Casuals and Pelham missed a huge opportunity to get a win against Manuden Reserves as they lost 3-2 away from home. With Pelham in the end unfortunately not getting out the squad they had hoped for, it was another case of players doing a job in an unfamiliar position. However the away side didn't even do the basics right and looked a far cry away from the team that ran out 3-0 winners the week before. Right from the start Manuden were on top, and Pelham let them play how they wanted to. Within the first ten minutes of the game Manuden had struck first and took a 1-0 lead after a couple of shots were blocked before the ball came to the Mnuden striker at the back post who stroked the ball into the net. After the goal Manuden continued to dominate, and it was tough to tell what formation Pelham were playing and who indeed was playing where. However for all the ball and possession Manuden had they didn't create too many credible chances, some good blocks for Pelhams defensive back line and saves from Dan Monk kept the scoreline at 1-0, but Pelham needed half time to come in order to compose themselves and go again. Only one change was made at the half as David Canfield replaced Rob Parrish. Canfield had an immediate effect as Pelham started the half with pressure and a press on the Manuden defence. That press was unexpected and it forced the defender to try to play a ball through Canfield, who blocked, ran with the ball and slotted past the keeper making it 1-1 just after half time. It did give Pelham a kick up the backside they needed and they started to keep some form of shape and tried to compete a bit more. However it wasnt enough as Manuden struck their second and regained the lead, with enough gaps still open through the middle of the park, they played a couple of quick passes through and finished off the move. at 2-1 the game could have gone either way but credit to Pelham who were having a poor game, they managed to grab their second of the game and even things up. A freekick 30 yards out was floated in to the box, Dan Arran managed to get a head on the ball, firing it back across goal for Steve Callen to win the second ball with another header and loop it over the Manuden keeper. At 2-2 Pelham were back in it, but most probably undeserving. However they continued to not do the basics and gave Manuden the opportunity to win the game, who willingly took the chance and made it 3-2 with around 10 minutes left. Again Manudens pattern of the game was having too much time and space on the ball and they played through the gaps in the Pelham formation. The ball was eventually worked to the Manuden striker who looped the ball over the onrushing Monks head and made it 3-2. Pelham struggled to push for a winner but ultimately failed, and went home empty handed. A massive opportunity to win that game today lads against a team currently above us in the league and we didnt capitalise. They simply wanted it more than us and while i appreciate a few players were playing out of position, a lot werent and there just wasnt enough work rate out there in order to win a game of football against any opposition. However saying that this weeks man of match goes to Ant Hamilton-Pilot, who worked tirelessly in the centre of the park today and really put a shift in. There were some good performances from a few others, but ulitmately you need all eleven men working hard and working together, which we just did not have.