Our 3rd England vs Italy International proved to be every bit as exciting as our opening 2 encounters, with the watching fans at the Amex being served up a feast of entertaining football to enjoy. The impressive Italy team ran out 6-0 winners in the end - earning them the only clean-sheet of the Football Aid 2018 season - however the England team fought hard throughout the 90mins and could count themselves unlucky not to have more to show for their excellent efforts.
Date: Sunday 13th May 2018
Venue: The Amex
England (Home) vs Italy (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Match Officials: Steve Daly, Chris Knowles, John Farris & James Campbell
The sun was still shining as our International players took to the Amex pitch ahead of our massive England vs Italy challenge match. After standing to attention for the National anthems the players were full of pride and raring to go.
The Azzurri started strongly and Alex Veitch tried his luck from distance early on, however his shot was just too high, however the Away team continued to press for an opening and they took the lead after just 7mins though Tom Stanford. No 13 Andrew Lumsden won the ball in midfield and looked up to see his No 7 making a great run into the box, the centre back picked him out with a wonderful pass over the top of the defence and Stanford just got to the ball ahead of the out-rushing England keeper Mark Graham to lob it over him and into the net (0-1).
The Italian team were moving the ball about well and making it difficult for the England team to get a foot hold in the game, however the 3 Lions were able to force a corner after 10mins. Tony O’Hara won the initial header and the ball rebounded to Dean Twyman 6 yards out, the centre half tried to force it home with the outside of his right foot, however Away keeper James Philpott did well to save with his legs from point blank range.
However the Italy team responded to the scare well and they doubled their lead on 11mins. Sammy Verghese played the ball up to the lively looking Tom Stanford who played a quick one-two with Nathan Moseby before racing clear of the Home defence and firing the ball low past the keeper into the far corner of the net (0-2).
Back came the England team and Tony O’Hara set up Danny Cheng with a clever square ball for the midfielder to run onto, the No 6 smashed a shot goalwards however it was just too high and it flew over the crossbar. Straight from the goal-kick the ball was flicked on to Daniel Geey and the left midfielder raced clear of the defence and improvised well to fire an effort on goal with the outside of his right foot. However the England keeper Mark Graham was equal to his effort and brilliantly tipped the ball onto the crossbar.
The game had started at a break neck pace, with play raging from end to end. As the half wore on the Italian team were happy to retain possession and ensure the England team were restricted to attacking on the break, however with 24mins gone the Azzurri struck again to increase their lead further. Nathan Moseby did well to win the ball in midfield before playing it quickly to his Captain Stefano Ambrosetti, the No 9 played it 1st time to Daniel Geey and the midfielder controlled the ball instantly and curled a magnificent right foot shot beyond the keeper and into the right side of the goal (0-3).
The lively Geey was proving to be a real danger for the England defence and when he played a clever one-two with Stanford and collected the ball on the edge of the area he looked as though he was going to double his goal tally, however his low shot flashed just past the left hand post. The Italian team didn’t have long to wait for their next goal though and with 5mins to go until half-time they scored their 4th. The impressive Moseby played a clever through ball for Stanford to run onto, the right winger did brilliantly to cut the back for Alex Veitch and the No 10 made no mistake, slamming the ball high past the keeper and into the roof of the net (0-4).
That was the final goal of the half and the ref’s whistle went soon afterwards. The England team had fought hard throughout the opening period however the impressive Italian had cut them apart at times and were well worth their 0-4 lead.
Half-Time: England (Home) 0 - 4 Italy (Away)
With their 2nd half subs entering the action the England team were hoping for a change of fortunes and they started the half brightly. However the well organised Italy defence, led by centre halves Sammy Verghese and Andrew Lumsden, continued to stand firm and chances were at a premium for the 3 Lions attackers.
Asa McKenzie created a half chance for himself after closing down an Italian defender well, however he couldn’t get enough power in his snapshot from 20 yards out. The same man came close again soon after when he got on the end of a long ball and flicked the ball goalwards, however once again he couldn’t get enough power on his effort.
It was entertaining fare at this stage, with both teams showing great desire to throw themselves forward and attack in numbers. The England team had definitely found their stride in the 2nd half and were holding their own in midfield and were mostly restricting the Italian team to efforts from long range.
The England team were desperate to get on the scoresheet and with 10mins to go the powerful striker Tony O’Hara showed great feet to escape his defender and drive into the right side of the box. However his low shot from a tight angle was well saved by Italy keeper James Philpott. The stopper was having a great game and he did well soon after to cut out a dangerous cross from the forceful midfielder Mark Patten.
Despite all their efforts it was the Italy team who increased their lead further on 86mins. A corner was cleared to the edge of the area and their Man of the Match midfielder Nathan Moseby collected the ball and fired home an unstoppable left foot shot into the top corner of the net (0-5).
The England team could count themselves very unlucky not to have anything to show for their 2nd half efforts and unfortunately the score-line got even worse for the Home team when Italy bagged their 6th goal of the game on 88mins and it was Nathan Moseby again with the goal. This time the midfielder won the ball back on the edge of the box, attempted to play a one-two with Ambrosetti which rebounded back to him and rounded the keeper before side footing the ball home (0-6).
At the other end the 3 Lions had a last chance to score from an indirect free-kick in the area, however the Italy defence stood firm and James Philpott made a great save to preserve his well-deserved clean-sheet.
The referee’s whistle brought an absorbing contest to a close immediately afterwards with the clinical Italy team running out winners by 6 goals to nil. It had been a fantastic game, which had been played in great spirits throughout the 90mins and both sets of players received a huge round of applause as they left the hallowed turf.
Huge thanks again to all the Brighton staff at The Amex and all our International players for their fantastic support on the night.
Full-Time: England (Home) 0 - 6 Italy (Away)
Man of the Match England (Home): Asa McKenzie
Man of the Match Italy (Away): Nathan Moseby
Moment of the Match: Tom Stanford
England (Home Team): Mark Graham, Jay Paddon, Dean Twyman, Thomas Blendell, Danny Cheng, Tim Roberts, Luke Farrington, Mustapha Pour dara (C), Mark Patten, Tony O’Hara, Paul Safa, Neil Dickson, Asa McKenzie, Benjamin Mercer
Home Mascot: Jacob Bridge
Italy (Away Team): James Philpott, David Evans, Sammy Verghese, Andrea Massari, Nathan Moseby, Tom Stanford, Daniel Geey, Stefano Ambrosetti (C), Alex Veitch, Kevin Banks, Andrew Lumsden, Richard Pecha, Simon Edwards
Away Mascot: Liam Philpott
Match Report written by Simon Farnan
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AFTER MATCH FEEDBACK
"Another great experience with Football Aid again this year, all perfect as always. Congratulations to all of the staff. I hope to repeat this fantastic experience again next year."
Andrea Massari – Italy No.5
"A quick note to say thank you for such a memorable day yesterday. Apart from feeling like my calf muscles are about to fall off this morning (!), I thought the day was a fantastic success. I managed to speak to most of the players over the evening and they had a really fantastic experience. The organisation, friendliness, preparation for the event was first class. The delivery was seamless. It's a real testament to the team's hard work and dedication. A fantastic day and looking forward to next year in Lisbon (if my calves will take it!).
Daniel Geey – Italy No.8
"Thanks once again to you and your team Simon, really appreciate all the organisation and effort which goes into this event. My 4th one and the build-up still had the same excitement and enjoyment as the first. Would love another in Italy but will always try and get another game under my belt each year. Well done and a massive thanks once again! All the best."
Andy Lumsden – Italy No. 15