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January 2007 : A New Dawn - What a start to 2007 !!

The first game of 2007 was always going to be an important one, mainly because Esprit had been spanked in the past few weeks and the superstar players had all had many an alcoholic beverage or ten over the festive period. Anyways, a win would meant a 100th 3 pointer in Esprit's history, a match at home against Bryant Rovers was the order of the day - and what a day it proved to be......

It was a cold, miserable Sunday morning on January 14th, the pitch wasn't in great condition and Olgun took his usual twenty minutes to clear the water from the goalmouth using a bucket. There was almost a full squad to pick from apart from the usual injury list. Amazingly Big Poppa Murphy and Gareth Foot had managed to turn up after a heavy night of drinking, after celebrating the Rockwell's birthday up in Chelmsford. the player manager was also at the party but his attendence was never in doubt.

The game starting off at rather a medium pace for Esprit whilst Bryant were out of the blocks.Nick Hanson was in sparkling form in goal for the first 30 minutes as he saved everything that was thrown at him. The centre backs were making plenty of unchracteristic mistakes, giving the ball away cheaply with the side happy to be goalless after 30 minutes due to some good reactions from the Esprit No.1, tipping over the bar and making himself large and diving at their strikers feet. Most probably his best game in Esprit colours to date.

Young Parker was the only defender worthy in the side as Dr. Hurst was out of position a lot at right back and getting caught out by diving in, Poppa was all over the place as the beer kicked in from the night before. Yeo also got caught out a lot at the start, passing the ball to the oppostion a lot. However the latter made amends in the best possible way. From an Esprit corner, as he was covering the half way line a Bryant clearance fell to his feet and he calmly chipped the ball over the top to Wale. Amazing he was onside and he made no mistake by cooly putting it past the keeper to end his drought and register his 50th goal for the club. We don't know what was the bigger shock, that Wale had finally scored, or that we had actually gone one nil up in a game !! We didnt deserve it but no-one was complaining. Esprit then picked it up a bit and Wale had another good chance when the keeper spilled it and Footy put one just wide - so we went into the half-time team talk with a slender 1-0 lead.

The half time talk was a shocker as Esprit still couldn't believe their luck, they were winning. It was obvious that neither team were going to give away any more silly errors and it was up to one side to take the initiative and go for it in the second half. Anyway, that shock was shortly confirmed when Bryant equalised with what has to be said, was a poor goal that was conceded and should never really have happened. Poor positional play allowed their striker ample time and room to score with a shot in off the crossbar. Nothing the keeper could do about it.

So it was all to play for, and after another couple of good opportunities for Bryant to seal the game, Esprit took the upper hand again. Olgun fed Wale with a defence splitting pass and as he received the ball on the edge of the box, he did some Irish/Nigerian dancing around about three players and drilled it past the hapless keeper. A good finish for his 51st goal and it helped move him into 3rd place on the all time top goalscorers list. Phil Lewis offered to go home as Ogs has played some decent football and he wanted to retire a happy man after that pass. Esprit now didn't look back, and after a bit of harmless banter and handbags between some of our own players.....ahem.......we went full steam ahead and grabbed the killer goal that saw us put the game out of reach. Gareth fed new signing Paul Hill to run onto a ball and calmly slot it under the keeper - a goal on his debut ! ( yeah well, we've all done it ). For reasons I cannot discuss though, the goal will be credited to Gareth Foot, so officially it doesn't count......So that was that,the first game of 2007 and a good win, and the biggest thing was the way we came fighting back after being pegged back to 1-1, I really thought we did well. Well done boys and here's looking at 2007!!

Team :

Nick Hanson, Gary Murphy, Daniel Yeo, Rob Hurst, Daniel Parker, Hakeem Kuku, Ricky Blanks, Stuart Greenhill (c), Olgun Gokdemir, Gareth Foot, Rasaq Oshiyemi.

Subs Used: Paul Hill, Phil Lewis, Danny Burton

Not Used: Runo Gokdemir

Sports Writer : Mr. Ford

Transfer Window Activities

Runo has been busy tying up some loose ends in the transfer market. Already 30 names have been connected with Esprit this season and somehow the team still need more. At a recent press conference the player manager was asked to confirm what was going on with the current squad.

The transfer window has seen many players come and go as there have been many injuries and these players have needed replacing for the short term. Recently Rob Hurst has rejoined the club as has Jono Third after a successful trial.

On the flip side of the coin, I have had to let a few players go. Alphie "Figo" Ibrahim has been loaned out for the rest of the season to a pub side in Wanstead. His main position is defending the bar, but Im sure he will be back for next season's pre season. Gareth Collins's future is also uncertain as he has a few "demons to face" but we shall discuss his future at the end of the season. But I can now confirm that Marc Nurse and Edmund Adade have been released from their contracts. Antonn Thurlow is another player who seems to have left having got lost somewhere near Canvey Island.

Also it seems that Diego Silva has left the club, he is AWOL at the moment since visiting the continent in France so maybe he is having problems re-entering the country again. Most disappointing is losing Adam Cutler and Daniel Harvana after they impressed in pre-season due to family commitments as they never really got started but the biggest loss is having to see hall of famer Andy Hollick go to our feeder club in Spain. He has been a fantastic player and mentor to some of the players. I can confirm that the rumours of building his bust outside Hainault Rec is true but we are still awaiting planning permission from Redbridge council."

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