Away league match played on 01 March 2024.
Kicked off at 8:00 PM

Hi Ladies / Gents

The 60s played Woodnesborough Bees (Away) in their penultimate league game of the season and gave possibly their best performance of the season in running out victors by a single goal in 9.

The game started out as a very cagey affair with both teams struggling to control the ball in some unsavoury conditions. The wind and rain was playing it's part with the ball zipping around on the wet surface. Woodnesborough were the first to get their passing game going and a slick ball through the middle found their attacker in space and his low hard shot went swiftly passed George in goal and they had the lead.

This stirred us into action and we came out the stronger. We started to have period of extended possession and were moving the ball swiftly to feet. We pressed high and were getting opportunities to shoot albeit, they were nothing more than half chance and snap shots but they were coming more often.

On one occasion we pressed right up to the edge of their goal area and hustled their defence, not giving them time or the opportunity to play the ball out of their third. It forced them to revert to a hurried clearance aimed at sending the ball down the field. However, Mike was in the way and, somewhat fortuitously, the ball hit him and rebounded passed their keeper and into the net.

This moment of equality was, however, short lived. Directly from their kick off the ball was moved up their left and a speculative shot from wide managed to get through George and trickled into the net.

Despite our pushing and movement, there was no further chance in the first half and we went in a goal down. At half time Simon was introduced for Syd and the decision taken to try and get further forward to support Mike. At times, we had been defending too deep with 4 back and only a single Woodnesborough attacker which left Mike with too much to do on his own.

The second half started with us on the front foot. Mike and Rupert were seeing plenty of the ball and getting into good positions to shoot. Woodnesborough were now a galvanised side though and they came at us with pressure. A series of corners for them saw the ball break to their midfield and another accurate, long range shot saw them extend their the lead.

The interplay between Mike and Rupert has improved over the last couple of games and with Andy pushing to support saw us pressing their defence and it was our pressure that forced a mistake from their defender with a waywood ball across their goal intercepted by Rupert and his low shot nestled into the bottom right hand corner and we were back to a goal behind.

We appeared to be on top now and our movement and passing had us with the ball in their half almost continuously. Their defence was struggling with the intensity of our press and several passes were intercepted with Mike, Rupert and Andy all going close. We were also getting free kicks awarded close to their goal area. One such set piece was perfect to try something off the training field. The ball was rolled to mike who beside Andy and his shot flew passed their keeper and nearly ripped the net from the goal frame. We were level with 10 minutes to go.

A tactical substitution was made to allow Dave Eglin a break with Cedric coming on up front. A shuffle in formation saw Colin remain as our only defender with Rupert and Simon holding and Andy support the front line. We were sensing we had a chance to win and pushed to find another goal. Woodnesborough also wanted the victory and the game became end to end. It was a lucky break in midfield that saw them come through us and their attacker made no mistake with the chance they worked and with just over 5 minutes to go we were again behind.

We were still getting joy from some iffy passing by the Woodnesborough defence with Mike and Cedric making surging moves towards goal. A shot from Cedric was blocked and broke to Andy on our right. He had his back to goal a few yards outside of their area but his swift thinking and audacity saw him swing a big right leg and back healed the ball perfectly through two or three players and passed their keeper who stood and watched the ball as it rippled the back of the net.

At four all and only a couple of minutes left, it looked like we were going to get a well deserved draw. Mike had different ideas and the ball was played up to him from Simon and Andy and a quick interplay with Cedric saw him in open space with the goal in front of him. He chose the keepers right hand and buried his shot in off the side netting for his hattrick. For the first time in the game we had the lead!

There followed a frantic couple of minutes as we tried to manage the game and hold onto the ball. They managed to get a corner from our right and this was played into the mix but was easily defended and the ball worked out to Simon who held on to it allowing others to get into support. We kept the ball and maintained possession for what seemed like an age as the referee scrutinised his watch. Eventually, the whistle blasts came and the win was ours.

I couldn't have been prouder of the team that, to a man, put everything out there to get this hard earned victory. My thanks and praise to all 9 of the squad who all played in a part.

My thanks, also to the supporters who braved the inclement weather and my incessant shouting from the side lines to offer vocal support and encouragement throughout.

Finally, my thanks to Woodnesborough who were magnanimous in defeat and who knew how much this victory meant to us. I have never seen a losing team so happy for the winners.


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