After a lengthy break in game time, the team came together as they usually do with a determined outlook for the next round of the Plate.
The match started brightly with a rugged 1st quarter, in which Noah again hit the woodwork of the bar (I have lost count now how many times the goal frame has denied both Noah and others this season) and some great position in attack to move the threat forward. This threat paid off after Noah ran the ball up the right and passed into a waiting George T and Michael. GT managed to get to the ball with a slight scramble and move it forward to Michael, who moved and selected his shot into the bottom left hand corner.
We had our own scares, with a shot by the opposition that came crashing down off the bar onto our line and luckily Jamie being aware managed to clear the ball out, without it being rebounded into his own net. The appeals for a goal were loud, but the Ref to be fair was close to the action and waved them away.
Quarter 2 brought more heartbreak for Noah as yet again the post stopped him getting his long overdue goal that he works hard to get each game. His power is often unstoppable, his accuracy just needs to be finely ‘zeroed’ in. It will come, I am sure of that and ideally when the team needs it the most.
Reactions and being the first to react is key and this ultimately let us down in the 2nd qtr. What seemed to be a defensively managed halt to a counter attack down our centre –right, Charlie held up the player and in a tangle lost his feet and smothered the ball. Whilst Charlie tried to get up and to the loose ball that by now had worked free, it was quickly collected, dribbled into the centre and ended up in our net. Whether it was a decision to wait for the ref to blow for a foul or whether it was felt Charlie had under control, the slow reaction gave the opposition the opportunity to move the ball unopposed into our danger areas in front of goal. Coaching on ‘play to the refs whistle’ and effectiveness in just clearing the ball out were the half time talking points.
Qtr 3 brought again a good vigor and we had many options from corners won. A few of them were very unlucky not to help us take advantage in the game. Finally a good attacking move made sure we did just that. A break down the right by GT achieved a good cross into the box, where Jamie was waiting and controlled and held the ball back to goal. Working nicely with James great positioning the ball was played out for James to hit the back of the net. Some great team play here with awareness of where each other was.
Qtr 4 saw us with more opportunities to score, which we will again work on in training, but there were also some other notable individual actions. Michael in goal for the 2nd half and calmly collecting the ball with both hands in mid-flight and handling the pressure of being bundled over into the goal mouth by some over enthusiastic attacker. George P with his little legs, somehow managed to raise his boot to a height to react to an incoming ball to clear literally off the line to a shot that was destined to go in. Jamie finally showing some of his old trades of long hard shots from outside the box. Guy, Wills & Charlie, chalking up the header count again. James and Harry working hard in the midfield and appearing when most needed at the back to play out any danger.
Great Plate game and a well-deserved result for the team, that should bring confidence for the next section game.