim being replaced by Ferdous. And in the 76th minute it was these boys that linked up well to put the game beyond doubt. Abdul Rahman was quick to get into the action and tested the keeper with a fierce 30 yard shot that was just saved by the keeper, and his appearance seemed to give new energy to NYL. He and the ever present Shariful running the midfield show. The third goal came from a good run from Nahidur on the left wing feeding the ball to Ferdous who set up Abdul Rahman who scored from in the six yard box to make the score 3-1 to NYL and to cap a brilliant NYL performance with his first ever goal for NYL.

What impressed the most about this performance was the attitude and the determination of the NYL players who looked hungry. The end result flattered the LA opposition who were really never in the game and the mentality of the players to come back from a goal down needs applauding, in particular the performance of Abdullah and captain Farhan, who were solid in the central defence. Well done boys, keep up the good work.

Team Ratings

Hamza (7 – had little to do, made two good saves in the game. Looked comfortable in goal)
Ziyad (8 – played his heart out through the pain barrier as he carried an Achilles injury, but still did not shy from any tackles. Man of the match performance)
Abdullah (8 – has formed a formidable partnership with Farhan, looking composed and accomplished. Won everything in defence)
Farhan (8 – a captains performance, was superb in defence)
Nahidur (7 – can run up and down that field all day! Too much energy for words and linked well with Suhel on the left)
Ashikur (Ricky) (7 – controlled the game from the beginning, had a hand in every move and won that midfield but tired near the end)
Zaeem (8 – scored an important goal, and was a constant threat down the right flank with his trickery)
Shariful (7 – Mr. Stamina of the year, was determined and aggressive on the pitch, a fantastic performance but got booked for needless unsportsmanlike conduct)
Shurayh (7 – expecting a lot from Shurayh this season and he did not disappoint and got on the scoresheet)
Suhel (7 – was always a threat, missed a great chance but his performance was great, in particular the way he covered Nahidur on the left)
Alim (6 – missed ample of chances but he kept at it. Opposition defenders were rightly afraid of him! Tired during the game)
Abdul Rahman (7 – Came on to score the 3rd goal and did Ricky’s job fantastically winning everything. Extremely pleased with his performance and hope he keeps up the good form)
Ferdous (6 – came on as a sub and set up the 3rd goal, made some very good telling runs)
Aziz (6 – played a part in the 3rd goal but needs to put his training performances into the match)

NYL Prostars 7 Walthamstow 0

NYL Juniors second game was against the team that failed to turn up for the NYL Allstars first game. NYL were hoping to start the game much in the manner they played against Leyton Athletic last week, but the truth was NYL did not even get out of second gear and did not need to.

From the onset NYL dominated this match, and as much a spirited performance Walthamstow Wanderers’ players put in, they seemed no match for the technically superior NYL team and as early as the 6th minute NYL stamped their authority in the match when striker Alim headed in his first goal of the season, after some superb work by Suhel on the left wing. Ashikur again winning the midfield battle for the NYL not letting anything go past him, set up Shurayh for NYL’s second goal in the 9th minute, and after that goal there was no comeback in the game for Walthamstow.

The ever energetic Shariful and the flamboyant Zaeem dazzled both the opposition and the spectators with their trickery and flair but NYL’s third goal did not come until the 34th minute when Abdullah rose highest from a Zaeem corner, to head past the helpless Walthamstow keeper. The game went into half-time with the score at 3-0 to NYL.

The second half started quite lacklustre with neither team creating any real openings for the first fifthteen minutes, as Walthamstow battled hard determined not to get crushed by NYL. However in the 55th minute, NYL’s persistence and class showed as Zaeem scored his second of the campaign with a fine finish from a good passing move, instigated again by Ashikur. After this goal, the Walthamstow Wanderers players heads had dropped and NYL started cruising and in particular Shurayh. He upped the tempo with another thunderbolt in the 57th minute as he bolted a shot into the bottom left corner of the Walthamstow goal to make it 5-0 to NYL.

He needed to show his authority in the game as his usual sidekick; Shariful had to be taken off as a precaution due to an ankle injury, but at this time NYL were pulling all the tricks and there was some beautiful skill and passing on show. And this was epitomised by NYL’s sixth goal in which every player had a touch of the ball until it eventually was passed out to the left to Suhel who cut in and then out, taking on two players and sent a delightful chip over the oncoming goalkeeper, delighting his team mates and manager alike.

The final score was wrapped up by an impressive Shurayh who tormented the opposition all throughout the game and scored with another good finish, set up by a good lay-off from Ferdous, to produce his hat-trick in what was a comfortable victory. The score could and probably should have been more but this was a professional performance and a job well done by the NYL boys.

Team Ratings:

Hamza (7 – had little to do but improving all the time. Looked comfortable in goal but needs to come off his line quicker)
Ziyad (7 – was rarely tested in defence, a solid performance and pleased about his controlled temperament)
Abdullah (8 – scored a well deserved goal, was a rock in the defence and seemed to really enjoy the game)
Farhan (7 – another good solid performance, forming an impressive partnership with Abdullah)
Nahidur (7 – was given more freedom in this game, Ashley Cole watch out!)
Ashikur (Ricky) (9 – broke down every Walthamstow attack, is in great form and well deserved his man of the match)
Zaeem (8 – scored another goal, and played with a thigh injury.)
Shariful (7 – had to be taken off as he was limping, but a gutsy energetic performance. All that was missing was a goal)
Shurayh (9 – an excellent hat-trick and contender for man of the match, caused all kinds of trouble to the opposing team)
Suhel (8 – was always a threat and scored a fantastic goal, has so much to his game and was a joy to watch)
Alim (7 – scored the first goal and should have scored more, worked hard throughout and will surely score more goals)
Abdul Rahman (7 – Came on for the injured Shariful and is playing very good football at the moment.)
Ferdous (7 – came on as a sub and set up the last goal, has assisted two goals now and getting accustomed to his new striking role)