With a depleted squad of 13, we were without: Suspended: Aidan Injured: Jack C / Kian / Ty Unavailable: Oliver L
We used the away dressing rooms today as we played after Furngate Youth (who got spanned 5-0 by Withdean Youth Red) and our warm up was to the side of the pitch rather than on it. Kaysha led the warm up and when I went in to the changing rooms I could she had got the lads up to match tempo. We gathered in our huddle and played our pre game anthem (Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim) and the lads were pumped and ready for another battle.
The first 15 mins were cagey but we managed to get loads of crosses, corners and long passes in to and on the edge of their box. Tommy, Rio and Ben making good runs and delivering balls to the box with accuracy was great to see. When we chase the ball down hard and with aggression we come out with possession 9/10 times, even if we earn a throw in! With our set piece improvement this season there is a chance of a goal from even the simplest of throw ins / corners that we are forging for ourselves.
We played a lot through the middle of the pitch and overplayed flicks a bit too often and if their forwards had been on top form we would have had our goal threatened a lot more than we did!
We noticed that the diamond:
Rio Owen Connor
We’re playing lots of short, delicate passes amongst themselves and ignored outlet passes to other players and channels and this cost us a lot of possession.
This lead to a breakaway that Antos chased down and lunged in to a slide tackle that he lost control of the ball. Their forward latched on the spilled ball and went through on goal and tucked it past Harvey. A huge frustration as we demonstrated that we were on a higher level than Southwick but the scoreboard says otherwise!
Breaking forward again and again we had a chance that saw the Southwick GK (Alex - Tommy’s best mate) make a mistake when controlling the ball from a back pass and Rio pressured him in to diving in to a tackle and won us a spot kick! Oscar, Captain Fantastic, took the penalty and struck it home to equalised. Nothing more than we deserved.
Changing rooms at half time and the coaches didn’t feel that a lot needed to change!
We went back out and worked twice as hard as the first half and the lads had a few chances to go in front. Ben was class at chasing the ball down with aggression, the midfield trio were too good for a Southwick and Oliver B ran hard up the right wing to cause problems too. Rio and Antos making a nuisance of themselves up too and all backed up with a superb performance from the back 4 and keeper.
Our chance came as Ollie Hobden, as he did all day, played a delightful forward, long range pass in to the box and Connor latched on to it and lashed what would turn out to be the winner into the net past the hapless GK!
The last 20 was purely about game management. We knew we would lose Jack H with 15 to go so Antos slotted back in at CB and he had to curb his desire to venture forward as the team needed to not concede rather than score another. That said, 20 mins is too long to time waste. We generally did this well and altho we had a few scares along the way, Harvey managed his box well!
Nuno put his whistle to his lips and the celebrations and relief was clear to see on all of our faces!
It shows the strength we have in this squad that we can still go out and beat a good side without 5 meme bees if the squad!
Our huddle as we got into the changing rooms with our celebration song (Afraid to Feel by LF System) playing was great…. We really came together as a team today. We finished up by singing Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond at the top of our voices as Ollie H was given the Player of the Match award (pic on instagram)
Well done boys and Up The Hawks ????????