Today saw us head to Hydebank for an 11am KO against St. Mary’s with a depleted squad, four of our starting 11 out.
Team Captain who picked up an injury against Solway and had to have an x-ray done came back to training but was clearly up against time to make the match was out, striker Noah Crenshaw who was in the last month was in good for was suffering from an ongoing problem was out due to doctors advice, Rhys Mackie our other striker was away with school skiing and Ryan Hannah who also had to have an x-ray on an ankle injury which picked up also in the Solway match was 50-50 but made the bench.
So it was down to the others to step up to the mark which they did. We were hit with a blow in the first minute when a high lob which was carried by the wind looped over Jai's head and into the net to put us 1 : 0 down but little did we know at this stage we were about to see yet again, two matches in a row some very poor refereeing well we were pre warned by the teams he refereed before us. He could not keep up with play , very seldom left the centre of the pitch and was clearly unfit who he gets to matches back to back is beyond me. We did manage to get the equaliser before half time and was well deserved as the boys played from their hearts. Three minutes from half time Jack Patterson (who was having an outstanding match in centre of defence) gathered the ball threaded a super pass through to Matthew Guest who carried on forward and hit a low powerful shot from 25 yards out which the keeper got a hand to but the shot was to powerful and we were level 1 : 1.
HALF TIME: 1 . 1
The second half saw us push for a winner we saw chances hit the bar, cleared of the line and then when Matthew Guest was one on one with the keeper just about to hammer the ball into the net the ref blew for offside clearly very late and from at least 30 yards away from the play, Matthew was never offside Fact.
Then the worst thing happened we lost yet another player to injury, this time it was our other ever present central defender Bradley McCourt who has along with Jack Hare at the heart of the defence been outstanding this season. He took a bad knock to his back and even though he tried to shake it off was clearly in distress and had to be replaced in the 10th minute of the second half. Curtis Barkley then went back to defence to pair up with Jack Patterson but he then picked up a knock to his knee and was clearly in distress but soldiered on.
Jai Sykes was in great form in goal two great saves came to mind one when a shot was heading into the top corner and he got up to tip it over the bar and the other was when from point black range he got down low to his left to turn another round the post. Five minutes from the end of the match it was time to go for the win as it was only a win that would give us runners up spot, so with Kurtis clearly struggling we went to a back three of Brandon, JP & Andy brought Stuart Hannah on up front and went for the win. In the last minute would you believe it, again poor refereeing would cost us as St. Mary’s hit us on the counter Jack Patterson got back to close the player down and as they passed the ball forward the other player was clearly 2 yards offside but surprise, surprise the ref was again at least 30 yards away and waved play on which St. Mary’s scored from to go in front 2 : 1.
FULL TIME : 2 . 1
Very poor refereeing spoiled a good game of football between two good teams and should not be doing back to back matches as he is clearly not fit enough.
Well done to all the boys who knew we were under strengthed but stepped up and gave it a real go. A good season boys for your first year in the premier so let’s take it forward into the cups and bring a trophy home I know you can do it.
Just ran out of options to find a way to win the game today boys.
Its days like these when u all need to dig in and support each other.....
And then the pain will end next week when u start putting the ball in the back of the net again.