Patcham Utd Amber from Mid Sussex Div 3 hosted us today in a beautiful, brand new 4G arena at Patcham High School.
With Aidan, Harrison, Jack C, Jack H, Kian, Oliver L and Oscar unavailable we knew today would be tough! Not just from the quality they bring but it leaves us short of subs as we only had one! Believe me, we needed reinforcements today in the 27 degree heat we played in.
A great warm up, some instagram posts and a nervy but positive start is how we passed through the first 10 mins. And then….. to everyone’s horror, we have a penalty away! The first time we met them anywhere near our 18 yard box and they get a gift from the gods! Luckily for us, they missed it and we reacted brilliantly by clearing the danger.
From the front, Ty was pressuring the CB’s and being more physical than usual. This really set the tempo for us and Owen and Connor playing as CAM’s gave great support. Out wide we looked dangerous as the wingers were being supported high up the pitch by Ollie H and Aiden as fullbacks. When we pushed on, like we did for the whole of the first half, we always had cover with Oliver B shielding the back 4 and Harvey was playing on the edge of the box which meant his positioning always gave him a chance to win the ball if it came over the top!
When we broke forward and wins free kick 30 yards from goal on the left side, it was a chance for Rio to put in a cross / shot in with whip and swerve! Our running off the ball was brilliant, the delivery was superb and the havoc created in front of the keeper confused him enough for the ball to float over hi and bounce into the corner of the net! Great ping Rio!!!!
As we began to regroup and get back in to position I had a feeling the opposition would look to strike back early…. And they did.
Lo and behold, a throughball to Ty from Tyler at CB saw him soon the defender and launch a shot from distance that the keeper couldn’t hold! He fumbled to his own net and we had our noses in fr ont x again.
Another series of errors lead to their 2nd equaliser and here, Tommy could have pressed the Full Back, Rio would have covered Aiden rather than filling in the gap behind Tommy! Their CAM hit a long range effort, which was stoppable, but not sure if Harvey thought it was going wide or it moved in the air but it nestled in the top corner!
That summed up our half really. Loads of composure from Antos and Tyler at the back, Harvey’s positioning and vocal stuff improved throughout the game too which helped the CB’s. I felt we had the better of the play for 40 minutes but the lack of squad availability really cost us. We ran our socks off and needed to freshen up the squad a bit and get some rest into the legs of a couple of players.
The 2nd half was tough for us as we collapsed a little as we had Connor and Tommy forced off through injury and Ollie Hobden recovering from feeling sick in the first half. We were down to ten for the first time in the game.
They gained momentum and scored a flurry of goals in quick succession that forced our heads to drop.
Connor and Ollie soldiered on for their team mates and played through the pain barrier.
After a big of pushing and shoving near the end, the ref sin binned a Patcham player for 6 mins and then their manager sent 2 of their lads home after some handbags with Antos, Ben and pretty much everyone else in the team. Ben was subbed for no player so we were back down to 10 man.
What I loved about it was the commitment to protect your team mates. Solidarity and being together is hugely important.
Let’s forget all the negativity and keep playing top class football like we did for most of today and we won’t go far wrong!!
Well done to all players, you were superb! Tyler was unreal at CB and deservedly won Man of the Match ????