So far the team has been a different learning experience since promotion, but positively that what we wanted to have. Going up a section is always going to be tough and the calibre of teams we play are all good. If we all continue to learn from these matches, then a victory is soon to follow. Our ability to play good football and the desire (when switched on) will only complement this experience and a measure of where we all are. Our ability is strengthened with the addition of George T, who plays with a smile on his face and rate of commitment that fits in well with the team. All we need is a little bit more understanding at set times and a slice of lady luck.
This game I feel was evenly balanced until the last qtr and despite a very good last goal to rub salt into our wounds, we were a good match to their ability.
Mantra today was pass & move, be strong and stay on your feet. Everything else they know what to do and do very well like pressure and track back.
Qtr 1 started bright but was undone after to the mid-way point, when a break through our middle was allowed to continue and a placed shot into the goal past Jamie was what I thought against the run of procession in our favour at the time.
Never down heartened the team picked themselves up and continued as before, being rewarded with a good reply in an equalizer from Michael having worked well with George T in the centre.
The 2nd & 3rd qtrs. brought some good chances to move ahead with a well intercepted pass out that Michael latched onto and drove direct to goal. Unfortunately his touch was too many and the keeper managed to smother before Michael could get a shot off. Another close chance was from Jamie who won the ball, turned and then narrowly shot wide.
The opposition had a lot of procession in the 3rd qtr and chad a phase of constant pressure in winning corners. The team withstood this phase very well and continued play calmly and clearly to react to any dangers. Watching them talk and help each other is a good sign and always nice to see they do.
The 4th qtr was our undoing and following another break down the middle where gaps had appeared, our reaction was slow to get in front of the attacker before he shot with time on his side to take the lead. One thing that is becoming very clear in this section, is of the speed, agility and strength of teams coming down the centre at our defence. This I presume due to many of the players in this section having the skills but also the selfishness to try this. The players who play these positions know that they will get little rest and hard time from the opposition when selected in these positions, so need to be up for it and think about their game plan to stop anyone with speed, agility and strength.
One such plan was Harry having little option but to foul just outside the box to stop another direct run on goal happening. A free kick awarded but direct in front of goal should not have been a real threat. Calls to close the gaps in the wall, don’t jump and to get half the goal covered went unheard. The resistance to jump whilst holding their ‘you know what’s like the players on the TV was do great and the ball went through the gaps low and past Michael who could not see it. Disappointing, but always good to bring a new training drill for Wednesday from a lesson to learn.
This I think took the steam out of some of the players and a quick shuffle round was called upon. Unfortunately their last attack on goal was a good shot that bounced off the post and slowly rolled into the net, which again no one would have been able to stop.
Again the boys should not be disappointed in their overall performance, as if they can just remain focused for all the game, place their trust in each other, think of the simple plan, take their chances and work hard as they do, things will change.