We had a fairly strong squad today, with Stu coming in in goal and new lad Luke on the bench as a defensive option.
The first 15 minutes were chaotic, they tried breaking fast and long balls were being thumbed by both teams. After a while it settled, but not long after they scored. A free kick 24 yards out, we weren't quite ready, and they curled a great effort into the top corner. No chance.
10 minutes later after some good play in behind their defense they scored again with a fortuitous goal, a long range effort hit the crossbar the line, the crossbar again, the line again, stu pushed it wide but it hit the post and then landed in front of their man who knocked it in, the ref gave him the goal, though there was shouts of offside. 2-0. if I wasn't playing I would probably have pissed myself.
Dale selected for his strength, against a strong opposition did well when he got the ball but was isolated and didn't see enough of the ball.
We were solid at the back, they found it hard to get through Joe and Kieran, and Pietro did well. Javan had a few moments where he lost the ball or was slow to get rid, but generally good. In midfield we played the ball on the floor to feet a lot which is the kind of football we need to play. Bjorn had some moments of skill but didn't always play the quick pass allowing them to get their shape. Danny ran hard after every ball but was up against big strong centre halves and all alone had a hard time.
They had a corner, they swung the ball in, Kieran and Spick and Joe and their rotund number 6 all challenged, somehow it squirmed out and straight at the underside of the crossbar, the back of stu's hand and into the goal.
half time 3-0.
Bjorn left at half time, Luke came on for him, and we put joe in the middle with spick and Ricky who was starting to find it hard to get on the ball, but still passed it simply and started those forward movements. In the second half we actually played a lot better, they only had 1 specualtive shot that stu saved easilly, and a couple of other half chances but teh defence was solid, Kieran being consistantly solid, winning headers against big guys and playing simple passes out of defence. Joe too playing it out of defence into my feet and Spicks and Rickys. We enjoyed some great interchanges and started to press their defence more. I was up playing in the hole behing Danny trying to give him some support and we had a few runs but nothing came of them. One corner landed on Pietro's head I thought it must be a goal, he headed it down and on target but the keeper blocked it, and the resulting pinball scramble was cleared.. Another spell of pressure saw their centre half trying to knock it out of his area, it caught between my legs and dropped to my feet, I loked up and saw the corner of the goal, empty. So I floated the ball into the corner. sexy. 3 - 1
Spick went off for Barry with about 35 to play. Barry hassled well when he came on and was unlucky not to start after some good recent performances.
I received the ball and made some space and with my back to goal played it to somebodies feet, O forget whose. About 2 seconds after the ball had gone I was ran over by a train and my whole spine crunched and gave me whiplash for the 2nd time in 3 games, A disgusting challenge that was intentional and cynical. If that wasn't bad enough his reaction to my injury was just beyond belief. Some people don't have the mentality for the football, or the physique for boxing which is probably where they belong.
Ryan came on for me and that's where the report ends as I didn't see any of the rest of the game, I was on my back. Photo's to follow taken by interim photogra[her Jack.
Somebody was fouled Danny I think by the keeper, but he scuffed the penalty and the keeper saved.