Football (2016-2017)

London A52

The MPW football team is a strong one. Many students have played at their previous schools and MPW training is well attended, meaning that this year's team are so far continuing the MPW trend for success. The boys won the Autumn and Spring Term Leagues, both with a match in hand.

In April, MPW will enter the CIFE tournament (2nd place last year and winners the two years prior to that) so we are hopeful of continued victory this year.

Fixtures, scores and match reports can be found below and will be updated as the academic year progresses. 

Spring Term

Tuesday 24 January
MPW London 6 - 2 Duff Miller

A stunning second half comeback lifted MPW to the top of the table in an absorbing match at Burlington. MPW started slowly and were diving into challenges which let the opposition run through them and it almost seemed that Duffs had an extra player for most of the first half. It was no real surprise, then, that MPW found themselves two goals down within 15 minutes as Duffs took two chances well. The setback spurred a response from MPW, though, and a good spell of passing and movement brought a goal back. From the start of the second half, the general shape and movement of the team markedly improved and MPW had scored again before long – and again. At 3-2 the game became tight and toughly contested with both teams putting in the effort that last term saw them battling out at the top of the table. For the next ten minutes it looked like the game would go to the wire but then MPW began to find a fluency that equalled anything seen this academic year, whereas Duffs struggled to find an extra gear. Three more goals in quick succession saw MPW end the match victorious.

Tuesday 31 January
MPW London 2 - 1 Ashbourne 

A much-changed MPW came away from Westway with all three points after a battling performance against Ashbourne. With the squad depleted by injuries and illness, MPW could only field seven players but the new-look line-up began brightly and the passing and movement of the midfield pair caused the Ashbourne defence problems from the start. After starting slowly, Ashbourne did grow into the game, but MPW always looked sharper, and seemed to win any fifty-fifty ball and after 10 minutes, MPW were one goal up. As the half-time whistle blew, MPW were firmly in control. The start of the second half saw  the intensity of the game drop, and as legs tired, more gaps began to appear in the middle of the park. The rain was now lashing down, and passing and ball control became more challenging for both teams. The commitment from both teams did not drop though and MPW scored for a second time. At this point Ashbourne threw everything forward, and both teams began to lose their shape. With five minutes to play, Ashbourne were thrown a lifeline when an in swinging cross beat the MPW defence and was turned home well to make the score 2-1. A frantic finale ensued but MPW held on to their lead and now sit top of the table after three games.

Tuesday 7 February
MPW London 2 - 2 CATS

It was honours even at Burlington as MPW showed fighting spirit to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat against an impressive CATS side. The MPW line-up had a new shape and the team started confidently but despite the promising start, after five minutes it was CATS who took the lead. MPW responded well but were not able to equalise and at the start of the second half, it was CATS who found the net again. Going two goals down seemed to spur MPW on, and neat passing between the midfielders started carving out opportunities to score. The breakthrough finally came with five minutes to play; a fierce direct free kick made the score 2-1. The goal triggered further MPW pressure and several chances. It looked like it was not going to happen for MPW but the pressure eventually paid off, as in the last move of the match the boys equalised. 

Tuesday 28th February
MPW London 5 - 1 Duff Miller

MPW swept aside an understrength Duff Miller outfit last night in convincing style. MPW started with an extra man on the field compared to Duff Miller and exploited the added space to unpick the depleted Duff Miller defence. MPW opened the scoring with a firm shot beneath the keeper after three minutes, and doubled the advantage soon after. Another MPW goal followed and then against the run of play, Duff Miller were able to pull a goal back, making it 3-1. MPW kept their discipline and successive attacks were overwhelming the stretched Duff Miller midfield to breaking point. The game was put beyond our Queen's Gate neighbours as neat build-up play once more opened up the Duffs defence. With five minutes to go, MPW scored twice more, leaving no one in doubt as to the victors of the match.

Tuesday 7 March
MPW 2 – 1 DLD (friendly)

An impressive MPW edged an entertaining friendly between two well-matched teams at Burlington. Experimenting with a new formation and introducing some new personnel, MPW began brightly against a well-drilled DLD outfit from south London. MPW made an immediate impact, firing home a half volley from 20 yards out. It was not all one-way traffic though. DLD themselves looked threatening, and came close to equalizing, but were thwarted by some solid defensive work from the back two, and two decent saves by MPW. In the second half, DLD continued to look impressive going forward, especially moves that involved their inventive central midfielder. They found the equalizer within five minutes of the restart. MPW responded by continuing their neat passing game, and almost immediately regained the lead, but had a goal disallowed when the referee judged that the free kick had been taken before the whistle. But the lead was restored soon after. From then on, the game began to open up, and both teams found space in the middle of the park. The result bodes well for the remaining three league fixtures of the term, and the tournament at St George's Park later in the spring, a competition which DLD also travel to.

Tuesday 14 March
MPW 6 - 1 Ashbourne

MPW will retain their league crown after a thumping victory over Ashbourne on a mild night at Westway. Knowing a point was enough to secure the league title, MPW began confidently and soon began dictating play against a nervy Ashbourne side. In particular the midfield set up looked strong and it felt like a matter of time before MPW would open the scoring, which happened after five minutes. The lead was doubled when, after an awkward mix-up in the Ashbourne defence, MPW pounced to steal possession and tuck the ball home. The goal also cost Ashbourne a player, as a defender limped off, leaving them with only seven players as the half ended two-nil to MPW. The reduction in players proved pivotal, and the second half opened with three MPW goals in quick succession to kill the game. At 5-0 up, MPW were cruising, but spirited Ashbourne continued to press, and were able to find a consolation goal. The five goal advantage was soon restored though, as our forward capped a fine performance and completed his four goal haul by slotting home a rebound after a shot spun onto the post. The result means MPW have won both league competitions this academic year, and remain undefeated since last April.

Autumn Term

MPW London won the League in the Autumn Term 2016! Congratulations to our team and read on for match reports.

Tuesday 20 September 
MPW London P - P Lansdowne

To be rearranged

Tuesday 27 September
MPW London 4 - 4 Duff Miller

It was a clear night at Burlington Danes for a high-tempo start to the term. Duff Miller struck first but the introduction of Tooni on the right changed the game, and a darting run down the wing, pulled the ball back for Giacomo to hit first time for the equalizer. Serag then put MPW ahead with a fine diagonal run and top-corner strike. The second half started in similar fashion. Tooni nipped in to steal the ball from the Duff defence, and rounded the keeper to extend the MPW lead. However, Duff Miller did not give up, and two goals from set-pieces levelled the scores and set up a frantic finale. With three minutes to play, MPW looked to have won the game after excellent link-up play between Giacomo and Serag ended with Giacomo volleying home. However, with seconds left, a concentration lapse allowed Duff back in to score and take a deserved point.

Tuesday 4 October
MPW London 4 - 1 CIC

As high winds swirled around the Burlington pitches, MPW kept control and ran out comfortable winners against a disjointed CIC side. Early in the game, the blustery conditions made passing difficult for both teams, but MPW were quick to adapt, and the MPW midfield combined well to open up early chances which soon led to a goal. Moments later, Serag doubled the lead with a trademark left foot effort after a fine through ball from Rati. Serag then turned provider, teeing up Tomasso to score his first MPW goal and open up a three goal advantage. At this stage MPW were in full control, and CIC were being restricted to half chances, but the half did with a fine CIC strike which stand-in keeper Max could do nothing about. The second half began well for MPW, and the three goal lead was restored shortly after the restart. It was one-way traffic after that, and with the wind now in their faces, CIC did not look like scoring, until a late counter attack, which Rati thwarted with the final touch of the match.

Tuesday 11 October
MPW London 3 - 1 Ashbourne

Although the Ashbourne side started the game sharpest, MPW adapted well and our new defensive trio thwarted early Ashbourne attempts on goal. With ten minutes played, the game burst into life as Serag darted down the left and whipped in a cross which Siavash buried beyond the Ashbourne keeper. Unfortunately the MPW lead did not last, as a loose ball in the MPW goal mouth was struck well to level the scores. The equalizer did not dampen MPW spirits though, and the advantage was soon restored. Several other MPW chances came and went, and the Ashbourne keeper was beaten again on the stroke of half time as Francesco tucked the ball in. The second half was set up for an Ashbourne onslaught, and only strong defensive work from the back three, and some fine saves from our keeper denied them. Ashbourne were dominant in possession but could not find a way through. Counter attacking, MPW even had the chance to extend the lead, but the Ashbourne keeper was in good form in the second half.

Tuesday 18 October
MPW London 6 - 0 CATS College

MPW put in a solid team performance to run out comfortable winners as we enter the half term break. MPW started strongly and immediately imposed themselves on the game. Serag is flourishing in his new position of left back and it did not take long for him to open the scoring. CATS could have levelled seconds later, but their dubious penalty was struck against the crossbar. MPW kept their composure, and Serag then added another almost identical goal to extend the lead. Tomasso then added his name to the scoresheet. Soon after, Serag completed his hat-trick with another marauding run and shot.The second half was played out in very similar fashion to the first. To round off a successful evening, MPW kept their first clean sheet of the season, as Darius held on well to a well-struck long-range effort from CATS in the final moment of the match.

Tuesday 1st November
MPW London 7 - 0 Lansdowne College

An outstanding display gave MPW their biggest win of the season as they overwhelmed Lansdowne under the autumn leaves of Burlington. MPW began the game at a high tempo, and within three minutes had the lead which was soon doubled by Siavash. MPW continued to threaten the Lansdowne keeper, and the first half ended with a third goal. The second half began in similar ruthless fashion, and MPW piled on the pressure from the outset; the lead was extended soon as Siavash kept his composure to complete a fine hat-trick. At this stage Lansdowne were playing very deep and offering very little going forward, but our keeper still had work to do, and pulled off a fine save from point-blank range after a rare Lansdowne counter attack. At the other end, MPW kept up the pressure, and three more players added their names to the scoresheet to finish 7 goals up. 

Tuesday 8th November
MPW London 5 - 1 Duff Miller

MPW took all three points in a stunning comeback against Queen’s Gate neighbours Duff Miller. After some nervy opening exchanges, Duff Miller found their feet first and their rhythm first. MPW responded well though, and carved out two good efforts on goal, both the result of good build-up play from Rati. The equalizer soon came, as Max found himself in the final third and hit a bouncing shot which the Duffs keeper could not deal with. On the stroke of half time Darius made a superb save to stop a Duffs free kick destined for the top-corner. In search of an equalizer, Duff Miller began the second half by pushing forward with greater urgency but they were again thwarted by our goalkeeper. With ten minutes to play Nikita scored his second and doubled the lead with a well-taken goal. Duff Miller’s heads began to drop, and MPW continued to play the ball around the park with two further goals. The result saw MPW leapfrog Duff Miller at the top of the league.

Tuesday 15th November
CIC 0 - 10 MPW London

Ruthless MPW comprehensively defeated bottom of the table CIC on a wet night at Burlington. The game burst into life after five minutes though and MPW took the lead which was soon doubled as Nikita fired a volley beyond the outstretched CIC keeper. From then on, it was one-way traffic. With the MPW back three in good form, CIC were unable carve out any meaningful chances on goal. With the game beyond Chelsea's reach, MPW experimented with a change in formation for the second half, with a two man defence behind a midfield four. The switch paid off as five minutes in MPW made it seven-nil. CIC continued to search for a way back into the game but MPW’s accuracy in passing and dynamism in midfield really showed. With ten minutes left, MPW scored three more goals and took home a very comfortable victory.

Tuesday 22nd November
Ashbourne 0 - 2 MPW London

MPW took a big step towards regaining the league title after grinding out a hard-fought victory against a determined Ashbourne. MPW started with a new-look 2-4-1 formation. The packed midfield, coupled with Ashbourne’s narrow style, meant the game began as a frantic affair, with neither side able to forge any meaningful chances on goal. The second period began in similar tight fashion but Ashbourne, desperate to prove a point after a disappointing autumn, threw everything at MPW but could not find a way through. As the half wore on, space opened up, and really allowed the MPW midfield to click into gear. Good movement between MPW players started to cause the Ashbourne defence real problems. Pressure was building, and with ten minutes to play a fine MPW strike made it one-nil. An MPW player then sprinted out of defence, ghosted passed two defenders and buried the ball in the net to settle the game. Ashbourne continued to press but could not find a way through. The game ended 2-0 as MPW edge closer to the league title.

Tuesday 29th November
MPW London 4 - 1 CATS

An impressive performance saw MPW clinch the league title in an energetic contest on a cold night at Burlington. Neither team was able to find a foothold in the early stages of the match, as the crowded CATS  defence did not allow MPW much time on the ball. The game burst into life after ten minutes with a goal from MPW. CATS responded by upping the tempo and after a few attempts managed to find an equalizer. At half-time MPW switched to a 3-3-1 formation, and the tactic paid off shortly after the restart. Following good build-up, MPW won a freekick resulting in a goal and very quickly a second, making it 3-1. CATS continued to press and created further chances, but poor finishing cost them, and with five minutes remaining MPW scored again and secured the winter league with one game to spare.

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