St Panteleimon FC 4 ‬ vs ‪Buckingham Athletic FC 0 ‬, 14th Jan

The floodlights of Haringey Borough FC’s stadium shone brightly on a windy, rainswept evening. The Saints of St Panteleimon needed both halves to convince themselves and the crowd that they still have the magic touch to‬
‪dominate teams. ‬

‪A patchy first half, with over-hit balls and a temporary inability to string passes together, frustrated both teams. The one move that did show some movement and slick ball play ended up with a goal for Telli Nasai in the 18th minute. 1-0 to the Saints and half time was a time to refocus and dig deep. ‬

‪Playing against the wind in the second half gave St Panteleimon a new energy and they again found their pass and move style, with some good attacking intent and finding of space. ‬

‪Ayub Albadri used his pace more this half, and found Courtney Massey with a strong cross and it was 2-0 after 54 minutes. Another good Massey goal came in the 85th minute and the Saints could relax. ‬

‪Two new faces in the Saints line up were especially impressive. Brad Gilmaney scored his second of the season. He was controlled and skilful and often found the telling pass. He ventured into the opposition box in injury time, cut inside and curled a glorious low shot to beat the keeper and make it a resounding 4-0. The crowd were jubilant as the Saints did deserve it on the second half showing. ‬

‪The other new face was goalkeeper Eray Demirkol whose presence and sure touch kept a valuable clean sheet for the Saints. To be fair he wasn’t tested that much, but he looked solid and used his box well. ‬

‪The Saints lead the table by 6 point now. ‬

‪Their next game is in the Middlesex Premier Cup against Cockfosters Reserves, at ‬TITHE FARM SPORTS AND SOCIAL CLUB‪, on Tuesday 21st January. ‬

‪After that, they have a top of the league clash against second placed Winslow FC on Saturday 25th January.

Reporting Iacovos Neophytou

Langford 0 vs St Panteleimon 1, 16th Nov

Sweet 16 unbeaten for The Saints

Spartan South Midlands League, Division One – Saturday 16th November

Langford FC 0 St Panteleimon 1
(Courtney Massay 60’)

A trip up the A1 past Stevenage saw St Panteleimon gain another precious 3 points against Langford FC.

The Saints created chances but could not fire home and the first half was a 0-0, but the game should have been won. The target was not hit despite the team pushing the ball around and supplying Ayub Albadri on the right wing.

The second half continued apace, and it took until the 60 minute mark to break the deadlock. Some good passing saw Albadri put in a great deep cross from the right. Monti tried a spectacular scissor kick, it fell to Courtney Massay and he couldn’t miss from the goal line. 0-1 to the Saints.

The Saints never looked in trouble, but they could not increase their lead to be safe. The final whistle came as a relief to get the win. There should have been more goals but with sixteen games unbeaten, the Saints head the league table with 40 points.

Milton Keynes Robins 1 vs St Panteleimon 1 , (14-13 Pen), 30th Oct

Epic with 101 minutes and penalties sees MK Robins through

A long cold night in Milton Keynes saw the Saints go out of the League Challenge Cup after an epic 25 minute penalty shootout.

It finished 1-1 at full time, with an unjustified and baffling 11 minutes of added time. MK Robins equalised with virtually the last header of the game.

The Saints dominated possession and played some tidy attractive football. They took the lead with a penetrating run from Ayub Albadri and a good finish.

The Saints withheld pressure and occasional attacks from MK Robins, but strong defending and goalkeeping kept them ahead. A red card for Thiago Goncalves meant a 10 man Saints had to dig deep.

Deep into stoppage time MK Robins scored a header from a corner to make it 1-1. Penalties then ensued, which started as 4-4 out of the first five, the Saints scorers being Ray Oliveira, Bilal Ahmadzai, Dan Carr and Igli Sevaj.

Then the sudden death penalties came, and they went on forever. We lost count. Saints scorers being Ryan Molloy, Costas Mina, Aristotellis Nasai, Bilal, Igli, Demetris Anastasiou.

In the end MK Robins won, and are through to the next round. A long night, an epic game, some good football from the Saints. Onwards.

The Saints’ next game is on Wednesday 6th November in the Division One Cup, against New Salamis, at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, Enfield, EN13PL.

Ref for no reason kept the game on for an extra 11 mins! Here is the timer for the second half.

Reporting Iacovos Neophytou

St Panteleimon 2 – Ampthill Town 2 , 26 Oct

Saints hold Ampthill 2-2 in a right draw

Spartan South Midlands League, Division One – Saturday 26th October

St Panteleimon 2 Ampthill FC 2
Own goal 48’, Noyan Tajbakhsh 87’

After two pitch inspections the game went ahead and the Saints were pushed the furthest they’ve been this season. A good and balanced Ampthill team almost won, until the Saints cracked home an equaliser 3 minutes from time.

A difficult first half in the rain, saw the Saints keeper Dan Carr keep his side level with some very clever use of his body and good goalkeeping presence. Dan was possibly the man of the match. 0-0 at half time.

Within 3 minutes of the restart the Saints went ahead with a strong, low cross from Massay that went in off a defender for an own goal.

The Saints could not build on their lead. Ampthill kept on attacking, hit the bar and generally kept troubling the home side. On 68 minutes Ampthill got their equaliser. And continued to press. At 78 minutes they got their second, a clever chip over the goalie. At 1-2 the Saints were facing their first defeat of the season. It took some determined wing play, a few corners and pressing, and eventually the ball broke to Tajbakhsh who placed it high beyond the keeper, with only three minutes of normal time left.

A few more minutes of injury time saw neither side able to get the winner. Full time 2-2 and the Saints are still unbeaten after 15 games this season.

They lead the Spartan Division One by 13 points.

Next game is this Tuesday 29th in the League Challenge Trophy, away to Milton Keynes Robins, with a 7:45pm kick off

Reporting Iacovos Neophytou

St Panteleimon 2 – London Lions 0 , 23th Oct

Saints close the jaws of the Lions

Spartan South Midlands League, Division One – Tuesday 22nd October

St Panteleimon 2 London Lions 0
Monti 44’, Campbell 75’

An atmospheric night game at Berkeley Fields, Greenford, saw the Saints fight for every ball and play well for a win that takes them 12 points clear at the top of Division One.

London Lions are a young, energetic and talented team. They asked questions of the Saints and kept them at bay for most of the first half.

Strong performances from Nico Campbell and Ryan Molloy pushed the Saints on, and in the final minute of the first half the Brazilian playmaker Monti scored a lovely goal in off the near post.

The Saints had more chances in the second half but they went begging. Substitute Albadri added some pace, and then in the 75th minute a fierce shot from Massay was cleverly headed and redirected by Nico Campbell to make it 2-0.

There was more drama with a penalty to the Lions, but Saints keeper Donald Manaj pulled off a magnificent save diving to his left.

The Saints then had a goal disallowed for offside. All in all a good winning performance from a confident and happy team, playing for each other. They have faith in each other and are communicating well.

They are now 14 games unbeaten and 12 points clear at the top.

Next game is on Saturday 26th, with the Saints again at home, welcoming Ampthill FC.

Reporting Iacovos Neophytou

St Panteleimon 4 – Langford 2, 12th Oct

Saints back to winning ways in wet Greenford

St Panteleimon 4 Langford 2
Tajbakhsh 2, Albadri, Massey

The Saints got back to winning form today on a wet, slippery and fast pitch at home in Greenford.

St Panteleimon needed a decent result after two league draws. And things started badly with a 6th minute goal for Langford.

Despite plenty of possession the Saints could not score. Monti coming close and Massey almost getting on the end of a hard low cross from Tajbakhsh.

The conditions suited the Saints play, but they were not moving as fast as normal.

Half time words were said and they must have done the trick, because quickly after the restart Tajbakhsh levelled for the Saints.

Then in the 58th minute a penalty for the Saints which was calmly put away by Tajbakhsh for his second.

The Saints started to play and moved the ball wide and quickly. But could not kill the game off.

The visitors scored again 2-2. But then in the last 6 minutes the Saints pulled out an astonishing win with two beautifully taken goals by Ayub Albadri and Courtney Massey. 4-2 to St Panteleimon. 3 points and 9 ahead on top of the league. Unbeaten in 13 games, won 10 and drawn 3.

Next Saturday the Saints play away to Wodson FC, in Ware.

Reporting Iacovos Neophytou

Enfield Borough 2 – St Panteleimon 5 , 21th Sep

Saints sustain their swagger at the Spartan summit

Another Saturday and another three points for St Panteleimon of Harrow. The team out-ran and outplayed Enfield Borough to claim their sixth victory in seven games and edge four clear points ahead of the pack at the summit of the Spartan Division One.

A beautiful day and a beautiful pitch in Summers Lane, N12, saw the Saints need only 7 minutes to take the lead with a Courtney Massey power header. The captain Roberto Katsikas added a second on 16 minutes, after clever play from Thiago Goncalves and Massey.

Strong performances from Aristotelli Nasai and Nico Campbell kept the Saints tight and solid, with playmaker Javonne Molloy as reliable as ever, spreading the passes and opening up Enfield.

The persistence paid off, and a penalty in the 21 minute was put away expertly by Noyan Tajbakhsh. 0-3 to the Saints, and the crowd had hardly drawn breath.

Half time 0-3. A decent sized crowd were buzzing from the Saints performance. Could they keep it up in the second half? Or could the hosts come back?

The Saints powered away with fluid football and clinical finishing. Despite a couple of goals for the home side, the Saints’ top scorer Massey added two more to add yet another hat-trick to his sterling season. The fifth being a great run on goal and terrific finish, after being put through by Katsikas.

We have been here before with St Panteleimon. The numbers are starting to look incredible. 37 goals in 8 unbeaten games. Their goal difference, at +26, is better than the next seven teams combined.

With humility, patience, hard work, team work, the strength of their community bonds, prayer, more hard work and the players staying free from injury, the Saints will march on and hopefully keep their form.

The next game is this Tuesday night 24th September, at Greenford. Another atmospheric night’s football. This time against Amersham Town FC. Kick off at 19:45.

Reporting from Iacovos Neophytou

Ampthill Town FC 1 – St Panteleimon 4 , 14th Sep

Super fast and fit Saints stun Ampthill Town

Spartan South Midlands League, Division One

Ampthill Town FC 1 – St Panteleimon 4
(Massey 2, Tajbakhsh, Molloy)

The Saints express train keeps rolling. And onto the next station, Ampthill Town, in picturesque Bedfordshire, where a warm welcome and a very decent sized crowd greeted St Panteleimon, in this first versus third clash.

A dry pitch and hot day tested both teams, but the Saints settled into their stride quickly and were ahead after 18 minutes with some close passing from Monti and Massey, then Massey was through and unselfishly crossed low for the oncoming Noyan Tajbakhsh to score.

The home side equalised after a defensive mix up on 26 minutes to make it 1-1.

But when the Saints are fired up on their day they are very hard to contain. Again strong wing-play on the left saw a ball crossed and be met with an unstoppable ferocious strike from Javonne Molloy. Bottom corner and the away fans were delirious.

Half time and 1-2 up, the energised Saints came back and put the game beyond all doubt, as the home side tired and were outrun.

The Saints style of play is close ball control, rapid passing and moving into space. Guillerme Monti showed this at Ampthill with an exceptional performance of dazzling close skill, and the opposition found him impossible to deal with.

Courtney Massey crowned the game in the 68th and 81st minutes with two quality low finishes, the first running onto a through ball from Tajbakhsh and the second after some lovely passes, and Massey edged the ball past the keeper.

Another 3 points and an unbeaten run of 7 games. Top of the league with a goal difference of 23, which is larger than the sum of the next three teams’ combined goal differences.

Next week the Saints are again in league action, this time against 4th placed Enfield Borough, at Summers Lane, N12.\

Reporting from Iacovos Neophytou

Buckingham Athletic FC 3 v. St Panteleimon FC 7 , Match report 7th Sept 2019

The Sunshine Saints sparkle in a September Spartan shootout

Spartan South Midlands League, Division One

Buckingham Athletic FC 3 v. St Panteleimon FC 7

Scorers: Cruse 3 v. Massey 5, Tajbakhsh, Monti

Ground: Stratford Fields, Buckingham

St Panteleimon have always wanted to fly their flag proudly.  The flag of respect, fair play, good football, sportsmanship and their ethnic heritage in the English National League system.  The club now has seven different nationalities among its players, and while it revels in its Greek Orthodox roots, it embraces everyone that comes into its sphere. 

And on a bright Buckinghamshire day last Saturday, 7thSeptember, the team did their best to uphold this tradition in sparkling fashion and stay top of the league.

At the home of Buckingham Athletic FC, it took about sixty seconds for the Saints to open the scoring, with their first attack.  Courtney Massey finished well and set the Saints off. 

Within 13 minutes Massey had a hat-trick. Some good interplay on the right and some sharp passes from Noyan Tajbakhsh and Roberto Katsikas made Massey’s runs on goal pay off in lightning fashion. 

A penalty for Buckingham and a nice close finish after a free kick, made the score 2-3 at half time. 

Within five minutes of the second half starting the Saints were 2-5 up.  A lovely through ball from Tajbakhsh gave Massey his fourth, with a sublime chip, lifted over the keeper.  And then Guilherme Monti, gave Buckingham an exhibition of his silky skills and close control, as he found space and shot sharply to make it 5. 

Then some fatigue and mistimed tackles saw Demetri Anastasiou sent off for the Saints when he received his second yellow card on 70 minutes.   A Saints penalty then gave Tajbahksh his chance to score, and he did so with a superb Panenka style chip, to make it 2-6. 

But the game wasn’t finished.  In the last five minutes, Massey got his fifth, and the home side earned a penalty to make it 3-7. 

An entertaining afternoon and three well-earned points from the hard-working Saints.  Top of the league with 28 goals in 6 games. 

Next week the Saints travel to Bedfordshire to play Ampthill Town FC.

Reporting from Iacovos Neophytou

St Panteleimon FC v Dunstable Town FC: 4-1 , 20th August

We played tonight for the Spartan League Challenge Trophy, Round One!

It was an interested game, against a team that plays a level above the “Saints” and was founded on 1883. The “Saints” had an excellent control of the game and created very many chances! Courtney Massay with a hat trick and Ayub Albadri were St Panteleimon F.C scorers

Anastasios Salapatas