After another significant break we were back doing what we want to be doing on a Sunday morning, playing football.
The warm up in all honesty was a little sloppy, passes all over the place, kids looking tired, some moaning, perhaps it was the long break, perhaps it was the cold weather but I distinctly remember Brendan saying to me "I know these kids and there're not up for this", I listened but hoped they'd prove him wrong as I was loving looking at the league and seeing zero defeats and wanted this to continue.....
It would be down to referees decision if the game was to go ahead and after a 15 minute delay and a lot of running about to break up the frozen ground, it was game on.
As we came out of the blocks I was optimistic, winning was becoming a habit that the lads were getting used to and their football at the start looked good but then after a sloppy pass and an individual mistake, Toton were running through 1 on 1 with Josh and they neatly slotted it past and we were 1-0 down. Nothing Josh could do about it.
The boys weren't used to this and you could see anger in some of them. It was game on now and the lads had to keep playing as we have been as the goals would surely come and soon enough, after a fine ball from Connor to Finlay, Fin struck a fine shot across goal into the top of the net and it was 1-1. A sigh of relief could be heard echoing across the pitch !
This is how the first half ended, we weren't playing the best football we had witnessed but were well and truly in the game and had it all to play for in the second half.
The second half started and although we were creating chances, we just couldn't manage to break the deadlock, how, I will never know ! Things were getting feisty out there though and after a foul on one of Totons players, they were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position. A great cross ensued into the box and a fine finish put us behind 2-1.
Following this some of our players were clearly angered and it was clear to see with them in this mood there would only ever be one result. Bad discipline plus football hardly ever equals good results ! This is something that we must engrain onto each and every one of them.
The game eventually ended 3-1 to Toton and although it pains me to say it, they deserved the win.
Unfortunately I feel that some of our team let their emotions get the better of them this week and this is something that needs controlling if we are to continue to improve as a team. This is a team game and when frustrations and passion is running high, it is down to us all collectively to calm things down and as a team of players, parents and coaches, I felt we failed to do it on this occasion.
Now lets put this game behind us as its a long season in which we are doing great in and this is only one loss. I can't even say we played particularly bad, we created chances, many of which could have gone in on another day and they only scored through individual mistakes, not by outplaying us so a lot to be pleased with.
In my opinion defensively this year we have been outstanding (Josh included in this), the midfield has been second to none and the attacking options are in abundance so we are in a great place. We are also second in Division only 3 point behind first place and have 4 games in hand.
I can't wait for Sunday where we WILL get back on track and back to the top of the leaderboard where we belong.
One last shout out is to man of the match, Shaun Brindley. That makes it 2 MOM performances in 5 league games, both from the subs bench. Shauns always been great on the training pitch but is now taking this into the game which he once failed to do, fantastic to see. Surely his starting position must now be nailed on ? Over to you Bren !
Anyway early night on Saturday as we need to come back with a big win from this which I feel is more than achievable, see you all there..... Up the REDS !!