A story of missed opportunities costs Heddon a final appearance.
Playing against a very good Hexham team who were littered with top Alliance players, Heddon more than held their own, especially in the first half despite Dan Walker being out for the rest of the season.
We were much more competitive in midfield than last time we were here and passed the ball better again (in the first half at least) with limiting Hexham to shots from range and long balls over the top.
We scored from a cracking play, moved the ball across the field, fed murta into the channel who put in a class cross which Rossy called for by shouting "Leave it" which their sideline loved, and duly buried it in the back of the net.
Other chances fell to Murta and Sean in one on one siutaions, Seans in particular i would have put my house on him scoring. Wadds made a great save from an offside situation but other than that we dealt well with what they had first half and Wadds didnt make any other save of note.
However slightly disappointingly we didnt really come out at the start of the second half and looked nervous on the ball, with balls going too long too early to Murta.
That said, 5 minutes into the half we had another class passing move (notice a pattern here?) and i think Elliott sending the ball in to an unmarked Murta in front of goal who agonizingly pushed his shot wide. Murta scored that 9 times out of ten with his quality and if that goes in i think we win the game from there.
They then scored 3 goals in succession and piled on the pressure and we were unable to get out, their fourth came when we were pushing for the equaliser. There was a touch of fortune for all of their goals to be honest and just about sums up our luck this season but they deserved to score with the run of the game.
However for me and Kieran, what cost us was not taking our chances and getting away from pressuring off the ball and staying calm when we had it second half. Its obviously takes a lot of energy to pressure all of the time, but i promise you if we passed the ball better and pressured them higher second half we win that game.
Its about keeping our standards up for the full game - we have a minimum of 3 games left, 2 in the league that we still have a chance to win and a semi final. it feels like an unsuccessful season as we have such high standards but we are going to finish at least 2nd, are in 2 semi finals, 1 quarter final and in the last 16 of the minor cup where we more than held our own against a team that are in the final and will probably win it.
Lets win these last 3 games, 4 including the final and have some silverware to show for our efforts this season. Next season we have lads back from injuries and with hopefully a fully fit squad we'll be a match for anyone.
It's still all to play for!
Wadds: Great saves, nowt he could have done about any of the goals. Scott: Tired second half and came off hurt, if not hurt then the first goal doesn't happen. classy performance still Scoobs: Absolute man mountain of a player and played through a dead leg for 75 minutes. Sets the standard Joe Slade: Sober as promised! and an absolute class performance. Ramma: Another assist and another spot on performance. Hardest position to play on the team Cieran: Gave everything and had nowt left when he came off. Vital role in the goal and in most things we done well on the ball Flem: One of his best performances of the season, only taken off as we needed to push for a goal Elliott: Class personified, tenacious in the tackle and class on the ball. Lead the team when we went behind Rossy: Pretty certain that every time he has been sober on a Sunday he has been man of the match. No need to say anymore - class game but keep that head up when we go behind! Sean: Found little space to start off with but grew into the game, class touches as per. Great to be in the position for the two chances, will bury those next time. Murta: Lead the line very well indeed, they were petrified of his pace in behind and couldn't live with it. Great assist unlucky not to score.
Jay: LOVES playing wing back, as solid and classy as ever. Appaz: Straight into the game and creativity in midfield is different to anything else we have. Phil: Subs on then off for last ten. Solid as ever even at centre half and stopped a near certain goal- great team mate. Frank: another goal! would have started if he didn't go on a 2 day bender last time he was home! Bull: on the pitch for 7 minutes and conceded a goal! Shoddy! :-)