Winter arriving saw the typical weather conditions we all love to stand around in. Thankfully the players know from over the years, to wrap up and protect themselves from the elements.
I was very pleased with the attitude and respect shown by the boys in the 1 minute’s silence. They all stood still and in silence, no silliness and not reacting to some of the giggling from in front of them.
If any moment to draw on the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ for what lay ahead, it was then.
What started off a miserable wet morning in the warm up, was soon made worse in early in the 1st qtr with a reactionary goal to a shot stopped by Harley but spilled due to wet gloves. Well stopped the ball slipped comfortably to an unmarked player out on the edge of the box, who confidently slotted home. This punishment was unjust, as whilst the game was free flowing, it was equally matched.
Movement up through the pitch was very good and some individual battles in the centre with Harry and on the right by George, illustrated a keenness to get stuck in. Again strong leadership on the pitch from some the core players is coming to fruition with examples of Harley commanding his defence, Harry organising from the centre and Jamie setting an example to all how to header effectively.
Despite the early set back, the team again demonstrate in the break their eagerness to correct the current score line.
The opposition obviously felt the same as they continued to apply pressure to direct to our defender and from a throw in, capitalized on our sluggishness to get back into position.
One of the key teachings Matt & I are trying to help the team with is, discipline in positioning and knowing when to commit to the ball as first man, when to fall back into position to allow another to step forward and when to cover a player who has committed and out of his position. This applies when either 2-0 down or 2-0 up.
As ever these Viking as small as some of them are, never give up the fight and I think they have started to like it, when they have a push out their chests and ‘mix it up’ with some physical teams. Both Matt & I like this attitude…a lot.
With this PMA, the team took the 3rd qtr within their control and with some excellent swift cutting moves and passes through the centre to out wide and into the opposition’s danger areas, let them know that they had a game on their hands.
There are certain tasks that you have confidence in an individual and 1 of them is Noah’s corners. Of late his weight of the ball and distance has improved greatly and whilst he is handy player to have in the ‘mixer’ for corners, his value to the team is in the taking of them.
A corner won on the right, the coach had to send Wills away who was eagerly running into take it and ‘advice’ them that Noah should be taking this. Taking his time to think it through, he sent the ball with pinpoint accuracy to be met by a lifting James, who headed an unstoppable goal. Again another goal to sit back at the end of the season collection and have the difficulty to decide in what one was best. Its goals like this that set the fuse paper alight for the team and the whole buildup of energy and commitment is clear to see.
Thankfully the knock on their door was quick to follow and in another sublime move from the back with George to Harry, to Guy and then feeding it to James we found ourselves on level terms for th e last qtr.
With the visitors a little surprised, the game in the 4th qtr was end to end with some half chances that they snatched at and started to show their own frustrations and from us some good opportunities or confident connections on the ball that only steered wide. A quick change in some players to inject some more energy half way through the qtr, increased the opportunities, but also the strength in support at the back to ensure a loss snatched from the grip of victory.
Another memorable match and one that I know the boys were proud of themselves in achieving and so they should be.