“Wake early if you want, another man's life or land. No lamb for the lazy wolf. No battle's won in bed”. The above Viking saying perhaps sums the game this week.
A late K.O. to a new unknown opposition away, could bring its own setbacks, but another full team and keen eyes willingly seemed to prove otherwise.
Basics of throw-ins, closing down and last man defensive positioning seem to be taking root. The motivation by Matt on not letting them get their shot off and the movement to the ball in attack and defence was encouraging. This opposition were extremely strong and their left winger was quick and agile, whilst like us their central midfielder was physical and powerful.
An early lead was spurned with Harry close to getting his first goal for the team, after Michael unfortunately blocked. Despite the disappointment, the smiles by both shows the ‘get up and do it again’ mentality I love to see. In fact the 1st qtr could have been easier with a couple of early chances, but the aim to go out and get that early lead is definitely there and close to being achieved each game.
The 2nd qtr proved to be a real battle, but despite the end to end game, the lead was effectively taken with excellent goals from Michael and Noah (assisted by Noah and Charlie). Despite the advances up front, the team defenses had to be just as effective with some strong challenges and safe big hands by Guy in goal. The threat was evident as our own cross bar shook on one occasion.
The 3rd / 4th qtr saw a change up front with Michael between the posts and Wills given longer on point after impressing last game. Wills delivered his promise and delivered a goal in the 3rd after a quick reaction to a spilt save to Noah’s shot from distance. This instinctive quick reaction is exactly what we need by our strikers, by following up shots to steal or pressure the goalkeeper into an error.
Defensively the team needed to remain strong and focused as continuous attacks on goal continued to materialise. Michael proved his versatile ability again in goal with several close downs or important smothering of the ball. Harry and Charlie getting stuck in, whilst remaining vigilant to cover in front of goal and who drops. Noah with again his constant commitment of up and down wing work and getting into block any dangerous shots. The most pleasing for me is the continual immergence of Wills and George over the last games. Wills, with his keenness to press forward with the ball and George with a growing strength in the middle to hold up or often stifle an attack with a tackle and pass forward. These 2 players for me have showed the biggest changes of late in their ability to read the game and their learning curve after 10 games so far this season.
The passing comment from the opposition coach at the final respect hand shake was to congratulate the boys on being the first team to beat them.
Work hard, play well, listen and react, after all no lamb for the lazy wolf……..