Following a tough game against Heather Rangers last week we really needed to get the lads confidence up this week and against another Div 3 opponent, we should be better paired.
Last time we met mid July we beat Mickleover 5-1 however in reflection I think the scoreline may have flattered us somewhat as we had previously lost both home and away to them last season so this team are definitely no push over. We also don't have Jamie or Jayden available who were both on the scoresheet last time with Jayden scoring 2.
We came out the blocks looking confident and organised but then again, so did Mickleover. We definitely looked more like the team to score however and soon chances were being created. It was clear Shay and Archie are forming a strong pairing down the left and as we could probably have predicted, this is where we broke the deadlock. An absolutely fantastic long range shot from Archie would put him first on the scoresheet and we were 1-0 up and certainly deserving of the lead. Shortly after another fine run both on and off the ball from Archie simply proved to much and a perfectly placed shot to the corner ensured we went in to the break 2-0 up and in my opinion, deservedly so.
Mickleover were definitely still in this game and from what we witnessed from both teams in the first half, it appeared there would be more goals to come. Unfortunately for us, the next was from Mickleover with a fine display resulting in a fine goal.
Next arguably one of our better players Harry went off with a foot injury and you could physically see some of our players heads dropping and as Mickleover had just scored, they were on the up. They were starting to play some nice football and we would have to dig in deep to get a result and thats exactly what we did. We couldn't manage to add to the scoresheet although chances were being created which was great to see. Finlay missed the easiest of tap ins from about 3 yards which even he had a laugh at and Archie tried everything in his locker to get his hat trick but it just wasn't to be. Connor definitely stepped up with Harry out and became the play maker creating many good chances slotting balls through and over for players to run on to that on another day, could have gone in. He also dropped back and did a job late in the second half to try and sure things up at the back and make sure we went home victorious. Another solid performance from our "out of season", current joint top scorer (with Jayden).
All in all a good performance and more importantly, a good win against good opposition of which we will have 2 games in the league against when the season starts next week.
Man of the match for me had to go to Archie who is gaining in confidence week in week out. I suppose he has a slight advantage over many though watching the mighty Reds "slaughter" sheep and anything else they put in front of them week in week out lol... (sorry I couldn't resist !!).
I could just talk about the normal few who we are lucky to have playing with us who are blessed with ability and I mention week in week out but today Id like to mention a few unsung heroes:
Finlay.... I don't like to mention him much (with him being my son !) but he played in 3 different positions today and although didn't set the world alight, did a good job in all trying his best so well done to him.
Will and Shaun returned to the team this week after being away for a good few weeks on holiday with both doing themselves and us proud. Its not always easy coming back after such a long break but these slotted straight back in like they'd never been away. Will looked solid all game and a special mention goes to Shaun because if we gave an award for best player in training, last Friday Im pretty sure he had it nailed on so well done.
Tom back after a break just did what he does without fuss and got on with the game hardly putting a foot wrong which is pretty much what we have now learnt to expect of him. No pressure Tom !
"Safe Hands" Josh in goal just gets better and better. He's really starting to command his area and its clear all the boys now fully respect him and his decision making. He's becoming a real leader at the back and its great to see him becoming more vocal.
Onto the next one which is our last friendly on Wednesday night at St Benedicts School. Please try and all be there for no later than 6pm and if anyone is struggling due to work commitments please shout up and Im sure we can all share with the transport to make things easier.
Anyway, another great week of football for not only us but also professional teams...... "Up the Reds". !!! (obviously I mean Chello by that lol....)