Home league match played on 01 December 2013.
Kicked off at 10:00 AM

In the words of Paul Daniels, I am standing up! And 15 minutes of magic were enough to give us a deserved victory today. Lotus XI were second in the league going into today’s game and we certainly needed to be somewhere near our best to get any kind of result or prevent another embarrassment like Meon Tayz! It was therefore important that our players felt prepared and ready from the start. Unfortunately Pete couldn’t find his beloved number 11 shirt and I’m sure at one point he had his tailor on speed dial to make a new one. Then before David Emanuel could answer….Abracadabra Barker “found the shirt” in his bag.
Like most weeks DJE started well in their newly adopted 4-5-1 formation and in the first 10 minutes Lotus couldn’t get out of their half. We created a lot and Lotus were really struggling to deal with the high balls. Barker won pretty much every header with Coker and wingman Ayyub were stretching their back four continuously. It was déjà vu yet again as despite our dominance the DJE finishing was lacklustre and indecisive. Chances came and went and we had more corners than a Muller yoghurt. The midfield were more than comfortable and their “play off two touch” mindset was working really well and our attackers were able to break quick. Lotus’ midfield didn’t have time to breath with Barker, Taylor and Rich snapping at the heels of the trying to turn midfielders like little red and black crustaceans on speed. For all the huff and puff being exhorted by DJE there was no reward. Coker, Ayyub, and Barker were guilty of some poor finishing and even when DJE looked imminent to score, the Lotus keeper pulled off some very good stops to deny us. Lotus should have punished our inability to finish off some good chances. A long range shot cannoned off the DJE crossbar and with their little pocket dynamo ready to tap in for 1 nil, Albi pulled off a great save to stop him and touch round for a corner. So at half time the scores were level at 0-0. Frustration was probably the best word to describe the thoughts of the DJE players at the half time interval but an air of optimism was also present and would carry into the second half.
Lotus started the second half quicker than an Elise but the DJE defence were still comfortable to thwart their attacking endeavour. DJE were comfortable all over park and it was clear we needed a goal to settle us down. The game got one!!!!!!! Unfortunately it went lotus’ way. A dinked ball in behind Simba had Tiller covering across and with him out of position a low cross found one of the three lingering Lotus players waiting to simply side foot in. DJE didn’t panic and kept playing the direct football which was effective. DJE didn’t crumble under the disappointment of being undeservedly behind and Barker the Gingerbread man certainly didn’t. His sharp turn and Pile driver went like a missile and flew past the impressive Lotus keeper for 1-1. The game carried on with chances being created and wasted by DJE and Lotus punished this wastefulness yet again. A speculative diagonal ball wasn’t dealt with by Liam and their Right midfielder drove a low shot past the helpless Albi. DJE could sense this wasn’t over and pretty much from the restart Clubman pinged a long hopeful ball into the Lotus 18 yard box and Barker leapt like gingerbread man out of the oven and nodded into an empty net. Barker got a punch in the head for his troubles from the on rushing Lotus keeper and was down for a little while before manning up and carrying on. 2-2 and the game was there for the taking. DJE's quick passing into the frontmen were causing problems and when the Lotus Defender bought one of them down for a freekick it gave DJE a great opportunity from about 25yds out. Barker stepped up and drove a hard low effort which could only be palmed out and Liam was there to pounce onto a static lotus defence to smash in from 2 yards out. DJE led for the first time in the match. Lotus rang the changes and bought on the “big lad” to give DJE sommin different to think about. His pace definitely wouldn’t be a problem!!!! Eh clubman!!
DJE smelled blood and could sense more goals were for the offering. Coker needed a goal for which his performance overall warranted and when a clipped ball over the top found him one on one with the keeper he poked home into the top corner for 4-2. Coker probably felt a goal was enough for his merits but with true striker mentality he eclipsed his first half misses and got his second to make the score 5-2.
Just for note…… Sandwiched in between Cokers brace was some comical defending by Clubman. You aint getting away with this one fella! Lotus were finding their “big man” on many occasions and he was getting crosses in for fun. Clubman needed to get closer and when the chance came “big man” not known for his pace dropped a shoulder (of lamb) and left clubman for dead and whipped in a good cross in which was defended well by Simba. When I say left for dead it was more like road kill found on the A32!
A good team win today with everyone putting a shift in but we made it hard for ourselves with some poor finishing. 5-2 was the final score but 10-2 wouldn’t have flattered us. If I was to compare our performance to a spring clean, I think it would be fair to say that we made good use of the Cilit Bang but forgot to buy the Mr Sheen to finish things off. Hampshire Cup next lads!!! (Also lotus have a facebook page which is probably worth a look)

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